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Curtis Jere metal art is one of the quintessential designer brands of mid-century modern home decorating. Curtis Jere works vary wildly in style and subject matter, from quaint country craft sculptures to large modernist kinetic art pieces. As these pieces become more and more desirable, many collectors are still unaware that “Curtis Jere” is actually a fictitious character! Artisan House, a home décor company created by jewelry designers Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels (get it?) did not make it easy for the comsumer to figure it out. The following is the text from the label of an actual Jere piece…”This is an original Curtis Jere design. Mr. Jere, who is a California multimedia sculptor, works in bronze, copper, brass and steel. This hand-crafted sculpture has a patina and finish designed to become lovelier with age”. We have been collecting C. Jere pieces long before they were considered collectible, and here are a few examples of Curtis Jere metal art and Jere inspired pieces.
One of the more “French Country” style pieces from Curtis Jere, this flower cart sculpture has dozens of tiny sculpted flowers arranged in copper tubing flower pots. Flowers are individually painted, and the piece shows intricate craftsmanship typical of Curtis Jere sculptures. The highly-detailed sculpture measures 13″W x 16″H x 7″D at widest points. It is mounted on an 8.5″ x 11″ wooden platform finished in satin black.
Curtis Jere was a popular name in the decorative arts, and other artists and firms released numerous designs to mimic the Jere pieces. Curtis Jere’s most copied brass artworks include the owl sculptures, seagull sculptures, and wall hangings depicting various landscape scenes in a three-dimensional perspective. The great thing about these Jere-inspired works is that their quality and aesthetic style is very similar to the real thing, and typically much more affordable.
The following Curtis Jere-era wall sculpture depicts a tennis match shown in perspective style. The modernist metal wall art appears to be made of rigid brass wires and torch-cut sheets welded together and treated with heat or chemicals to give it a natural copper-like patina.
The artwork is nearly flat, and the well-executed perspective layout creates an effective and visually appealing three-dimensional optical illusion. The tennis players are enameled with white, one with a red collar and one with blue. All other coloring and shading is done with various patinas in the surfaces of the metal. This artwork measures 33 inches in length and approximately 15 inches in height. The design is based on an actual Jere piece. Whether this piece is “real” or not, it is still impressive, interesting and unusual, and makes for fab home decor (whether you are a tennis fanatic or not).