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Erich and Luise Mendelsohn papers, 1894-1992

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Mendelsohn (Erich and Luise) Papers

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.

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