Sam Kramer 1913–1964

Sam Kramer was born in and studied jewelry design in Pittsburgh. He began his career in the 1940s, pedaling surrealist-inspired jewelry on the streets of Greenwich Village. He became a downtown personality, eventually establishing a shabby studio and shop full of taxidermy, swords, shells, bones, Mexican, Indian and Native American artifacts, and unusual stones and beads he salvaged from antique shops. A flyer by Kramer from this era (which were handed out on the streets by women dressed in space costumes and painted green) says that his jewelry “evolves from the dream world and the art world”. His oddball reputation did not precede him though, as he was one of the most respected mid-century jewelry designers.

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