When it comes to modern jewelry designs, it is hard not to mention
as one of the few that took the concept to new heights.
His expertise took so many years in the making. He began his journey in 1930s when he studied jewelry making at the University of Southern California and the University of Pittsburg where he was born and raised. In 1939, he went to New York University to learn gemology, the study of natural and artificial gems. That same year, he decided to put up an independent shop in Greenwich Village a few weeks after his first jewelry shop failed to get attention. He later moved and turned his home at 29 West Eight Street into a shop.
Vintage Sterling Silver Modernist Studio Earrings, circa 1950s via jewelry.1stdibs.com
Because Kramer produced modern designs with a touch of classicism, power, and pure elegance, many people began to patronize his works during the 20th century. Being a man of art who fancy quirky materials to merge into metals, anyone will notice how he artfully utilized quills, fossilized insects, vintage coins, buttons, animal teeth, and other atypical elements, which can perfectly match unique vintage clothing or
vintage designer dresses.
Brooch, circa 1950s via 20thobsession.blogspot.com
Vintage Garnet Brooch, circa 1950s via icollector.com
Having a hippie stance, Sam Kramer’s art gravitated heavily towards personalities with zest for unique pieces and those who belong in the beat generation or beatnik. Soon Kramer found himself designing bizarre yet functional and elegant jewelry for people from different parts of the globe.
Vintage Modernist Sterling silver and moonstone brooch, circa 1950s via kaboodle.com
Lovers Brooch made of sterling, turquoise and garnet via Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The designer, however, not only penetrated the hearts of women through his wearable art but also through television as an actor and advertising model. Through the years, Kramer lived the way his art did – exquisite, until he passed away in June of 1964 due to heart disease. His two sons, mother, and former spouse carried on with Sam Kramer’s shop. The family that the artist left behind hopes to share with the world Kramer’s expertise, passion, and unique character.