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Danseurs et Charmeurs de Serpents, Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

c. 1943

One of the most lauded and prolific American architects of the 20th century, Harry Weese was among the storied cohort that entered the architecture program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1938 alongside Benjamin Baldwin, Florence Knoll Bassett, Ralph Rapson, and Charles Eames. For a series of entries to MoMA’s landmark 1940–41 Organic Designs in Home Furnishings exhibition, Weese teamed up with Benjamin Baldwin (whose association with Ray Eames during his time studying under Hans Hofmann led her to join them at Cranbrook in 1940). While the pair lost out to Eames and Saarinen in the “other furniture for a living room” category, their tea trolley, “barbecue wagon,” chaise, and picnic table set placed first in “furniture for outdoor living.” Weese’s journey from academia into architectural practice was quickly disrupted by World War II, when he enlisted in the US Navy as an engineer. This French postcard featuring a scene of dancers and snake charmers in Jemaa el-Fnaa, the central square and marketplace in Marrakesh, Morocco, was sent to Charlie and Buda [sic] (referencing Ray’s Cranbrook-era nickname, Buddha) at their Los Angeles apartment during his service—as evidenced by the ENS designation after his name, and the lack of postage. Although the postcard is undated, Weese’s references to “covers + competitions” is a likely nod to Ray’s 1942 or 1943 cover designs for Arts & Architecture magazine (one of which included a photo of a plywood sculpture) and the April, 1943 Arts & Architecture competition initiated by Charles entitled “Designs for Postwar Living.”

  • Medium:Printed paper
  • Dimensions:3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (8.9 x 14 cm)
  • Item:A.2019.2.102