A “PERSON OF CULTURE”
With Eliel Saarinen’s death in 1950, Eero officially launched his career as an
independent architect. Throughout the decade, heading the office of Eero Saarinen
and Associates, he kept up an intense professional and social schedule, including
numerous trips to foreign countries. In 1953 Eero was divorced from Lilian Swann
Saarinen (1913– 95), a sculptor who had contributed to the Crow Island School, and
the following year married Aline B. Louchheim (1914– 72), an associate art critic
for the New York Times, who often examined the relationship between art and society.
Assisting him and his office on press relations, she helped Saarinen meet his goal
of becoming not only an architect “who contributes to culture,” but also a “person
of culture.” Although Eero’s career was cut short by his death in 1961, leaving
nine major buildings uncompleted, no clients severed their ties with the firm, and
many of Saarinen’s greatest achievements were realized posthumously.