4 November – 19 November 2023
Ferdinand Kramer (1898-1985) would have celebrated his 125th birthday this year. To mark the occasion, the Museum Angewandte Kunst dedicated an object presentation and several events to him. They were intended as a tribute to the beloved and controversial architect and designer Ferdinand Kramer. At the same time, they questioned the relevance of his compellingly simple and functional design for the future of a democratic and social society.
As building director of Goethe University, Ferdinand Kramer and his team developed a general plan and a total of 23 university buildings, including the interior fittings, between 1952 and 1964. They mark a radical and democratic new beginning for academic Frankfurt after the Second World War. They are a continuation of the work that Ferdinand Kramer realized for his hometown from 1925 onwards in the context of the municipal housing program, also known as New Frankfurt, as part of the team led by the city building councilor Ernst May.
In 1937, Kramer was banned from working and followed his wife Beate to the USA one year later. While in exile, he developed numerous simple and very practical consumer goods, among other things. In 1952, Kramer returned to Frankfurt at Max Horkheimer’s request, where he lived and worked until his death on 4 November 1985.
The small selection of objects that was presented here comprised pieces from the collection of the Museum Angewandte Kunst with the addition of reeditions by the design label E 15, which are based on Kramer’s designs. Two video works by the Frankfurt artist Martina Wolf were also on view, which were created at the Kramer Building on the former biology campus of the Goethe University.
The event series Loving Kramer is a cooperation with PIER F – Zukunftshafen, Architektur im Dialog, kunstkontakt, e15, the Kulturamt Frankfurt am Main and the Deutscher Werkbund Hessen e.V..