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Stair Railing

Samuel Yellin (1885–1940)

American, Early Modern
91.44 cm x 1280.16 cm x 5.08 cm (36 in. x 504 in. x 2 in.)
iron and bronze

Not on view


In a letter from Robert Bliss to Mildred Bliss dated June 6, [1921] [Harvard University Archives, HUG (FP) 76.8], he wrote, "[Fred Brooke, the architect who renovated Dumbarton Oaks between 1921 and 1923,] has made a suggestion regarding the stairs which seems good--that is leave them at each end of the gallery but carry them across the hall, so instead of going up on the outside, window side, they are on the inside, wall side; this has the advantage of freeing the windows downstairs." These wrought-iron stair railings for the staircases between the first and second floors on the south-east and south-west sides of the first-floor gallery were designed and executed by Samuel Yellin (1885-1940) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and were manufactured and installed sometime after January 23, 1923, the date of the preserved full-scale production drawings. The railings conform to the shape of the staircases and have molded bronze hand rails that are lifted above the upper iron rail by periodic circles. Below the iron rails are wrought iron vine rinceaux of regular design, formed of tendrils and leaves and filled with various birds and animals.

J. Carder

Acquisition History
Commissioned by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss through the architect Frederick H. Brooke for installation at Dumbarton Oaks, 1923.

Collection of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, Washington, DC, 1923-11/29/1940.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, DC.