Edith Kramer: Art Therapy’s Muse Part I

Two films and one interview with Edith Kramer (1994, 1999, 2005) document her life and work as a pioneer in the field of art therapy. The first film, ”Portrait of Edith Kramer” (1994, 29 minutes), discusses her early life in Vienna, study in Prague with Friedl Dicker Brandeis who was killed at Auschwitz, escape to the United States through Poland, the influence of Freud and psychoanalysis and her development of art therapy in New York City at the Wiltwyck School for Boys and New York University. This is followed by an Interview at a Nordisk Seminar (1999, 4 minutes). At 83 years old, she was asked about her work as a painter, sculptor, teacher and her work in art therapy with children during the 1950’s in New York City. Her clinical work emphasized the intrapsychic processes and transference. The third segment is another film, “A Tribute to Edith Kramer,” by Jamie Midgley made on the occasion of her retirement from NYU (2005, 27 minutes), reviews her life and work primarily in New York City. Edith Kramer applied a psychoanalytic approach to her art interventions with disabled and delinquent children in agencies and hospitals. Her Spring Street Subway Mural, The Art of the Troubled Child Exhibition, and her teaching at the New School for Social Research as well as initiating the program at New York University are featured. David Henley, Laurie Wilson and Anni Bergmann were interviewed about Edith Kramer. Her convictions about truth and honesty in art are manifest.

Total Running Time: 1 hour, 23 seconds



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