Bowl

about 1921–41
Kalo Shop (1900–1970)


Object Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 20.5 x 5.8 cm, 0.4 kg (8 1/16 x 2 5/16 in., 0.88 lb.)

Accession Number

1979.157

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised, elliptical, scalloped bowl with applied rim and raised foot retains its hammered surface.


Chicago’s Kalo Shop, named after the Greek word meaning “good and beautiful,” was one of the most successful and long-lived Arts and Crafts silverware shops in the country. Initially, it offered leather and woven goods, expanding to include metalwork and jewelry after the marriage in 1905 of its founder, Clara P. Barck (1867–1965), to metalsmith George S. Welles (b. about 1857). The Kalo Art-Craft Community, which the
Welleses created in a home studio, served as both workshop and school to scores of artisans, many of whom later established their own thriving shops. Clara Welles employed many women and Scandinavians; she was a strong supporter of women’s participation in the arts, acting as their mentor and teacher.
Kalo Shop sustained consumer interest even after the Arts and Crafts style waned. Its finely crafted wares were not only highly adaptable but also beautifully crafted. This bowl, for example, could have served equally well as a centerpiece for flowers or a serving dish.
Almost from the beginning, Kalo silverwares were stamped with their order number. About 1921, model numbers were stamped onto the bottom of each piece, along with “S,” “M,” or “L,” identifying the object’s size. This bowl, design number 5811, proved to be popular and was a standard item in the Kalo production line for at least two decades.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

None.

Markings

“STERLING / HAND WROUGHT [in a demilune] / AT / THE KALO SHOP / 5811 M” struck on bottom.
Ada Mark * F4733

Provenance

Original owner unknown; subsequent history unknown until given to the Art Institute of Chicago by the John L. and Helen Kellogg Foundation in 1978; the bowl (one of a pair) was exchanged with the Art Institute for duplicate examples of Stone silver in the MFA’s collection.

Credit Line

Seth K. Sweetser Fund