Philipp Eberhard Schrammen was born in Cologne in 1886. After his school-leaving examinations, he studied first at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf, and later at the Grand-Duke of Saxony’s College of Fine Arts in Weimar. Schrammen had developed a major interest in painting and drawing even during his school days. The First World War created a deep break in his artistic career for Schrammen, as it did for many of his contemporaries. At the end of the war in 1919, his pictorial subjects changed, and Schrammen’s work now consisted largely of woodcuts and drawings in which he tried to come to terms with what he had experienced.
He remained in Weimar even after the First World War, maintaining close contacts with the College of Applied Arts, which had been founded there in 1906 and was headed by Henry van de Velde. Schrammen also supported the founding of the State Bauhaus. He took the architecture course at the Bauhaus in the summer semester of 1919, and starting in 1921 studied in the printing workshop (under Lyonel Feininger) and in the stage workshop run by Lothar Schreyer. On 18 May 1919, Schrammen published the first edition of the Bauhaus journal ‘Der Austausch’, illustrated with his woodcuts. As chairman of the Student Committee, he became a major contact and spokesman for his fellow students. He was expected to learn a craft, as all of the students at the Bauhaus were, and he completed a one-year traineeship with a wood-turner in Weimar. This was the start of a new artistic development for Schrammen. He now started to make painted children’s toys, for example, from wood (building bricks and a walking bike). His wooden objects were shown at the first Bauhaus exhibition in 1923.
Eberhard Schrammen had already met his future wife, the Bauhaus student Toni van Haken-Nelissen, in 1919, and they were married in Dresden on 14 March 1920. A year later, their son Klaus was born. In 1925, the Schrammens decided against moving to Dessau and went to Gildenhall, where Eberhard Schrammen opened a wood-turning and wood art workshop. The business went well until the world economic crisis. In 1929, Schrammen closed the workshop and concentrated on photography. His income was initially secured through the sale of photo series to the Mauritius and Lindenverlag publishing houses. In private, the Schrammens experimented with the photogram technique – exposure of photographic paper without a camera. During the Second World War, work became increasingly difficult for Schrammen due to the scarcity of materials and his aversion to war and propaganda photography. After the war, he started painting again and was able to present a one-man exhibition in Lübeck in 1947. He died on 1 December 1947 at the age of 61. [AG 2015]
· Thorsten Albrecht (1999): Eberhard Schrammen 1886–1947, Bauhauskünstler und Fotograf. Weimar, Gildenhall, Lübeck, Petersberg.
· Michael Siebenbrodt, Lena Prents (2003): Eberhard Schrammen. Bauhäusler, Maler, Formgestalter, Fotograf, Weimar.
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