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Home / Culture and Heritage / Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art / Movement Teaching Pack Images / Kramer, Jacob: Design for A Programme, c. 1920
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Kramer, Jacob: Design for A Programme, c. 1920


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Jacob Kramer, Design for A Programme, c. 1920
Gouache, charcoal and pencil on green paper

Jacob Kramer was born, one of five children, in 1892 into a cultured Jewish family in the Ukraine, Russia. His father was a court painter and his mother was an opera singer. With increasing persecution of Jews, the family emigrated to England in 1900 and settled in Leeds. Kramer attended school only briefly,
running away to Liverpool and spending six months at sea when only 10 years old. He then did odd jobs in several towns before returning to Leeds. He went to the Leeds School of Art in 1907 for four years, from the age of 15. His early work was mostly portraits, both of his family and local businessmen and their wives. He then spent a year at the Slade School of Art, where he began to simplify his imagery, often using strong, stylised outlines and setting them against bare backgrounds. In 1916, he had first one-man show. During World War 1, he served for a very short time with the 9th Russian Labour Battalion, enlisting only in the autumn of 1918. After the war, he returned to Leeds where he remained for the rest of his life. Here, he taught, gave lectures on art and founded the Yorkshire Luncheon Club, to stimulate creative work. In 1931, he drew a portrait of Gandhi and, in 1932, went to France to paint a portrait of the composer Delius. He also painted a mural for Bradford School Teachers’club. Several exhibitions of his work were held in Harrogate, Batley and Leeds. Kramer died in 1962.

Other works by Jacob Kramer in the Ben Uri Collection
Portrait of Sam Nagley 1922
The Day of Atonement (study) 1919
Israel Zangwill c.1925
Nude in Slumber c.1920
Old Woman Knitting
Portrait of Lord Rothchild
Portrait of Jacob Epstein c.1930

Works by Jacob Kramer in other collections
Jews at prayer c.1919 (Tate collection)
The Philosopher c.1922 (Tate Collection)
George Parker 1928 (Tate Collection)
Jacob Kramer 1930 (National Portrait Gallery NPG 4871 and 5 other portraits)
The Jew 1916 (University Gallery, Leeds)
The Day of Atonement 1919 (Leed City Art Gallery)

Jacob Epstein sculpted a bronze portrait bust of Jacob Kramer.

16th Feb 2011

Art and Design, Citizenship, Design and Technology, Geography, History, PSHE, Physical Education and Sport, Religious Education

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Art, teaching packs, history, immigration, judaism, jewish, contemporary, london, international, sculpture, photography, painting, education, primary, secondary, drawing, movement

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