Susan Aikens Post '78, Director of Alumni Relations
For those alumni who want a very special way to evoke campus memories, the Cranbrook Kingswood Alumni Association offers a line of bronze commemoratives. These exclusive items offer a lasting way to remember the school mottos of "Aim High" and "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve."
The Cranbrook Kingswood Alumni Association is offering for sale bronze sculptures in two sizes of the Cranbrook Archer and the Kingswood Tree. These sculptures are available through the diligent efforts of Hugh Kerr ’73, whose father the late Peter Kerr, taught art at Cranbrook from 1958-1973 and created the iconic archer sculpture featured in the Cranbrook quadrangle. The archer sculptures available for purchase are cast by the lost wax process from an original prototype of the archer and finished by hand in a unique patina. The design of the Kingswood Tree was created by Hugh Kerr based on the Kingswood seal, and bears the motto “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve” around the base of the trunk.
In addition to the sculptures, Kerr has added several plaques and medallions to the line of cast commemoratives. Each piece has its origins at the school, and each has its own story. Kerr has worked intently with a bronze foundry to create the molds from the originals, and oversees production of each piece. Kerr maintains that the effort that goes into this project is a labor of love. “It pleases me that the sculptures mean so much to our alumni,” says Kerr, “Providing them with a piece that serves to remind them of their time at the schools is a wonderful nod to my father’s art career.” His wife Sally Carpenter Kerr ’74 and daughters Lauren Kerr Freund ‘01 and Avery Kerr Gardner ‘03 also attended the schools and helped him finalize the details of the Kingswood tree sculpture.
tamen aerias telum contorsit in auras… “he aimed an arrow high into the breezes of the air…”
The Archer, Cranbrook School’s inspirational symbol, comes from Virgil’s Aeneid. In Book 5 of the epic tale, there is an archery contest. A bird is tethered by a cord to the top of a wooden mast. The first archer's arrow strikes the mast and frightens the bird to flight. The second cuts the cord and the bird is free. With the bird in flight, the third archer shoots and brings down the bird. However, there is a fourth archer. He aimed his arrow “high into the breezes of the air” to display his skill and let the sound of the bow be heard. As it flew through the vaporous clouds, the arrow burst into flames and marked its path with fire until it was consumed. For this miracle, the final archer was declared the victor, and received the laurel wreath.
William Oliver Stevens, Cranbrook’s first Headmaster, sketched the original Cranbrook Archer. The design was then given to Eero Saarinen to create the school symbol. In 1968, as a class gift, the seniors commissioned Art Department Chairman, Peter Kerr, to sculpt the bronze Archer to be installed in the Quad.
The original Kingswood School seal was designed as a symbol to emboss the first diplomas awarded to Kingswood graduates in 1932. Lee A. White, secretary of the Kingswood School Board of Directors, and a personal friend of George Booth presented a drawing of a tree encircled with a crown and the motto, “Enter to Learn; Go Forth to Serve.” The seal was further refined by Academy of Art silversmith, Arthur Nevill Kirk, whose design was approved by the students. Later, Marshall Fredericks modeled the seal into the Founders Plaque which was presented to Kingswood School as a gift by the Class of 1950.
The cost for the large bronze archer (11 inches) or the large bronze tree (10 inches) is $2500.00. The cost for the small bronze (5 inches) is $750.00. The archer and tree plaques are $1000.00, and the smaller (3 inch) medallions are $200.
For information regarding purchase of these sculptures, please contact Hugh H. Kerr C’73 at email@example.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.