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 C. Jere  ( - 2008)

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Lived/Active: California / Unknown Country/China      Known for: collaborative sculpture, Artisan House-even signed pieces are studio works

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Curtis Jere is primarily known as C. Jere

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
C. Jeré is a metalwork artist of wall sculptures and household accessories.  C. Jeré works are made and marketed by the corporation Artisan House. Curtis Jere is a compound nom-de-plume of artists Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels. The two founders combined pieces of their own names to create the C. Jeré signature. 

magazine interviewed Jerry Fels shortly before his death in October 2008. According to the resulting article in the Spring 2007 issue of Modernism magazine page 116, the company was founded in 1963 by Fels and his brother-in-law Curtis (Kurt) Freiler. Freiler was the production chief and Fels was head of design. Their goal was to produce "gallery-quality art for the masses".  Kurt and Jerry sold Artisan House in 1972.  Sold and resold, the company still produces metal sculptures including reintroductions of popular mid-century designs. Artisan House sculptures are no longer made in California. Production went overseas to China in 2003.

Writer Mitchell Owens wrote a two page article on the history of C. Jere for the November 2010 issue of Elle Decor. In it he states that "Today those pieces are attracting the admiration of leading dealers in vintage chic".  He goes on to say that after launching in 1964 Jere sculptures were "distributed by Raymor, a cutting edge studio in New York City, and retailed at Gump's in San Francisco and other high quality emporiums".  He also reported that "Under Freiler's meticulous direction, the workers - a number of whom were minorities or handicapped - sheared, crimped, torched, and welded brass, copper, and other metals before coating them with luminous patinas."

C. Jeré works range from representational to highly abstract. Some of the older techniques, such as enameling, using resin, and the bronzes, haven't been used in decades.

Elle Decor - November 2010, 2 page article by Mitchell Owens traces the history of C. Jere
According to Elle Decor Magazine (UK Edition) July 2007; Curtis Jere Metal Wall Sculptures are the current Hot Shopping. They called Jere sculptures, "Possibly our top vintage discovery this year".
ArtNet entry for "Curtis Jere Co."
AskArt entry for "Curtis (C. Jere) Jere"
Dickenson, Susan Pyle (2008). "Made of Mettle," Home Accents Today
Fogarty, Kate (2007). "The Talented Mr. Jeré," Modernism Magazine, Spring, p. 116.
Pure Contemporary blog entry about C. Jeré[1]
Famous designer Frank Roop calls Curtis Jere pieces Highly collectable
Metropolitan Home magazine September 2007 featured an article on Curtis Jere sculptures as well as a photo in their "collect" section.
New York Magazine mentions Curtis Jere art on "the it list" Feb. 2008
Dwell magazine - February 2008 -


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Using the copyrighted signature of 'C.Jere', Curtis Jere, created abstract home decorating accessories that have come to be regarded as art objects.  Included are wall sculptures, mirrors, andirons, portrait busts, rugs, furniture and hanging fixtures, all with "accentuating shapes, colors and textures" in copper, steel, brass, bronze and other mixed media. 

These objects were marketed by Jere and his partner, Jerry Fels through their business entity, Artisan House.  "Artisan House was very secretive about who Curtis Jere was, or if he even existed."


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