Gideon A. Kramer papers, 1946-2011  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Kramer, Gideon A
Title
Gideon A. Kramer papers
Dates
1946-2011 (inclusive)
1954-1987 (bulk)
Quantity
8.17 cubic feet (18 boxes)
Collection Number
6006 (Accession No. 6006-001)
Summary
Project-based papers related to Gideon Kramer, an influential artist, inventor, designer and businessman in Seattle
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Gideon Kramer was an influential artist, inventor, designer, and businessman in Seattle from the 1950s to the 1980s. Born in 1917, Kramer received degrees from a number of prominent design schools, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), the Akron Institute, and the Institute of Design (founded in founded in 1937 by Bauhaus teacher, László Moholy-Nagy), at Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1939, Kramer and soon-to-be wife, Ruth McLellan came through Seattle on their way to Alaska and decided to stay.

Kramer's prolific career as one of the greatest industrial designers of the 20th century included some of the following ventures:

  • Created a system to imprint designs on candles (1945)
  • Developed the ION chair (1946-1968)
  • Designed numerous trucks with Kenworth Motor Company (1951-1961)
  • Designed Federal Way Shopping Center (1950s)
  • Designed Foster High School with Ralph Burkard (1950s)
  • Designed compact, portable slide projector (1957)
  • Designed Jack Sidor home on Mercer Island (1959)
  • Designed US Plywood Corp office building (1960)
  • Designed streamline hydro-craft cruiser for Hydro-Marine Inc (1960)
  • Project 27 (Seattle Street Beautification project) for the City of Seattle (1970s)
  • Designed Portage Glacier Visitor Center (1978-1981)
  • Designed basic concept for Boeing Museum of Flight
  • Designed basic concept for Seattle Aquarium (1975-1977)
  • Designed Source Projector (first single unit, lap-dissolve projector)

In additon to his designing career, Kramer was also a professor of Industrial Design at the University of Washington, as well as a guest lecturer at the University of Oregon. He wrote essays for the AIA Journal, The Argus, The Arts, the World Institute Journal of the United Nations, and other industrial arts and design publications. Gideon Kramer died on March 5, 2012.

- Adapted from History Link (http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=9222)

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Contains documents for a number of different projects which Gideon Kramer worked on:

  • Source/Kramer Corporation: Includes correspondence, business manuals, meeting minutes, notes, legal agreements, patents, strategic plans, news-clippings, reports, writings, and promotional materials.
  • Seattle Aquarium Exhibit: Includes exhibit development proposals, conceptual drawings and writings, exhibit progress reports, contracts, pamphlets, correspondence, notes, and research sources.
  • Portage Glacier Visitor Center: Includes exhibit proposal, research sources, notes, conceptual drawings, exhibit development reports, exhibit index, exhibit specifications, map of Alaska, and correspondence.
  • Kenworth Trucking: Includes brochures, correspondence, design drawings, design evaluation, news-clippings, newsletters, patents, notes, and original copy of "The Future of Trucking within the Transportation Industry".
  • Project 27 (Seattle Street Beautification Project): Includes final report, correspondence, notes, news-clippings, writings, agendas, progress reports, memos, pamphlets, and conceptual drawings.
  • Seattle's Pacific Museum of Flight (Boeing Red Barn): Basic concept, resource materials, drawings, guidelines, and history
  • Center on Contemporary Art (COCA) Exhibit: Notes, correspondence, proposal, rough drafts, designs.
  • The Kent Art Commission Gallery Exhibit: Ideas, poster, storyline, visitor comments.
  • Tacoma Art Museum Exhibits: Correspondence, plans, designs, rough drafts of the following exhibits: "Jet Dreams", "True Art", "The ENd", "Frontiers of NW Design", "Fast Forward: The Shape of NW Design".
  • "Becoming Gideon" Project/Book: Marketing and press documents, notes, and rough drafts.
  • Norton Building: Property that Kramer owned with financial information, sales, leases, correspondence, tenants, Harborview Clinic, and area development
  • 2401 SW 172nd St: Gideon Kramer's house/apartment/studio.
  • Also includes general thoughts, notes, writings, and reference materials by topic.
  • Projects: Various projects Kramer contributed to.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyrights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Series 1:  Seattle Aquarium Exhibit Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
People
1976-1979
1
Exhibit Proposal Materials
1975-1977
1
Correspondence and Memos
1976
1
Contract and Planning Notes
1975
1
The Latest Word in Aquarium Words
1977
1
Notes and Correspondence
1976-1977
1
Designer's Statement
1976-1977
1
Research Sources
1975-1976
1
Vancouver Public Aquarium
1973-1975
1
Drafts
1975-1977
1
Mystic Marine Life Aquarium
1975

Series 2:  Portage Glacier Visitor Center Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
2
Exhibit Proposal Materials
1978-1979
2
Slides and Notes
1979
2
Theme Source Quotes
1979
2
Resume and Resignation from Michael Oppenheimer
Undated
2
Research Materials and Notes
1978
2
Exhibit Model Drawings
1979
2
Exhbit Proposal
1979
2
Concept and Exhibit Development
1978-1979
2
Exhibit Specifications
1981
2
Exhibit Design
1981
2
Map of Alaska
1973

Series 3:  Kenworth Trucks Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
3
Brochures and Correspondence
1957-1999
3
Freeway Train Design Notes
1960
3
Design Evaluation
1956
3
"The Future of Trucking within the Transportation Industry" (Originals)
1960
3
Articles about Kenworth
1953-2000
3
"Uniqueness" (Contains Newsclippings, Drawings, Notes, and Presentation Papers)
1954-1966
3
Basic Truck Dimensions Drawings
1957
3
Cab-Beside-Engine (CBE) with rounded corners
1956
3
Conventional Drawings
1952
3
International Design Conference
1955-1957
3
Patents
1954-1958
3
Letters
1954-1956
3
Driver Seat Design
1958
3
Correspondence with Bob Norrie
1956-1983
3
Drawings, Notes, Correspondence, and Check Stubs
1955-2010
3
Gideon's Projects
1956-1958

Series 4:  Project 27 (Seattle Street Beautification Project) Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
4
Final Report (Master Copy)
1974
4
Correspondence, Notes, and Newsclippings
1972-1975
4
Writings and Correspondence
1968-1980
4
Agenda for Seattle
1972
4
Shelter Systems Progress Report
1974
4
Correspondence and Memos with with Metro Transit Systems
1972-1974
4
Writings and Award
1977-2011
4
Pike Street (Correspondence, Pamphlets, Development Program, and Concept)
1974-1976
4
Miscellaneous Project 27
Undated
4
Final report of Mayor's Task force on Planning Consolidation
1974
4
Bureaucracy
1969-1982
4
Pike Street Development Program
1976
4
City Exhibit
1970
4
Exhibit Plaque
Undated
4
Binder with Notes, Correspondence, Drawings, Newsclippings, and pamphlets
1956-1988

Series 5:  Source/Kramer Corporation Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
5
Promotional Materials and Newsclippings
1982-1984
5
Background Documents
1986-2011
5
Correspondence
1984-2002
5
Agreement with Kodak
1989-1995
5
Business Plans
1984-1985
5
Private Placement Memorandum
1985
5
Patent Agreement, Meeting Notes, Company Summary
1978-1989
5
Patents
1973-1986
5
Agreements
1978-1981
5
Strategic Plan
1982
5
Legal Correspondence and Reports
1982-1986
5
Finances
1982-1985
6
People
1981-1986
6
Voyager Service Reports
Undated
6
Xerox
1986-1987
6
Voyager Guide Book
Undated
6
Notes, Correspondence, Writings
1981-1983
6
Newsclippings, Meeting Minutes, Correspondence, Reports, and Writings
1981-1984
6
Notes
1983-1984
6
Notebooks
1983-1984
6
Notes and Reports
1984-1987
7
Notes and Reports
1987
7
Notes and Correspondence
1994-1995
7
Notes
1988
7
Notes and Correspondence
1989
7
Correspondence and Notes
1990-2011
7
Summary and Stock
1982-1990
7
Business Overview (formerly in a binder)
Undated
7
Reflections
1994-1997

Series 6:  ProjectsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
8
Pictures
1947
8
Correspondence, sketches, notes, finance
1946-1955
8
Letters
1947-1950
8
Charmwick Candles
1955-1967
8
Patents
1953-1956
8
Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Temple Doors
1961-1962
8
Victor Nelson Furs - Design of Interior and Exterior
1950-1951
8
Turner Brass - Blow Torch Design (winning their design competition)
1940
8
"The Spinach Machine" and generates electricity
1971
8
Mechanical Core - for Living Space/ VAN - Self Powered (spinach machine)
1971
8
Boeing - Proposal for Passenger Seat Design
1957
8
"The Joy of Creating" A group proposal for people who have been blinded to stimulate the creative spirit in everyone
1975
8
Sicks Seattle Brewery (Rainier Brewery) Tap Marker design
1956
8
"Seed" Shelter Designs (for Rich Storeck)
1956
8
Jungle Gym Design
undated
8
Makah (Indian) Cultural and Research Center - Exhibit Proposal
1975
8
Broadway Plaza Sculpture Competition
1976
8
Seattle Arts Commission "More Streets for People" Exhibit
1975
8
Seattle Arts Commission Arts Competition
1987
8
Cabin Design using Truecking Containers
2006
8
Federal Shopping Way/Bowling Alley
1959
8
U.S. Plywood Office, Seattle Wa
1961-1962
8
Gregory Heights Kindergarden Building
1954-1956
8
Foster High School Design
1952
8
Southgate Elementary School
undated
8
Sheets Residence - Preliminary Study for Addition + Home
1954
8
Sidor House - Using Panelbils Systems, Division of US Plywood Corp. (Peter Builder)
1957
8
Toboton Retreat Idea - for Brygida (Kramer) + Dennis McDermott's 15 acres in Yelm, WA
1989
8
Retreat - Gideon + Ruth's "homebase" to be built 1/2 way up stairs behind house
undated
8
First International Seminar on Industrial Design in Barcelona, Spain - Gideon Speech
1967
8
First International Seminar on Industrial Design in Barcelona, Spain - Copies of Partipants' Speeches
1967
8
Exploratorium San Francisco
1976
9
Design of U.S. Projector Corp. Office Building (Federal Shopping Way)
1958
9
U.S. Projector Corp- Federal Way, WA
1956-1959
9
U.S. Projector Corp- Federal Way, WA
1957-1970
9
U.S. Projector Corp + Jackissna Indictment for Fraud
1970
9
First and Cherry Building
1968-1969
9
First and Cherry Building
1968-1971
9
First and Cherry Building
1968-1977
9
First and Cherry Building
1971-1978

Series 7:  Seattle's Pacific Museum of Flight (Boeing Red Barn) Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
10
Pacific Northwest Avion Historical Foundation: Contracts/invoices/cost
1979-1980
10
Museum of Flight Basic Concept
1982
10
Basic Concept Ideas
1979-1988
10
Resource Material
1979
10
Resource Material: Mechanics of Flight
1980
10
Drafts and Notes
1979-1981
10
Red Barn
1978
10
The Urge to Fly
1979-1981
10
Museum of Flight Preliminary Drawings
1979
10
Preliminary Drawings - Basic architecture, artifact arrangement, great hall, basic plysical requirements, etc.
1979
10
Exhibit Concepts - Visitor Experience
1979
10
Museum Reports and Program Guidelines - Ibsen Nelson and Assoc.
1970
10
Ibsen Nelson Museum of Flight
1980

Series 8:  Norton Building Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
11
Norton Building 216 3rd Ave South, Seattle
1971-1975
11
Receipt and Agreement
1971
11
Beginnings/Finance
1971-1983
11
Financial Information , leases, bids
1971-1988
11
Norton Building Development Proposal to the Pioneer Square Historical Board
1976
11
Building Sale - Alan and Betz
1987
11
Limited Partnerships
1985
11
Deed of Trust
1971-1974
11
Harborview
1982-1992
11
Harborview Sale and Safty Info
1982-1990
11
Harborview Financial Information
1971-1982
11
Photographs
1972
11
Norton Building - Tenants
1974-1983
11
Rent Summary Sheets
1982
11
Burlington Northern
1971-1988
11
Area Development
1978-1992
11
Historical Preservation
1976-1980
11
Norton Neighbors
1976-1981

Series 9:  Center on Contemporary Art (COCA) Exhibit Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
12/1
Book, Notices
2010
12/2
Correspondence with Ray Freeman
2009-2010
12/3
Exhibit Proposal
2002
12/4
Preliminary Writing and Design for Exhibit
2009-2010
12/5
Rough Draft and Notes
2010
12/6
Notes on "One Becoming" - Book and Exhibit
2010
12/7
Rough Draft of Book
2010

Series 10:  The Kent Art Commission Gallery Exhibit Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
12/8
Thoughts on "The Universe Becoming"
2002
12/9
Poster and Card Design
2002
12/10
Storyline
2002
12/11
Comments from Viewers
2002

Series 11:  Tacoma Art Museum Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
13/1
"Jet Dreams" Exhibit
1995
13/2
"Artists and Kids: A Workshop with Gideon Kramer"
1995
13/3
"True Art" Exhibit
1997
13/4
"The End" Exhibit
1999
13/5
"Frontiers in NW Design" Exhibit
2000
13/6
"Fast Forward: The Shape of NW Design" Exhibit
2000
13/7
8th Biennial (Application and CDROM of "Surprise")
2006
13/8
Gideon Kramer Support and Donations
1994-2006

Series 12:  "Becoming Gideon" Project Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
13/9
"Becoming Gideon" Marketing and Press
2006
13/10
Rough Draft of "Becoming Gideon" Book
[2006]
13/11
Rough Draft of "Becoming Gideon" Book
[2006]
13/12
Notes and Rough Drafts of "Becoming Gideon"
[2006]
13/13
Rough Draft of "Becoming Gideon" Book
[2006]
13/14
Notes and Rough Drafts of "Becoming Gideon"
2003
13/15
Notes on "Becoming Gideon"
2007
14/1
Notes and Rough Drafts of "Becoming Gideon"
2010
14/2
Notes and Rough Drafts of "Becoming Gideon"
2010

Series 13:  Miscellaneous Projects Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
14/3
Burien Arts Commission
2002
14/4
Benaroya/Shurrgard Storage - Preliminary Study
1997
14/5
Van/Bus/Camper Design
1970-1990
14/6
Shelter/Living Space Modules
1969
14/7
Multi-Use Sphere - Transport/Storage/Living Design
1971
14/8
Spherical Boar Design
1965-1966
14/9
Portable Vehicle-based Utility Core Design
1969
14/10
Shelf Unit Design
1970
14/11
First Unitarian Church
1968-1969
14/12
Rainier Brewing Company
1978
14/13
Tub Lift for Ruth Design
2006
15/1
Athenian School - Proposal for Summer Student Habitat
1970

Series 14:  2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle Property Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
15/2
Lower Level of House/Apartment Design
1994
15/3
Street Enterance to Property Design
2003
15/4
Preliminary House Design Ideas (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1984-1987
15/5
"Homebase" Stairs and Tram Information (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
2001
15/6
Studio #2 Plans and Thoughts (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1990
15/7
Studio #1 Plans and Thoughts (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1959
15/8
Assessed Value of (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1938-1973
15/9
Research for House Sale (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1992-1994
15/10
Property Profile and Market Analysis by John L. Scott (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1995
15/11
Deck Design for Hot Tub (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
2001
15/12
Wencil's Works - Contractor (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
193
15/13
Lower Level Deck Construction (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
2000
15/14
Ideas for "Homebase" Bed and Breakfast or "The Utopia" (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1960
15/15
Beach Cabin Design (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
undated
15/16
Geotechnical Report/Slope Stability Report Analysis/Topographical Site Survey (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
2009-2010
15/17
Landslide that destroyed "Homebase"
2010
16/1
Original Layour and Design Model (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1983
16/2
Residential Appraisal Report (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1988
16/3
House Permit (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1985
16/4
Geotechnical Engineering Stury/Slope Stability Analysis/Topographical Survery (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1992-1993
16/5
Lot Line Adjustment Application/Quit Claim Deed (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1989
16/6
Sale/Easement Document/Boundary Line Adjustment (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1995-2001
16/7
Sale of Studio #2 to Frederick G. Braun and Victoria L. Braun
1995
16/8
Misc Property Work Records (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1993
16/9
MLW General Contractor - Marvin Wetzel
1980-1991
16/10
Architectural Services - Craig Wagner
1983-1985
16/11
Construction Contracts, Bids, and Records (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
1980-1991
16/12
Holme Builders Contractor (2401 SW 172nd St, Seattle)
2002

Series 15:  Notes, Writings, and Reference Materials by Topic Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
17/1
"One - Intimacy"
undated
17/2
"Why…Noah Story"
2004
17/3
Pavlovian Response
2006
17/4
Entropy, God, Etc.
1991-1993
17/5
Reality
undated
17/6
Steady State
undated
17/7
The Known/Unknown
undated
17/8
Kami
undated
17/9
God and Creation
2000
17/10
Illusion
undated
17/11
Imperfection
2000
17/12
Martin Luther
2009
17/13
The Magic Number
undated
17/14
Mathematics
undated
17/15
Good/Evil in relation to Sept 11 Attacks
undated
17/16
Free Will
1999
17/17
Mind
undated
17/18
"The Game"
2000
17/19
Conflict Resolution and Peace Movement
2007
17/20
Decisions
2008
17/21
Definitions
1990-1992
17/22
Energy/Force
2004
17/23
Light
undated
17/24
The Truth
2005
17/25
Science and Religion
1998-2008
18/1
Science and Religion
1974-1994
18/2
Refernce Materials for "OM"
undated
18/3
Life Force
2002
18/4
Fusion
undated
18/5
"The Seed Eternal" - Gideon Kramer (poem)
1997-1998
18/6
Sophia, Eve, Sibil, etc.
undated
18/7
Sexuality (Women)
1996
18/8
Giacometti
undated
18/9
An Ancient Greek Prayer
undated
18/10
"Thoughts of the Universe Becoming"
2000
18/11
Chardin, Teilhard
1996
18/12
"At Home in the Universe" - Kaufman
undated
18/13
"An Icon"
undated
18/14
Misc. Reference Materials
undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Architecture--Northwest, Pacific--Design and construction
  • Architecture--Washington (State)--Seattle--Design and construction
  • Industrial designers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Archives
  • Industrial design--United States
  • Trucks--Design and construction
  • Urban beautification--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Kramer, Gideon A., 1917-2012--Archives
  • Kramer, Gideon A., 1917-2012--Exhibitions
  • Kramer, Gideon A., 1917-2012--Homes and haunts
  • Corporate Names :
  • Kenworth Truck Company
  • Museum of Flight (Seattle, Wash.)--Buildings--Design and construction
  • Norton Building (Seattle,Wash.)--Design and construction
  • Source Kramer Corporation--Archives
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Business correspondence
  • Newsletters
  • Personal correspondence
  • Records (Documents)
  • Research (documents)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)