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Samuel Yellin

Decorative Arts

On View: 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
Samuel Yellin was one of the most important American metalworkers of the early twentieth century. He executed metalwork for the National Cathedral in Washington, D. C., and the New York Athletic Club and Temple Emanuel in New York. Unlike the other metal pieces exhibited here, this one was never installed in a building. Rather, it was a maquette (or study) and may have been the presentation piece shown to the architects of the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan (see illustration below) to help Yellin secure the commission. The final designs of the actual metalwork in the bank, which Yellin, in the Arts and Crafts tradition, executed by hand, are closely related. Yellin was not an architect as were the designers of the other metal pieces here; rather, the Renaissance Revival style of this grille was dictated by the bold Italian Renaissance style of the bank.
DATES ca. 1922
DIMENSIONS 43 1/4 x 22 13/16 x 1 9/16 in.  (show scale)
MARKINGS The proper right lower front corner is impressed: “SAMUEL YELLIN”.
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view on the 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation in honor of Barry R. Harwood
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CAPTION Samuel Yellin (American, born Mogilev (or Mogolov), Russia, 1884-1940). Grille, ca. 1922. Iron, 43 1/4 x 22 13/16 x 1 9/16 in. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation in honor of Barry R. Harwood , 2008.86. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 2008.86_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Rectangular grille, four pairs of vertically arranged large openwork quatrefoils with centered flower and delineated petals, raised stamen with varied geometric design, with extending small scrolls in the negative space, held together with small, thick bands. The interior decorative whole held to a thick frame with thick bands placed at regular intervals. Condition: very good.
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