Jun 27

Edith Kramer & the “art therapists third hand”

Edith Kramer Self PortraitEdith Kramer Self Portrait

“Reflecting on Edith Kramer: Art Therapy Pioneer and Artist”

Yet another loss to the world. I am filled with sorrow for the loss of a lady that I never knew or knew of. I just learned about Edith Kramer yesterday (she died February 22, 2014 at the age of 97) by way of a wonderful tribute posted on the Art Therapy blog http://www.arttherapyblog.com.

Edith, born in Vienna, resided in New York. She was a sculptor, art teacher (at The Little Red School House0, Soho machine shop worker where she developed an interest in social realism.


After travels to France, Edith returned to the US and took a position at the Wiltwyck School for Boys. Here she began her career as a therapist utilizing the teachings of Sigmund Freud. “She put forth the notion that the healing factor of successful art therapy was found within the art process, and believed that the gratification achieved from the outcome of the final art product benefits the individual undergoing art therapy. This further lead Kramer to more fully develop the concept that became known as the “art therapists third hand”. The idea being that the Art Therapist plays a role in facilitating another person’s artistic process. The example often spoken of in this respect is that of the art therapist helping someone mix paints to obtain a desired color. In this capacity, the art therapist is helping the person resume the art process.

From 1973 to 2005, Kramer held a position as an Adjunct Professor of Art Therapy in the Graduate Art Therapy Program at New York University. In 1976, Kramer became the founder of the art therapy graduate program at the University.

For more on the influential books and papers Kramer published along with information on honorary degrees and videos of interviews with her and images of her own art, please visit http://www.arttherapyblog.com/featured/reflecting-edith-kramer-art-therapy-pioneer-artist/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=reflecting-edith-kramer-art-therapy-pioneer-artist&utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=arttherapynewsletter&utm_content=[[name]]%2C+here+is+the+latest+[[rss_title]]+newsletter+you+requested#.U6zqzrH6e_w

Edith Kramer truly lived a life that made a difference and can be said to be a role model for so many!

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