The Radiant Sun: Designer Ruth Adler Schnee
A film by Terri Sarris
Produced by Ronit Eisenbach and Terri Sarris
Music by Frank Pahl
The Radiant Sun explores the life and work of mid-century American designer Ruth Adler Schnee, who has been called a “Detroit treasure” and an “American legacy.” Along with her family, Schnee fled Nazi Germany soon after Kristalnacht, and settled in Detroit. An internship with industrial designer Raymond Loewy and degrees from RISD and Cranbrook under Eliel Saarinen prepared her for a design career. With her husband Edward Schnee, she formed Adler-Schnee Associates, a design studio and store that helped bring modernism to Michigan. As a space planner, Adler-Schnee collaborated with noted architects including Yamasaki, Fuller, and Wright. The pivotal exhibition Design 1935–1965: What Modern Was (1991), featured Adler-Schnee’s textile designs. At age 90, she continues to work as a space planner and textile designer. The film The Radiant Sun adds Adler-Schnee’s story to the growing scholarship on the American Modernist–era and expands knowledge about women designers’ influence on the built environment.
The DVD includes:
58-minute Color, NTSC film
15-minute abridged version of “The Radiant Sun”
About the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation Video
The film can be ordered from several locations:
- Order online from the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, $19.95 plus $5* domestic** shipping and handling.
- To order the film in bulk for your museum shop or bookstore at a reduced rate, email info(at)bwaf.org
*Shipping fees vary based on quantity ordered; please refer to order form for details.
**For international orders, please inquire by e-mailing info(at)bwaf.org
-Premiered at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, 2009
-The Ringling Museum
-The University of Michigan Museum of Art
-The National Building Museum in conjunction with the “House & Home” exhibition, October 2012
-The Michigan Modern Symposium at Cranbrook Academy of Art, June 2013
-Screened during the 2011 Venice Biennale at the Museo Hebraica in conjunction with the exhibition, “Ruth Adler Schnee: A Passion for Color” at the Palazzo Mocenigo
Made possible by the generous support of The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, The University of Michigan Institute for Research on Women and Gender and The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, The University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and The Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Educational Community.
©2013 Terri Sarris / Ronit Eisenbach
design: Hannah Smotrich