Samuel Yellin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Samuel Yellin
EducationPennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art
Known forMaster blacksmith, metal designer
A Samuel Yellin lamp at the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Samuel Yellin (1884–1940), was an American master blacksmith, and metal designer.


Samuel Yellin was born to a Jewish family in Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Ukraine in the Russian Empire in 1884. At the age of eleven, he was apprenticed to a master ironsmith. By the age of sixteen he had completed his apprenticeship. Shortly afterwards he left the Ukraine and traveled through Europe. In about 1905, he arrived in Philadelphia, in the United States, where his mother and two sisters were already living; his brother arrived in Philadelphia at about the same time. Starting in early 1906, Samuel Yellin took classes at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art, and within several months he was teaching classes there, a position that he maintained until 1919.[1]

Yellin Studio (1915).

In 1909, he opened his own metalsmith shop.[2] In 1915, the firm of Mellor, Meigs & Howe, for whom he designed and created many commissions, designed a new studio for Samuel Yellin Metalworkers at 5520 Arch Street in Philadelphia. Samuel Yellin died in 1940, but the firm remained there for decades under direction of Samuel Yellin's son, Harvey. After the death of Harvey Yellin, the business was taken over by Samuel Yellin's granddaughter, Clare Yellin. The business continues to this day.

During the building boom of the 1920s, Samuel Yellin Metalworker employed as many as 250 workers, many of them European artisans. Although Yellin was highly knowledgeable about traditional craftsmanship and design, he also championed creativity and the development of new designs. Samuel Yellin's works can be found in some of the finest buildings in America.


Yellin received awards from the Art Institute of Chicago (1919), the American Institute of Architects (1920), the Architectural League of New York (1922), and the Bok Civic Award from the City of Philadelphia (1925).[3] He was a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the T Square Club, the Philadelphia Sketch Club, and the Architectural League of New York.[4]

Selected works[edit]

Universities, colleges and schools[edit]

1922 advertisement.

Institutional and commercial[edit]

(Alphabetical by state)



Detail of stair railing (1924), Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. Note Yellin's name and year.
Spider screen from the Country Estate of Mrs. Arthur Meigs[5]

(Alphabetical by state)

Architects whose names appear in Yellin's job book[edit]



  1. ^ "Notable Alumni - UArts", University of the Arts, Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Samuel Yellin Metalworkers - History", Samuel Yellin Metalworkers, Inc., Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  3. ^ Samuel Yellin – Biography, from Philadelphia Architects and Buildings.
  4. ^ "Yellin, Samuel (1885-1940)", Philadelphia Architects and Buildings, Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  5. ^ Wenzel, Paul and Maurice Krakow, A Monograph of the Works of Mellor Meigs & Howe, The Architectural Book Publishing Co., New York, 1923, reprinted Graybooks, Boulder, CO, 1991 p. 104
  6. ^


  • Andrews, Jack, Samuel Yellin: Metalsmith, Skipjack Press, Ocean Pines Maryland, 2000
  • Andrews, Jack, Samuel Yellin, Metalworker, Anvil's Ring, Summer, 1982
  • Architecture magazine, April 1929
  • Bach, Penny Balkin, Public Art in Philadelphia, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1992
  • Bedford, Steven McLeod, John Russell Pope: Architect of Empire, Rizzoli International Publications, NY, NY 1998
  • Bok, Edward W., America's Taj Mahal: The Singing Tower of Florida, The Georgia Marble Company, Tate, Georgia c. 1929
  • Davis, Myra T., Sketches in Iron, no publishing information
  • Detroit Institute of Arts: The Architecture, The Detroit Institute of Arts 1928
  • Fariello, Anna, "Samuel Yellin: Sketching in Iron," Metalsmith Magazine, Fall 2003,
  • Federman, Peter, The Detroit Public Library, Classical America IV, Classical America 1977
  • Gallery, John A., Editor, Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1984
  • Harrington, Ty, "The Wizardry of Samuel Yellin, Artist in Metals", Smithsonian, vol. 12, no. 12 (March 1982), pp. 65–75
  • Heilbrun, Margaret, The Architecture of Cass Gilbert, Inventing the Skyline, Columbia University Press, New York, NY 2000
  • Kvaran, Einar Einarsson, Architectural Sculpture of America, unpublished manuscript
  • Teitelman, Edward & Richard W. Longstreth, Architecture in Philadelphia: A Guide, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1981
  • Wattenmaker, Richard J., Samuel Yellin in Context, Flint Museum of Arts, Flint, Michigan 1985
  • Wister, Cret, Gilchrist et al., Melor Meigs & Howe, Graybooks, Boulder Colorado 1991 (reprint of 1923 work)

External links[edit]