About This Artwork

Frank L. Koralewsky
American, born Germany, 1872–1941

Lock, 1911

Iron with inlays of gold, silver, bronze, and copper on wood base
50.8 × 50.8 × 20.3 cm (20 × 20 × 8 in.)
"Fkoralewsky" on iron surface; "FK" inlaid in copper

Gift of Mr. Richard T. Crane, 1926.521

Frank L. Koralewsky served as a traditional ironworker’s apprentice in his native north-German town of Stralsund. After obtaining journeyman status, he worked in various German shops before immigrating to Boston in the mid- 1890s. By 1906 he was a member of the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, specializing in locksmithing and hardware. This extremely intricate lock, which took seven years to complete, exemplifies the early-20th-century taste for sentimental medievalism and represents the pinnacle of the metalworking tradition at the turn of the 20th century. Exhibited at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, where it won a gold medal, the lock illustrates Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s fairy tale “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Boston, Society of Arts and Crafts, 1911.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1911.

San Francisco, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, February 20-December 4, 1915 (awarded gold medal).

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, "The Art That is Life: The Arts & Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920", March 4-May 31, 1987; traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 16-November 1, 1987; Detroit Institute of Arts, December 9, 1987-February 28, 1988; New York, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, April 5-June 26, 1988, no. 19.

Publication History

"Exhibition of the Society of Arts and Crafts, Copley Hall" (Boston: Society of Arts and Crafts, 1907) p. 41, no. 684.

Frederick Krasser, "Something about Locksmithing and Hardware in General" Handicraft 3, 12 (March 1911).

"A Remarkable Iron Lock" Art and Progress 2 (April, 1911) p. 181.

F. Allen Whiting, "Arts and Crafts: At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston" Art and Progress 2 (July 1911) p. 264.

"Works by Master Craftsmen," Art and Progress 4, 2 (December 1912) p. 811.

Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 20, 6 (September 1926) p. 84 (ill.).

International Studio 84 (1926) p. 29.

Art Institute of Chicago Annual Report (1926) p. 18.

Katharine Gibson, "The Goldsmith of FLorence: A Book of Great Craftsmen" (New York: MacMillian Co., 1929) p.203 (ill.).

Ownership History

From the artist to Richard T. Crane, c. 1920; given by him to the Art Institute, 1926.

Interpretive Resources

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