Post-WWII Jewish Designers Draft a Brave New World

This article was first published in The Times of Israel.

Eichler model home advertisement, c. 1960. Photographic print of original color postcard image, 8 1/32 x 10 in. Photo courtesy of the Local History Collection, Orange Public Library, Orange, California. Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Eichler model home advertisement, c. 1960. Photographic print of original color postcard image, 8 1/32 x 10 in. Photo courtesy of the Local History Collection, Orange Public Library, Orange, California. Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

SAN FRANCISCO — A new original exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco shows that while the Jews may be an ancient people, they are also a definitively modernist one

“Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism” is the first major exhibition to explore the role of the many Jewish architects, designers, and patrons —both American- and European-born — in the formation of a new American domestic landscape post-World War II.

Though names such as Alex Steinweiss, Ruth Adler Schnee, Henry Dreyfuss, and Saul Bass may be unfamiliar, even a cursory look at their represented objects affirms their impact. With a preference for abstraction, these designers continue to influence everyday surroundings decades after the modernist movement reached its apex. One need only go on a weekend shopping trip to the local IKEA to grasp their democratization of style.

Click here to read more.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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