Is your surname Saarinen?

Research the Saarinen family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Minna Carolina Mathilda Louise Saarinen (Gesellius)

Finnish: Minna Carolina Saarinen (Gesellius)
Also Known As: "Louise Gesellius"
Birthplace: Helsingfors, Finland
Death: April 04, 1968 (89)
Bloomfield Hills, Oakland County, Michigan, United States
Place of Burial: Hvitträsk, Finland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of H. Otto Gesellius and Emilie Gesellius
Wife of Eliel Saarinen
Mother of Eva-Lisa Swanson and Eero Saarinen
Sister of Toni Paqvalen; Herman Gesellius; Rudolf Gesellius; Anna von Pfaler; Olga "Polle" Gesellius and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Loja Saarinen

Loja Saarinen was a Finnish-American textile artist and sculptor who founded the weaving department at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She also led her own studio, the Studio Loja Saarinen, which designed many of the textiles used in buildings designed by her husband, the architect Eliel Saarinen.

Minna Carolina Mathilde Louise "Loja" Gesellius was born March 16, 1879, in Helsinki, Finland, and studied art in Helsinki at Taideteollinen Keskuskoulu (1898–99) and Suomen Taideyhdistyksen Piirustuskoulu (1899-1902), and sculpture under Jean Antoine Injalbert at the Académie Colarossi in Paris.

Loja Saarinen started her career in 1928 when she founded the one of the most productive weaving departments in the United States at the Cranbrook Educational Community. Saarinen was heavily influenced by Swedish craft tradition. She was one of the first artists to bring Scandinavian design to America. Her most substantial work was for Kingswood School where her studio designed tapestries, rugs, curtains, and upholstery.

Saarinen's work is characterized by simple geometric designs in subtle light and dark contrasts, with a frequent use of complementary colors.

view all

Loja Saarinen's Timeline

March 15, 1879
Helsingfors, Finland
March 31, 1905
Kirkkonummi, Uusimaa, Finland
August 20, 1910
Kirkkonummi, Uusimaa, Finland
April 4, 1968
Age 89
Bloomfield Hills, Oakland County, Michigan, United States
Age 88
Hvitträsk, Finland