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Samuel Yellin

Samuel Yellin

Samuel Yellin. Courtesy of The American Magazine of Art (1926)

Settling in America

In 1884, Samuel Yellin was born into a Jewish family in Mohyliv-Podilskyi, Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. He apprenticed as an ironsmith from age 11 to 16. Soon he immigrated to America and settled in Philadelphia with his family.

Unparalleled Metalsmith

In 1906, Yellin began studying at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. So adept was Yellin that he would progress to teaching classes at the school months later. In 1909, Yellin opened a metalsmith shop, which went from fledgling to highly accomplished in no time. When Philadelphia experienced a building boom in the 1920s, Yellin had well over 200 skilled workers, including many European artisans, available to take on projects. Yellin had a unique ability to respect tradition and encourage innovation.

Honors and Legacy

During his life, Yellin was honored by the Art Institute of Chicago, the American Institute of Architects, and other bodies for his design excellence. After Yellin died in 1940, his son Harvey kept the shop open for several years.

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Samuel Yellin