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Long-Term Research Fellowships at the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science
Babak Ashrafi, Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science
Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=RA-50142-14
“Victor Gruen’s Retail Therapy: Exiled Jewish Communities and the Invention of the American Shopping Mall as a Postwar Ideal” (Article)
Title: “Victor Gruen’s Retail Therapy: Exiled Jewish Communities and the Invention of the American Shopping Mall as a Postwar Ideal”
Author: Joseph Malherek
Abstract: This essay focuses on the formation of the architect Victor Gruen’s ideology in interwar Vienna and his early experiences in the United States, where he embraced his identity as a Jewish refugee by managing a theater troupe of exiled Viennese, and where he found jobs and established himself as an architect and designer in part through his contacts in the community of émigré Jews in New York. The communitarian spirit of Gruen’s cabaret performers, combined with the progressive social vision of the Viennese Social Democrats and the entrepreneurialism of immigrant professionals, coalesced in the person of Gruen, who channeled those energies into his vision for the shopping center, a distinctly American manifestation of a central European ideal. It was an architectural form that expressed both the idealism of social democracy and the optimism of postwar America; it was the product of one émigré’s stubborn progressivism and determination to transcend a traumatic past by realizing a positive vision for the future. Yet "the mall" would ultimately succumb to commercial imperatives that compromised this vision, much to the dissatisfaction of its inventor.
Primary URL: http://leobaeck.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/03/23/leobaeck.ybw001.short?rss=1
Primary URL Description: The Leo Baeck Institute Year Book is the pre-eminent journal on Central European Jewish history and culture. This well-established publication covers cultural, economic, political, social and religious history, the impact of antisemitism and the Jewish responses to it.
The Year Book is the publication of the Leo Baeck Institute, founded in 1955 for the study of the history and culture of German-speaking Central European Jewry. The journal of record in its field, the Year Book features the world's most prominent experts in the social, cultural, intellectual and political history of Jews in Central Europe after 1789, including the Holocaust.
Access Model: Subscription
Periodical Title: Leo Baeck Institute Year Book 61 (2016): 1-14
Publisher: Oxford University Press