Locations: Los Angeles
Dates of Operation: 1952 - 1960
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
Jenev is an interesting California pottery because while it was started by a highly regarded modern design husband and wife team, the actual output as far as ceramics goes was not very widespread. We had a chance to visit the exhibition Masters of Mid-Century California Modernism - Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman the other day. While a good 1/3 of the exhibition did deal with their pottery output, much of the exhibition focused on their other artistic and design endeavors such as mosaics, textiles, paintings, folk art, home accessories, furniture and metalwork. Jenev was only the stepping stone for the couple into a host of different design and commercial ventures.
The original company they started was known as Jenev Design Studios and only existed from 1952 to 1960. The company name was a derivation of their first names. Both contributed artistically and technically to the designs and production. Much of their early output consisted of modern vases and bowls. Early on, the name of the company was switched to ERA Industries and they branched out beyond just ceramics. I’m not going to go into these other areas, but they were widespread and continue today (the couple was still designing as of this writing, September 2009).
The company was located for a time in West LA, near Brentwood and Westwood. I believe that later on, they moved to Culver City. To be honest, I’d been hoping to find one of their ceramics at a flea market or antique shop - but to date have not had any luck. This could possibly be because while their designs were well regarded, they didn’t produce on a mass scale. Most of their ceramics are marked on the bottom with the company name “Jenev”. The polar bear trinket box shown below is a newer item - I couldn’t help snapping a photo of it at the exhibition. I still have hope of finding an item of theirs one day, but I’m not counting on it.
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