CB2 Line Honors Ackermans

Acclaimed MCM artists Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman join retailer's 'Design Legends'
Fridays on the Homefront
National specialty retailer CB2 just introduced a new piece of their 'Design Legends' series—tapping into the work of legendary designers Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman. The collection was a result of extensive combing through the Ackermans' archives of catalogs, original drawings, templates, photographs, and concepts. Above: One of the Ackerman designs, the grey terracotta 'Tovek' vase, is pictured here with three different views: $79.95. All product photos courtesy CB2

The exquisite artistry of legendary mid-century California artists Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman is being honored, beginning this week, with an exciting new product line of 'Design Legends' from specialty retailer CB2, a brand of Crate & Barrel, with 24 stores across the U.S. and Canada.

The Ackerman husband-and-wife team was responsible for creating unique contributions to the MCM design world, blending Jerome's gift for ceramics with Evelyn's natural affinity for working in the fiber arts and creating textiles.

"When I saw the [furniture designer] Paul McCobb collection that CB2 launched as part of its 'Design Legends' series in 2021, it prompted me to reach out to them because of my parents' connection to McCobb," points out the couple's daughter, Laura Ackerman-Shaw, who resides in a Peninsula Eichler.

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Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman back in the day: true partners in their life and business. Photo courtesy Laura Ackerman-Shaw

Explaining that as her parents' ceramic design business 'Jenev,' a combination of their first names, got off the ground in 1953, "my parents found a devotee in Paul and his wife, Mary, who initially purchased Jenev ceramics for their personal collection."

It wasn't long before Paul McCobb began selling the Ackerman ceramics in his Directional Furniture Showrooms, and introducing Laura's parents' designs to a national audience. The simple, elegant forms complemented the lines of the designer's furniture, and "if you look closely at many of the vintage brochures and ads, you'll often find Jenev ceramics displayed on his furniture," she explains.

"When I saw that CB2 had embraced bringing McCobb designs to a new audience, it seemed like teaming up with them on an Ackerman Modern collaboration would be a natural fit to bring my parents' vision, artistry, and craftsmanship to consumers today."

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Ackerman collection: 'Autumn Trees' black wool tapestry: $399.

Working with CB2 to develop the Ackerman Modern capsule collection, Ackerman-Shaw carefully brought together elements that capture the essence of the postwar era's modern design principles.

Since the Ackermans' design career was so prolific, their daughter spent many hours, she says, "combing through not only the products themselves but extensive archives of catalogs, original drawings, templates, photographs, and concepts."

Original as well as 'reimagined' Ackerman designs are being offered in the collection. "Some were essentially reproduced, like the Op 66 tapestry and Navan vase," she says. Others were applied to different materials or products, like the Labyrinth tapestry reimagined as a rug.

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Roomful of the Ackerman designs.

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