Jacob Kramer (1892 - 1962): Works from the Ben Uri Collection

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 modernist collector and Vice Chancellor of Leeds University Michael Sadler 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. In 1915 he was invited to exhibit with the Vorticists and published in Wyndham Lewis' journal Blast. During the First World War, he spent a short time as a regimental librarian, a post facilitated by Herbert Read. His most celebrated painting, The Day of Atonement, draws on contemporary influences including Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism to capture the display of devotion during the most solemn day in the Jewish religious calendar using a new modernist vocabulary. In his later years, Kramer became a well-known figure in Leeds carrying out characteristic portraits of Leeds locals and notable visitors.