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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

RORIMER, LOUIS - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

RORIMER, LOUIS (12 Sept. 1872-30 Nov. 1939) was born in Cleveland, the son of Minnie (Iglauer) and Jacob Rorimer, a wealthy tobacco dealer. He was educated under sculptor Henry Matzen at Manual Training School, and at 16 went to Europe to study, attending the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich and Academie Julien in Paris for decorative arts. Returning to Cleveland in 1893, Rorimer established a studio in the ARCADE, later merging with Brooks Household Arts Co., a consultant firm in interior design, becoming nationally known as Rorimer Brooks Co. Their clientele included the Statler Hotels, Chamber of Commerce Clubs, and Van Sweringen offices.

Rorimer stated he was an artist first, a teacher second, and a businessman third, believing art was an essential ingredient in daily life. With this philosophy, he vigorously promoted and used the cleaner, more utilitarian designs of modern art, as opposed to Victorian styles. From 1918-36, Rorimer taught architectural design at Cleveland School of Art. He exhibited drawings, sculpture, and furniture at CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. His studios were stocked with treasures from Spain, Britain, and France. Rorimer was a vice-president and on the board of directors of the American Institute of Decorators. He was president of the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE from 1932-34. He was a member of the 1925 Hoover Commission from the U.S. to the Paris Industrial Arts Exposition. Rorimer married Edith Joseph in 1903 and had 2 children, Louise and James J. James became a curator at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pina, Leslie Ann. Louis Rorimer: A Man of Style (1990).

Last Modified: 16 Apr 1998 12:34:01 PM

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