Sam Kramer American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Sam Kramer was a modernist jeweler, well known in Greenwich Village for his work with stones and unusual objects, such as the taxidermy glass eye featured in this brooch. Kramer’s use of often startling materials finds resonance with similar strategies employed by twentieth-century Surrealist painters such as Salvador Dalí. The brooch takes a familiar mid-century biomorphic form featuring a raised inset glass eye and boomerang-like eyebrow with incised striations, all soldered onto the base. The immediate and raw appearance of Kramer’s pieces recalls the work of his contemporary and neighbor, the jeweler Art Smith, but the incorporation of found objects gives Kramer’s pieces their signature humor.

Brooch, Sam Kramer (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1913–1964 New York), Sterling silver and glass

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