Art Therapy Pioneer Edith Kramer, 1916-2014

Painter and founder of the psychological discipline of art therapy, Edith Kramer has died, Austrian newspaper Die Presse reported in its Monday edition. She was 97. Born in Vienna in 1916, Kramer fled to New York City at in 1938 for the duration of World War II, teaching art at the Little Red School House. Kramer was an astute follower of Sigmund Freud throughout her life, particularly interested in sublimation and its ability to be accessed through artistic production. This led her to begin working with troubled children upon returning to New York in 1949 after a short stint back in Europe.

Throughout the following years, she furthered developed connections between art practice and psychology, publishing several books on the subject, and in 1976 co-founding a graduate center for Art Therapy at New York University. Kramer continued to paint throughout her life. She served as an adjunct professor at NYU until 2005 and eventually returned to Austria, passing away Saturday at the Grundlsee, a lake near Salzburg.

—artnet News

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