Kaufmann House, Richard Neurtra Designer

Jewish heritage month

"Mid-Century Modern" was not a stake of furniture desgin if it weren't for the major influence of Jewish culture and values. Immigrant and second-generation Jews like George Nelson, Alvin Lustig, Anni Albers, Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Richard Neutra, Leo Lionni, and many others played a major roles in molding the less-is-more concept. The German Art school Bauhaus from 1919-1933, inspired an aesthetic that grew into having a presence in many American homes and businesses during the postwar period.

It was Hitler’s war on “degenerate” modernism that triggered Jewish architects and designers to take refuge in the U.S. “An informal network of six non-sectarian organizations” helped promote their works once they got here. That network included institutions like Black Mountain College, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, and the Bay Area at Pond Farm, hiring Jewish architects and designers as faculty members or promoted their work in museum exhibitions and publications.

Sources: The Atlantic Magazine, Jewish-Boston, and The

Asheford Institute of Antiques