Ben Uri collection

Portrait of Israel Zangwill

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 1925

Object type drawing

Medium charcoal and white chalk on paper

Materials and techniques chalk (medium) paper (support)

Unframed 47 x 43 cm

Framed 74.5 x 64 cm

Signed signed, bottom right, Kramer

Acquisition purchased

Accession number 1987-192

Display status not on display

British author Israel Zangwill (1864 – 1926), the son of Eastern-european Jewish immigrants, schooled in Spitalfields, became known as 'the Jewish Dickens' or 'the Dickens of the Ghetto'. His best-known novel 'Children of the Ghetto: A Study of a Peculiar People' (1892) was highly influential and his play 'The Melting Pot' popularised this term to describe the American absorbtion of multi-national immigrants and was praised by President Roosevelt.

Selected exhibition history

1944 Opening Exhibition

1945 Exhibition of Paintings by A.A Wolmark (Konstam Collection), Dobrinsky Paris, and a selection of work from the Ben Uri Collection

1984 Jacob Kramer

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© Jacob Kramer estate