KONRAD CRAMER (1888 - 1963)

Konrad Cramer was born in Wurtzburg Germany in 1888. He attended the Karlsruhe Academy where he studied with Schmidt-Rotluff and was a member of Der Blaue Reiter -- one of the first modernist movements in Europe. Der Blaue Reiter was an association of artists working in Munich that ascribed to the style and ideology of Wassily Kandinsky. In 1911 Cramer married Florence Ballin, an American artist studying in Munich. The couple emigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Woodstock, New York, where they were active participants in a circle of artists that included Andrew Dasburg, Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Elie Nadelman.

Cramer had his first show in the United States in 1913 at the Arts Club, where he exhibited several of his “Improvisation” paintings. While he was not a member of the “Stieglitz Circle”, he did exhibit alongside many of the 291 artists in the Pioneers of American Art exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1946. He also achieved note as a photographer for the Works Progress Administration in the 1930’s.

Cramer was among the first artists in this country to practice pure abstraction in painting. Although this imagery did not endure, he continued to paint more representational art influenced by both abstraction and folk art. He later taught at the Woodstock School of Painting and the Dalton School in New York. He remained active as a teacher and artist in Woodstock up until his death in 1963.