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Jerome Ackerman, Alfred University alumnus, leader in modernist decorative art, passes away

Alfred University | 5/13/19

Alfred University alumnus Jerome “Jerry” Ackerman, ’52 M.F.A., who with his wife, Evelyn, were pioneers in mid-20th Century California Modernism, passed away March 30 at his home in Culver City, CA. He was 99.


CULVER CITY, CA -- Alfred University alumnus Jerome “Jerry” Ackerman, ’52 M.F.A., who with his wife, Evelyn, were pioneers in mid-20th Century California Modernism, passed away March 30 at his home in Culver City, CA. He was 99.

The Ackermans were renowned for their work in a variety of media – including ceramics, weaving, wood carving and mosaics – in creating modernist decorative art. Jerry Ackerman earned an M.F.A. degree from Alfred University in 1952. He met Evelyn while an undergraduate student at Wayne University in Michigan, where she was pursuing her M.F.A.

Jerry and Evelyn were married in 1948. After Jerry earned his M.F.A. from Alfred University, the couple moved to California and started Jenev Design Studio in Los Angeles. There, they sold Jerry's slip-cast ceramics and a wide variety of limited-production decorative accessories designed by Evelyn. As their talent and business blossomed over the years, so did their commissions and major museum exhibitions.

Evelyn passed away in 2012 at age 88. Today, the Ackermans’ work, highly acclaimed over the course of their 50-year collaborative partnership, has been rediscovered by both design historians and a new generation of mid-century collectors.

Read Jerome Ackerman’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times here.