Pair of Candelabra Designer: Kem Weber (American, born Germany, 1889–1963)
Maker: Porter Blanchard (American, 1886–1973)

1928

American Decorative Arts

On view, 3rd floor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design

Kem Weber was a leading proponent of modern design in California. These candelabra reveal Weber’s familiarity with central European design, in particular the products of Austria’s Wiener Werkstätte. Using a limited vocabulary of overlapping leaves and repeated shapes, Weber created a spare, slightly asymmetrical composition that recalls the textile designs of Dagobert Peche and other Werkstätte artists. The candelabra were fabricated by the metalsmith Porter Blanchard who, like Weber, lived and worked in Los Angeles. Weber and Blanchard collaborated on a limited range of modernistic pewter decorative items, including these candelabra, a centerpiece bowl, and a tray. These pieces were included in a 1928 exhibition of Weber's furniture held at the Rike-Kumler department store in Dayton, Ohio.

Medium

Pewter and ebony

Dimensions

each: 10 1/2 × 6 × 3 in. (26.7 × 15.2 × 7.6 cm)

Credit Line

John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, B.A. 1959

Accession Number

2012.124.13.1-.2

Culture
Period

20th century

Classification
Disclaimer

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

Provenance

Provenance

Debra Roswell, Crestline, Calif., by 1992–2011; purchased by John. C. Waddell, New York, 2011; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
Bibliography

  • Sarah D. Coffin, Stephen Harrison, and Emily M. Orr, The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s, exh. cat. (Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2017), 298–99, 370, no. 424, fig. 364.
  • Christopher Long, Kem Weber: Designer and Architect (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2014), 103, 106, fig. 106.
  • John Stuart Gordon et al., A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011), 30–31, no. 11.
  • John Stuart Gordon, "At Home in Modernism: The John C. Waddell Collection of American Design," The Magazine Antiques (May/June 2012): 124, fig. 6.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

candelabras

Marks

"PORTERBLANCHARD" in a pellet stamped on each candelabrum on the base of one rectangular arm; "COLONIAL PEWTER / BURBANK / CAL." in a pellet, stamped on each candelabrum on the base of the opposite rectangular arm

Technical metadata and APIs

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