Ben Uri collection

Design for a Programme (Pioneers)

Artist information

Name Jacob Kramer (1892-1962)

Born Klintsy, Russia

Died Leeds, England

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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 Education 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 Details

Date c. 1920

Object type painting

Medium charcoal, gouache and pencil on paper

Materials and techniques charcoal (medium) paper (support)

Unframed 38 x 30 cm

Framed 61.5 x 51.6 cm

Signed signed, bottom left: Kramer; verso: Jacob Kramer Design for a programme

Acquisition gift from Mrs E Hurwitz

Accession number 1987-191

Display status not on display

Following the 1917 Balfour Declaration, Jacob Kramer was one of several artists engaged in the creation of visual propaganda in support of the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. His Design for a Programme (Pioneers) features a striking design with an heroic figure toiling under a prominent Star of David.

Selected exhibition history

1984 Jacob Kramer

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© Jacob Kramer estate