Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism

April 24–October 6, 2014



About

Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism is the first exhibition to look at the contribution of Jewish designers, architects, patrons, and merchants in the creation of a distinctly modern American domestic landscape. In the aftermath of World War II, the hub of world Jewry shifted from Europe to America. We look at the cultural context in which many Jewish émigré architects and designers from Europe in the 1930–40s were welcomed and embraced into the creative communities that sprang up around the US—including Black Mountain College, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, and even in the Bay Area at Pond Farm in Guerneville. The story told in this exhibition gives remarkable insight into Jewish assimilation into American society. At the same time, Designing Home goes beyond a simple exploration of physical Jewish contributions to the history of modern architecture and design—an impact that continues today—to examine broader cultural and social themes.

The exhibition and its public programs look at the intersections between Jewish social ideals and modernism’s own progressive commitment to egalitarianism.

Organized by The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, with Guest Curator Donald Albrecht.

Guest Curator

Albrecht’s catalogs have garnered numerous awards, including the Society of Architectural Historians’ Best Exhibition Catalogue for the Eero Saarinen and the Eames catalogs. Mr. Albrecht has also contributed essays to a number of books about architecture and design, including The Glass House: Pairings and California Design: The Legacy of West Coast Craft and Style to monographs on Andree Putman, Michael Gabellini, and 1100 Architect, and has written extensively about the relationship between architecture and film, starting with his seminal book, Designing Dreams: Modern Architecture in the Movies.

Mr. Albrecht lectures frequently about architecture and design. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

  Press Release

 


Supporters

Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism is organized by The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. Major sponsorship for this exhibition is provided by Maribelle and Stephen Leavitt, the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, Osterweis Capital Management, the Seiger Family Foundation, and the Jim Joseph Foundation. Patron sponsorship is provided by Phyllis Cook, Alison Gelb Pincus and Mark Pincus, and The Laszlo N. Tauber Family Foundation. Supporting sponsorship is provided by AIG Private Client Group, an Anonymous donor, Judy and Harry Cohn, Dana Corvin and Harris Weinberg, G2 Insurance Services, Peggy and Richard Greenfield Foundation, Siesel Maibach, Dorothy R. Saxe, and Barbara and Howard Wollner. Participating sponsorship is provided by Alvin H. Baum, Jr., T Beller and Philip S. Schlein, Susan and Joel Hyatt, Carol and Alan J. Pomerantz, Shelli Semler and Kyle Bach, Ruth and Alan Stein, and Roselyne Chroman Swig.

Additional support is provided by The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Bernard and Barbro Osher Exhibition Fund.

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Essential support for catalog publication has been provided by Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation, in memory of Ben and A. Jess Shenson.

Media sponsorship is provided by Dwell magazine.

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Major support for The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s exhibitions and Jewish Peoplehood Programs comes from the Koret Foundation.

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