Evelyn Ackerman and her husband Jerry were important exponents of the post-war Southern California design scene. Evelyn's work was largely figurative, while Jerry's was more usually abstract. Together they produced a wide variety of exquisitely designed and crafted objects which represent the best of modern California design. This hand-woven, wool wallhanging is a fine example of Evelyn's exuberance with color and composition.

Sam Kaufman Collects

Since 1999 Sam Kaufman's eye for objects with beauty, craftsmanship, and historical significance has made his Los Angeles gallery feel like a small museum—curated by an eccentric man described by Dwell magazine as “the walking encyclopedia”. Spanning decades, nations, and multiple fields of collecting, the eclectic mix shares one thing in common: the irrepressible enthusiasm of Sam Kaufman. With curiosity, knowledge, and a taste for the whimsical, Sam has traveled the world collecting expressive, compelling, and unusual things. The selection offered here represents the breadth of his interests. Every artifact has an accompanying narrative, a twist of history, or a rare detail that gives it a life of its own and makes it outstanding

Evelyn Ackerman

Evelyn Ackerman helped shape the California mid-century aesthetic. She approached her designs with an appreciation for folk stories, antiques and toys, creating tapestries, mosaics, wood carvings and pottery that came to embody the modern American arts and crafts movement.

Born in Detroit in 1924, Ackerman studied art and art history at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, where she met her husband Jerome, who was studying ceramics. They married in 1948 and she received her MFA in 1950. In 1949, Evelyn and Jerome visited the Detroit Art Institute and saw the influential exhibition For Modern Living, curated by Alexander Girard, which piqued their interest in modern design. In 1952 The couple moved to Los Angeles and established Jenev Design Studio to produce their own works, beginning with Jerome's pottery. After endorsements by leading designers like Paul McCobb and features in House & Garden and the Los Angeles Times, the couple expanded their enterprise, opening a mosaic studio in Mexico for Evelyn and renaming their venture ERA Industries. Evelyn took on most of the creative work of designing while Jerome managed the business and production.

Evelyn's style ranged from geometric abstraction to whimsical figuration, with a keen eye for global folk craft techniques and motifs. She was also known as a scholar, publishing several books on dolls, antiques and craft.

Though Evelyn and Jerome slowed ERA Industries production in the 1980s, both continued to work in the modern folk aesthetic they helped bring to prominence. They received the Henry Award for their contributions to California design from the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles in 2008 and a retrospective of their work followed in 2009 at the Mingei International Museum, San Diego. Evelyn passed away in 2012 and Jerome in 2019, leaving behind an influential body of work.

Auction Results Evelyn Ackerman