Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman shared their creative way of life with the world. As pioneers of California modernism, their expansive body of work embodies the optimistic spirit of the movement. It's warm and colorful. It's innovation applied to craft. They created pieces that were affordable and meant to be lived with and enjoyed.
As the Ackerman's designs garner more and more acquisition interest from secondary markets and institutions how does one stay true to original intentions? We spoke with their daughter Laura Ackerman-Shaw (who regaled us in 2018 with her account of growing up modern) about the importance of keeping her parents work accessible to the wider public through a new partnership with CB2 and how she's ensuring future generations will learn about and enjoy their contributions to design.
How did the Ackerman Modern Collection with CB2 come about?
The launch of the inaugural capsule collection was September 12, 2023, which would have been my parents’ 75th anniversary. I can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate that milestone and honor their legacy than having them become part of CB2’s Design Legends series. In 2021, CB2 launched their first Design Legends reissue with American midcentury designer Paul McCobb. He was the first person to sell my parents’ Jenev ceramics nationally in his Directional showrooms. When I saw that CB2 had embraced bringing McCobb designs to a new audience, it seemed like collaborating with them on an Ackerman collection would be a great way to bring their vision, artistry, and craftsmanship to a new audience. Partnering with CB2 felt authentic and was a special way to honor their enduring love story. My parents strove to create pieces that were beautiful, affordable and accessible, pieces that were meant to be lived with and enjoyed.
At the heart of my parents’ narrative is a love story – for each other and design. They were true partners in their life and business, and I think that they would be very proud to see their lifelong collaboration expand in this way. This is the first time that CB2 has selected a couple for their Design Legends.