mid-century modern: the jewish connection

Anni Albers

Before I begin, let me first say that I grew up in an Eichler, I love Eichler style homes and the modernism that they represent, and I’m Jewish. So when the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco put on their latest show ‘Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism’, I was in. Steve and I went to the opening last night and the show is truly fabulous. It never occurred to me that mid-century style had a Jewish connection, but of course it does. Jewish designers, architects and patrons such as Anni Albers, Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra helped to create the ‘Mad Men’ style that still infatuates us today.

Here’s a bit of background:  the rise of Nazism in 1930’s Europe sent many Jews fleeing for safer shores. In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Germany’s Bauhaus School closed under Nazi pressure claiming that the school was a center of communist intellectualism and Jewish modernism. With the school’s closure, staff emigrated throughout the world and spread their modern ideals. The influx of modern design and designers from Europe sparked America’s appreciation and embrace of what we have come to call ‘mid-century modern’, a spare style that relates form to function and relies on bold pattern and color for decoration.

Check out the photos that I took last night, and visit the show if you have a chance. It is a must see for lovers of this style (and who isn’t?)

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Enjoy the show!

april 15, 2014: pesach 5774


Passover photo courtesy

photo courtesy

Thank you SF Eater for getting me out of a little fix. Passover begins Tuesday, which means the first Seder is Monday night. For the uninitiated, that means that we Jew-folk are crazily buying food and cooking it beginning about 3 days ago. Hence the tardiness of this post. SF Eater to the rescue….today in my crowded little inbox they sent me a list of 14 restaurants that are serving Seder fare. I share with you the list.  And even if you don’t do the whole Seder schtick, you can still participate in a bit of the yumminess of our most gastronomic of holidays.  Not to mention all the wine that we are COMMANDED to drink!

Chag Sameach to the Jews out there….and happy Friday to the rest of you!