Kem Weber


1889, Berlin, Germany


Trained as a cabinetmaker in his native Berlin, Kem Weber attended the School of Decorative Arts in 1908, where he studied with Bruno Paul.

In 1912 he was appointed to help represent Germany at the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Arriving in California just before the outbreak of World War I, Weber became stranded in the U.S. after being denied reentry to Germany.

He consequently opened his first design studio in Santa Barbara, later moving to Los Angeles in 1921 to work for Barker Bros., a prominent furniture house. He opened a new studio in the late 1920s — this time in Hollywood — and took on several architectural commissions, including the Sommer & Kaufman shoe store in San Francisco (1929) and the Friedman residence in Banning (1928-29).

In the 1930s, Weber became interested in the promise of prefabrication to bring well-designed objects to the masses. His famous Airline Chair (1934-35) came disassembled in a flat package, ready to be put together by the consumer.

Works in the Collection

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at to verify collection holdings and artwork information.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.