Evelyn Ackerman: The Collection of Gary and Laura Maurer
January 12—April 19, 2024
64 White Street
Comprised of 30 bold tapestries and mosaics designed by Evelyn Ackerman and her husband, Jerome, in Los Angeles, this exhibition—the largest dedicated to the artist’s work outside of California—explores the enormous impact Ackerman’s works had on defining the “California Look” of the mid-20th century and beyond.
This is the first exhibition outside of California dedicated to the designs of Evelyn Ackerman. Together with her husband Jerome, Evelyn formed a partnership that epitomized the mid-twentieth century Californian version of the “Good Design” movement promoted by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Respecting traditional craft methods, Evelyn designed affordable decorations for the new modern houses of California, and her work frequently appeared on the covers of the Los Angeles Times Home Magazine in vignettes representing the “California Look.”
This exhibition focuses on Evelyn’s designs for tapestries and mosaic panels (produced between 1957 and 1982 in a workshop of artisans near Mexico City) and hand-hooked tapestry rugs (made in Osaka, Japan, during the same period). Inspired by folk and modern art, Evelyn made the design drawings with detailed instructions colorkeyed to yarn and glass samples. The goal was to produce the works on a large scale so that they could be retailed through interior design showrooms and department stores, and to replicate Evelyn’s designs in multiple color schemes (frequently referred to as “warm” and “cool”) to give decorators and homeowners more options.
Gary and Laura Maurer are collectors of American design, most notably the work of Russel and Mary Wright, and have assembled what is believed to be the largest private collection of Ackerman designs. This exhibition has been organized with the cooperation and invaluable archival support of Laura Ackerman Shaw and the Estate of Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman.
Wall color for this exhibition was generously provided by Alkemis Paint, the world’s first architectural wellness paint.