John Berry Named Acting Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH., May 9, 2018 — Dominic DiMarco, President of Cranbrook Educational Community, in concurrence with the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum Board of Governors, announced today that John Berry has been named Acting Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art.

In April, current Director Christopher Scoates announced that he would be leaving the Academy in June to accept the position of Director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Scoates has served as Director of Cranbrook Academy of Art since August of 2014.

Berry will hold the position of Acting Director of the Academy while a national search begins for a new permanent Director. That search is expected to begin in the fall. Berry’s first day at the Academy will be June 18, 2018.

Berry has more than 45 years of professional design involvement with global manufacturers, international architectural and design firms and foundations. He has held board positions with art and design schools and professional organizations, and his background includes senior level leadership positions and advisory roles with major manufacturers in the contract furniture industry. He is a 1968 graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Design program.

He comes to Cranbrook from Grand Valley State University where he was Director of The Design Thinking Initiative and Director of the school’s new Design Thinking Academy, which aims to bring the experience of design thinking to all undergraduate students at the university.

“John has remained involved in the Cranbrook Academy of Art community since his days here as a student,” said Dominic DiMarco, President of Cranbrook Educational Community. “He has served on the Academy’s National Advisory Council and worked with our students and Artists-in-Residence on a variety of projects over the years. We are grateful that he will be returning to campus to help with our transition.”

Berry was the founder and the first Executive Director of Design West Michigan, promoting design as an economic building block for the region. He also founded the Society of Experiential Graphic Designers, the first national professional organization that bridged the fields of industrial, architectural and graphic design.

He created and led the Interiors, Graphics & Signage Division of Smith Hinchman & Grylls (now The Smith Group) in Detroit, where his award-winning projects included work with NASA, John Deere, Owens Corning Fiberglass and Caterpillar as well as numerous airports, hospitals, universities, and corporate clients.

Berry served as Vice President of Corporate Communications for Herman Miller for 16 years, directing internal and external marketing, events, corporate archives, architectural and design programs, as well as building and managing all public relations. As the liaison between the Herman Miller office and the Eames Office, he continues to speak nationally and internationally on the work of Charles & Ray Eames and George Nelson. 

He authored the book “Herman Miller: The Purpose of Design” which was the basis for a traveling exhibition organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art and The Henry Ford Museum. 

Media Contact:
Julie Fracker
Director of Communications
Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum

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