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Largest public display of Levi Strauss to open in 2020

Culture

Largest public display of Levi Strauss to open in 2020

by Danielle Wightman-Stone
3 Sep 2019

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco is to present the largest public display of Levi Strauss archival material assembled as part of its new exhibition, ‘Levi Strauss: A History of American Style’ next year.

Running from February 13 to August 9, 2020, the exhibition will explore the story of Levi Strauss, a Bavarian Jewish dry goods merchant, the phenomenon of the blue jean, and its influence on American style and identity, featuring over 150 objects from the Levi Strauss and Co. archives, located at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.

The showcase will include vintage apparel and advertising materials, as well as items relating to the life of Levi Strauss, a Jewish immigrant whose civic and philanthropic contributions were fundamental to San Francisco’s municipal development, explains the museum.

In press materials, the Contemporary Jewish Museum said: “The history of Levi Strauss and Co. reflects the changing consciousness of the country, and this exhibition tracks the company’s trajectory from its initial emphasis on nineteenth-century miners and blue-collar labourers.”

The exhibition will chart the brand’s launch in 1873, near the end of the Gold Rush, when Levi Strauss obtained a US patent with tailor Jacob Davis for the process of putting metal rivets in men’s work pants to increase their durability, which led to the birth of the blue jean. In addition, it will showcase how the brand crafted the mythology of the American West in the early twentieth century and its impact on the rise of international youth culture in the 1960s and beyond.

Levi Strauss: A History of American Style will run at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco from February 13 to August 9, 2020.