We used to think Curtis Jere was a single artist but as “his” fame grew we learned that “he” is not a single artist but is a nom-de-plume for a group of artists working for Artisan House. And Curtis Jere is a combination of the names of Artisan House’s founders, Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels. Curtis Freiler, a German immigrant and manufacturing guru, and Jerry Fels, a NY based artist, were not only friends and brothers-in-law but business partners. First, they established a thriving costume jewelry business together which sold under the names of Renoir and Matisse, two well known names for popular mid-20th century costume jewelry. They then founded Artisan House which produced their designs of various sculptures and other decorative items for the home both artistic and whimsical. Jerry Fels died November 5, 2007 and Curtis Freiler passed July 22, 2013 at a ripe old age of 103. But their legacy lives on in their fabulous art.

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