This month, PBS’s American Masters series will run “Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future,” delving into the work of the Finnish-American modernist. Among his works are National Historic Landmarks including the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan, as well as New York’s TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Yale University’s Ingalls Rink and Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, Virginia’s Dulles Airport, and pedestal furniture like the Tulip chair.
The show will air December 27 on PBS.
In the show, the architect’s son Eric Saarinen, the director of photography and co-producer, travels to his father’s work sites, using drone technology that reveals his work from above. In addition, the documentary features rare archival interviews with Eero and his second wife, New York Times art critic Aline Saarinen, and letters and notes from Aline’s memoirs. “Closure was something I didn't have with my dad. But I forgive him for his genius,” says Saarinen, whose father died suddenly, at age 51. “He figured out a way to be important across time, so even though he died young, he is still alive.”
“This film is both an immersive look at an architect’s work and a father-son story across generations. Once Eric agreed to go on this journey with me, I knew the results would be compelling and revealing,” says Emmy-, Peabody- and DGA Award-winning filmmaker Peter Rosen, who produced and directed the documentary.