Who who who wants this guy!? I do I do! But I can’t. I have no more room. So, hurry and buy him before I have time to change my mind or make a space for him. This is one of the most wonderful C. Jere, or Curtis Jere, sculptures from Artisan House I have ever seen. Obviously, I’m in love. This cast aluminum owl has the most awesome big acrylic eyes and is perched adorably on a natural wood stump with its bark still in place. It has a little brass tag attached to the stump that is signed C. Jere and dated ’69. 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.
Artisan House was founded in 1964 by friends and brothers-in-law, Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels. They employed a stable of artists to carry out the making of designs created by founders Freiler and Fels. These pieces were signed with C. Jere or Curtis Jere, which is a nom-de-plume and combination of both their names. They grew a successful business providing an eclectic collection of decorative sculptures for wall, table, and floors. During the mid-20th century, the C. Jere/Artisan House sculptures and metal work were distributed by Raymor, a well-known name in midcentury collectibles, and sold at Gump’s in San Francisco and other upscale retail establishments. Over the years Artisan House was sold and resold remaining successfully in business today. But it is their vintage treasures that have caught the eyes of leading designers and collectors.
WHO-ever in their right mind doesn’t want this handsome and quirky guy? And with his history you need to make him yours!