This important collection of Evelyn Ackerman's carved woodblocks features a wide range of motifs, showcasing her love for both the natural world as well as archetypal imagery, including angels and the Tree of Life.


From left to right, this collection includes: 

1. Horse from the Animal Woodblock series, designed 1969.
This example was carved from redwood in Southern California. The same design was exhibited in California Design XI and in 2009-10 at the Masters of California Mid-Century Modernism: Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman exhibition held at the Mingei Museum, San Diego.

2. Pig, designed in 1973.
This example was carved from ash in Southern California. These small plaques with the small blank area were part of a gourmet collection sold in home retailers such as Macy's.

3. French Chef, designed in 1976.
Carved from ash in Southern California.

4. Rooster, designed in 1978.
Carved from ash in Southern California.

5. Angel with Horn, designed in mid-to-late 1960s.
Carved from ash in Southern California, with walnut stain.

6. Garden, designed in 1958.
Carved in Southern California.

7. Ram, designed in 1973.
Carved from ash in Southern California.

8. Ram from the Animal Woodblock series, designed 1969.
Carved from redwood in Southern California. This same design was exhibited in California Design XI and in 2009-10 at the Masters of California Mid-Century Modernism: Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman exhibition held at the Mingei Museum, San Diego.

9. Oak Leaf, designed in 1973.
Carved from ash in Southern California.

10. Bear from Animal Woodblock series, designed 1969.
Carved from redwood in Southern California. This same design was exhibited in California Design XI and in 2009-10 at the Masters of California Mid-Century Modernism: Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman exhibition at the Mingei Museum, San Diego. 

11. Owl from Animal Woodblock series, designed 1969.
Carved from redwood in Southern California. This same design was exhibited in California Design XI and in 2009-10 at the Masters of California Mid-Century Modernism: Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman exhibition at the Mingei Museum, San Diego. 

12. Peace (lion and lamb), designed in 1969.
Carved from ash in Southern California, with walnut stain.

13. Bull from Animal Woodblock series, designed 1969.
Carved from redwood in Southern California. This same design was exhibited in California Design XI and in 2009-10 at the Masters of California Mid-Century Modernism: Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman exhibition at the Mingei Museum, San Diego. 

14. Vineyard II, designed 1976.
Carved in from ash in Southern California, with walnut stain.

15. Angel with Horn, designed in mid-t0-late 1960s.
Carved from ash in Southern California, with walnut stain.

16. Sun, designed in 1973.
Carved from ash or redwood in Southern California.

I have one rule for decorating:
Do whatever pleases you.

Evelyn Ackerman

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