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Finding Aid for the Kem Weber papers, circa 1920-circa 1959 0000191
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Custodial History note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Content note

  • Title: Kem Weber papers
    Identifier/Call Number: 0000191
    Contributing Institution: Architecture and Design Collection, Art, Design & Architecture Museum
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 54.0 Linear feet (51 record storage boxes and 1 flat file drawer)
    Date (inclusive): circa 1920- circa 1959
    Location note: Box 1-24/ADC - regular Box 25-27AB/ADC - oversize* Boxes 28-30/ADC - regular Boxes 31-35AB/ADC - oversize* Boxes 36-49AB/ADC - oversize*
    creator: Weber, Kem, 1889-1963


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Custodial History note

    Gift of Erika Weber, 1968 and 1971. Additional materials gifted by Mr. Paul Gray, 1980.

    Preferred Citation note

    Karl Emanuel Martin (Kem) Weber papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Biographical/Historical note

    The architect and designer Karl Emanuel Martin Weber was born in Berlin, Germany in 1889. In 1904, Weber entered the workshop of the royal cabinet maker Eduard Schulz in Potsdam, where he learned the craft of furniture design and production. After graduating in 1907, he went on to the Royal Academy of Applied Arts in Berlin where he studied under architect and designer Bruno Paul. From 1911 to 1913, Weber worked in Paul’s private studio and in 1914 was recommended by him to help design the German section of the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. Weber traveled to San Francisco to oversee the construction of the exhibit. He remained in the United States and established a practice as a designer and architect in 1919, first in Santa Barbara, and later in Los Angeles. Until 1924 he was the Art Director for Barker Brothers, a large furniture store in Los Angeles. His work was included in the International Exposition of Art in Industry at Macy’s department store in New York City, and by 1930 he was one of America’s best known industrial designers. Weber is known for the "Airline" chair of 1934 and known for being the designer of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Weber taught at the University of Southern California and at The Art Center School, based at that time in Los Angeles. Weber died in 1963.

    Scope and Content note

    The Kem Weber papers span 54 linear feet and date from circa 1920 to circa 1959. The collection contains correspondence in the form of telegrams and handwritten notes, Weber’s published articles, newspapers and magazine clippings regarding his work, black-and-white photographs of his projects, negatives (including glass plate negatives), small design sketches, presentations boards for buildings, interiors, furniture, and household objects; and architectural drawings and reprographic copies. Some of his more notable projects are: the Walt Disney Studios, the Zachos Department Store (1939), the David Grey residence (1953), Barker Brothers Department Store, the Bixby residence (1935-1937), Union Oil Stations, as well as many other projects.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Weber, Kem, 1889-1963 -- Archives
    Architect-designed decorative arts -- United States -- 20th century
    Architect-designed furniture -- United States -- 20th century
    Architects -- California
    Architectural drawings
    Architecture -- California -- San Diego -- 20th century
    Architecture, Modern -- 20th century -- California -- Los Angeles
    Art Deco
    Commercial buildings
    Furnishings and Equipment
    Hotels (public accommodations)
    Industrial arts
    Interior architecture--Pictorial works
    Interior design
    Photographic prints
    Reprographic copies