C. Jere

September 17th, 2009 by mark

stone and metal tree sculptureCurtis Jere made lamps, mirrors, and table sculptures in the 1960s and 70s, but was probably best known for its metal wall sculptures. Like some of the other “designers” mentioned on Absolute Galore recently, C. Jere, as many of the works were signed, was not an actual person, but the design team of Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels.

The pair became successful enough that they began bringing in other artisans to fabricate their designs. Many of the wall sculptures are kitschy, sentimental landscapes, others are great mid-century decorative pieces. The lamps mostly have an air of  high 70s chrome or brass glam. I picked up this table sculpture for five bucks at auction years ago. It’s unsigned, and although I do not believe it’s a C. Jere, it’s certainly “in the style of,” as I’ve seen similar silver dollar tree sculptures with the Jere designation. In any case, it’s the kind of mid century piece that fits well into an eclectic environment.

Jerry Fels passed away two years ago in November according to his son, sculptor Peter Fels. He was 90, and hit a hole in one the year he died. (Although Wikipedia lists his death as October 2008, several other sources in addition to his son site November 5, 2007.) Like the stories of Georges Briard and Catherine Holm, the full tale of C. Jere remains to be told. Artisan House, the company Fels and Freiler created in 1963 and sold in 1972,  still makes wall sculptures. In China, of course.