Born Klintsy, Russia
Died Leeds, England
A Russian-Jewish immigrant, Kramer arrived in Britain in 1900. He studied at Leeds School of Art and briefly at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, supported by Michael Sadler, modernist collector and Vice Chancellor of Leeds University, and the Jewish Educational Aid Society. His Slade associates included ‘Whitechapel Boys’ Mark Gertler and David Bomberg, with whom he exhibited in 1914 as part of the ‘Jewish Section’ in a review of modern movements at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
During the First World War he spent a short time as a regimental librarian, a post facilitated by Herbert Read.
Kramer exhibited regularly in Ben Uri's Annual Exhibition of Works by Jewish Artists from 1935–50), but, following a crisis of confidence, he returned north, eventually becoming known for his characteristic portraits of Leeds locals and notable visitors. A retrospective was held at Leeds Art Gallery in 1960.
Object type drawing
Medium charcoal and pastel on paper
Unframed 45.7 x 38.1 cm
Signed and dated
Acquisition presented by the Silver family
Accession number 2007-7
Display status not on display
Following his earlier training at the Leeds School of Art, Jacob Kramer spent a year at the Slade School of Fine Art (1913-14), assisted by the Jewish Education Aid Society (JEAS), upon the recommendation of Art committee member, painter Solomon J Solomon. Although he destroyed most of his Slade work, Rachel Dickson has observed that 'the broader influence of this year was significant - [...] reinforcing the principles of rigorous classical draughtsmanship and a move towards simplification', as exemplified in works including 'Shouting Man'.
Rachel Dickson, 'Jacob Kramer - the Hare', in 'Willam Roberts / Jacob Kramer: The Tortoise & the Hare' (London: Ben Uri Gallery, 2003), pp. 19-34.