Boris Aronson & Lisa Jalowetz
For thirty-five years, my parents, Boris and Lisa, were a legendary, collaborative husband-wife team that created extraordinary, inventive sets for the Broadway theater. Yet their legacy extends even further back–to Lisa’s own family, the Jalowetzes, who were at the epicenter of European modernism, and who eventually fled Hitler’s Europe to contribute to the American avant-garde. Heinrich Jalowetz was a conductor who was part of the Second Viennese school, premiering many of Schoenberg’s works; his wife Johanna would join him at Black Mountain College where he led the music department, and she would teach book binding and voice. Trude Guermonprez (Elsesser), their older daughter was a Bauhaus-trained weaver who survived World War II under a false identity, and also came to BMC, and then onward to become part of the American crafts movement. On Boris’ side, it reaches back, before Broadway, to the Yiddish theater, and the avant garde and constructivist movements in Russia.
I am working with my own wife, the author Marina Budhos, to preserve and explore the legacy of Boris Aronson and Lisa Jalowetz.