Mendelsohn, Erich, 1887-1953

Alternative names
Birth 1887-03-21
Death 1953-09-15

Biographical notes:

German architect.

From the description of Design, ca. 1924. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 81952229

Correspondence to Lewis Mumford from architect Eric Mendelsohn and his wife, Louise Mendelsohn. All letterheads and signatures by Mendelsohn in this file spell his first name as "Eric," not "Erich."

From the description of Letters to Lewis Mumford, 1941-1975, n.d. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 122526818

German architect born in Germany in 1887. Mendelsohn lived in London and Jerusalem from 1933-1940, then went to live and practice in America, first in New York, then from 1945-1953 in San Francisco.

From the description of Erich and Luise Mendelsohn papers, 1894-1992. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 79860344

Architect, San Francisco, California.

Born in Allenstein, East Prussia. Studied at Technische Hochschule in Munich. Worked in Germany, England, Israel and the United States. Designed memorial to the 6 million Jews killed during World War II.

From the description of Eric[h] Mendelsohn sketches. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122604552

Architect, San Francisco, California.

Born in Allenstein, East Prussia. Studied at Technische Hochschule in Munich. Worked in Germany, England, Israel and the United States. Designed memorial to the 6 million Jews killed during World War II.

From the description of Erich Mendelsohn drawings, 1955. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122545667

Biographical/Historical Note

1887: Erich Mendelsohn is born on March 21st in the East Prussian town of Allenstein (now Olsztyn, Poland).

1907-1909: Begins his studies in national economics at the University of Munich; in 1909 transfers to the Technical University in Berlin to begin his study of architecture, which he continues in Munich.

1910: Meets his future wife, Luise (Luise) Maas (born 1894), a young cellist.

1911-1914: Passes his final examination in architecture; designs costumes, stage sets, and window displays; begins his relationship with the Expressionist artists Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, and Hugo Ball, and the astrophysicist Erwin Freundlich. Marries Luise (Maas) Mendelsohn.

1915-1918: Volunteers for the Engineering Corps, serves at the Russian Front. Executes his first sketches for the Einstein Tower. Birth of only child, Esther, on May 4, 1916.

1918-1922: Transferred to the Western Front in 1918. Returns to Berlin and opens his architectural firm; mounts his first public exhibition "Architecture in Steel and Concrete," Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, and executes his "Dune Architecture" series and the Einstein Tower, Potsdam.

1923-1925: Lectures in Amsterdam, makes first trip to Palestine, the United States and Russia, and co-founds the Modern architecture group, the "Ring."

1926-1929: Executes a series of major department stores, designs for competitions, and the Metal Workers' Union Administration Building, Berlin.

1930-1932: Travels to Greece, Spain, England, and France. Executes the Columbus House, Berlin and becomes a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts.

1933-1935: Leaves Germany for Holland, establishes "European Mediterranean Academy," forms a partnership with Serge Chermayeff in England, and executes the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, England, and Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

1936-1940: Executes several projects in Jerusalem, becomes a British citizen and volunteers for the British army.

1941-1945: Immigrates to the United States, lectures extensively, eventually settles in San Francisco and begins work on his book, "Architecture in a Changing World, or a Philosophy of Architecture," and exhibits his work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

1946-1948: Becomes a US citizen, executes several commissions, and is appointed lecturer in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

1949-1953: Executes architectural commissions in the US and dies in San Francisco on September 15, 1953.

1952: Publication of Il contributo di Mendelsohn alla evoluzione dell'architettura moderna, by Mario Federico Roggero (Milan, 1952).

1954: Retrospective exhibition, "The Palestine Period in Erich Mendelsohn's Work," Milan Triennale.

1956: Publication of Eric Mendelsohn, by Arnold Whittick (2nd ed., London, 1956; 1st ed. published 1940).

1960: International traveling exhibition, "100 Sketches," Venice Biennale, and publication of Eric Mendelsohn, by Wolf von Eckardt (New York, 1960).

1967: Publication of Eric Mendelsohn: letters of an architect, Oskar Beyer, ed., with introduction by Nikolaus Pevsner (London, 1967).

1968: International traveling exhibition organized by the Verein Deutsches Bauzentrum, and Akademie der Künste.

1969: Exhibition, "The Drawing of Eric Mendelsohn," University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA.

1970: Publication of Erich Mendelsohn: opera completa, by Bruno Zevi (Milan, 1970) with biographical notes by Luise Mendelsohn.

1975: Sale of the Erich Mendelsohn collection of drawings and manuscripts to the Kunstbibliothek, Berlin.

1980: Death of Luise Mendelsohn, San Francisco, CA.

From the guide to the Erich and Luise Mendelsohn papers, 1894-1992, (The Getty Research Institute)


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