Ferdinand Kramer


1898 – 1985


Who was Ferdinand Kramer?

Ferdinand Kramer was an important German architect and functionalist designer.

Kramer's father was owner of the most well-known of Frankfurt hat shops. In 1916, immediately after conclusion of school, Kramer was drawn into military service and remained a soldier through the end of the First World War. The following year he trained at the Bauhaus for a few months before quitting, disillusioned with the technical level of the training, then began a three-year architectural study in Munich with Theodor Fischer. Kramer returned to Frankfurt in 1922. With the lack of architectural commissions during this period of inflation, he concentrated on furniture designs for Thonet and metal utensils, for example his "Kramer Oven", a sheet-metal furnace.

From 1925 through 1930 Kramer worked for architect and civic planner Ernst May building and furnishing the housing projects of New Frankfurt, and was a contributor to the second CIAM conference. After disputes with the Nazi regime and professional disqualification, Kramer emigrated to the United States in 1938 and worked on a variety of projects, including work with Norman bel Geddes on designs for the New York World's Fair of 1939, designs for inexpensive "knock-down" furniture which anticipate today's commercial "flat-pack" furniture, and commissions from his friend Theodor Adorno for the Institute for Social Research during its New York years. Kramer became a naturalized US citizen in 1945.

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Jan 22, 1898
  • Germany
  • Bauhaus
Nov 4, 1985

on July 23, 2013


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