From the Collection of 
Susan Jackson Keig

Susan Jackson Keig was one of the most celebrated graphic designers in Chicago, but a career in art was not always her first choice. Kicked out of an all-male engineering class at the University of Kentucky when her professor declared “this is no place for a woman,” Keig pursued a degree in art and design, tapping into a passion that she held since a young age. Raised on her family farm in Kentucky, Keig began keeping a scrapbook about architecture at the age of twelve. She excelled in school and enrolled in post-graduate studies at the Corcoran Art Gallery School until 1940, when she was recruited to join the cryptanalyst division of the US Army Signal Corps in Washington, D.C. During the war, she and fellow code-breakers successfully cracked the Japanese code—a major contribution to securing victory. 

I feel that as designer, we are a rather privileged group. The world is our office—literally no confines to what we might do.

Susan Jackson Keig

Notable Designs by Susan Jackson Keig

Eero Saarinen 1910–1961

Born in 1910, Eero Saarinen was surrounded by design his entire life; his father, Eliel Saarinen was an architect and director of the Cranbrook Academy of art and his mother, Loja Saarinen, was an acclaimed textile artist. In 1929, Saarinen traveled to Paris to study sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière before enrolling in the Yale architecture program. He returned to Cranbrook in 1934 where he met fellow designer and friend, Charles Eames. In 1947, Saarinen won a competition to design a monument for Thomas Jefferson in St. Louis. His Gateway Arch would mark one of the many triumphs of his short but incredibly productive career.

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