“…you did that, and you were pretty damn good. ” –Jerome Ackerman
Evelyn Ackerman (1924-2012) was a prolific designer and a master of many mediums but perhaps is most well-known for her tapestry work. Evelyn, and her husband, Jerome, were prolific designers of ceramics, tapestries, wood carvings and more, and became part of the fabric of midcentury modernism and California design. Evelyn’s tapestries are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
“I was too much of an individual to fit into their mold.” – Jack Lenor Larsen
Jack Lenor Larsen’s lifelong devotion to fabrics started early. He left the University of Washington’s School of Architecture after one year and moved to Los Angeles to focus on weaving. Eventually, with a Masters of Fine Art form the Cranbrook Academy of Art, he moved to New York and opened his studio, Jack Lenor Larsen, Incorporated. While he found great success quickly, it wasn’t without disappointment; in 1951, Florence Knoll turned down his designs as too “individualistic.” By 1953, however, Knoll had commissioned Larsen for other projects.
Larsen, known as one of the most prolific textile craftsmen of the mid and late twentieth century, has designed for many, including Marilyn Monroe, David Rockefeller, Frank Lloyd Wright and Marcel Breuer. And perhaps his most famous collaboration was with Braniff International Airways.
Since the 1950s, the award-winning textile designer has designed thousands of fabric patterns and has been instrumental in innovations in the textile industry.
Jack Lenor Larsen is 91 and resides in New York City.