Oral history interview with Douglas S. Cramer
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Cramer, Douglas S.
Berman, Avis
2013 October 23-December 13
Physical Description:
79 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Douglas S. Cramer conducted 2013 October 23-December 13, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art, at Cramer's homes in Miami Beach, Florida and New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Cramer speaks of growing up in Kentucky and Cincinnati; his mother's career as a writer and interior designer; his interest in collecting objects as a young boy; growing up under his parents and his family history; racism and prejudices in society and Hollywood; the impact of the Depression on his family; his early interest in theater and art; his involvement with Hollywood and production work; his early art and real estate purchases; his friendship since high school with Jim Dine; reactions from dealers and artists when selling artwork; his belief in the importance of artists' drawings; his college career and his desire to go to Princeton; his desire to live in New York City; working for Proctor & Gamble; his early foray into collecting; his first collection of 20th century works on paper; meeting Leo Castelli and Jasper Johns; guidance of Dan Melnick in collecting; living and collecting in California; his desire to own a Joseph Cornell box; his divorce from Joyce Haber and their California collection; buying from Leo Castelli; getting to know and collecting Julian Schnabel; getting a protrait painted by Schnabel; donating works of art to museums; art dealers and customer service; working on the Love Boat (series); Andy Warhol's involvement with the Love Boat; his involvement with the MOCA board; the creation of the Douglas Cramer Foundation; Batman (series) and Roy Lichtenstein; meeting, collecting, and friendship with Roy Lichtenstein; meeting, collecting, and friendship with Ellsworth Kelly; Andy Warhol's persona. Cramer also recalls Larry Gagosian, Jeffrey Deitch, Eli Broad, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Margo Leavin, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Charles and Doris Saatchi, Paul Schimmel, Richard Serra, Marcia and Fred Weisman, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Douglas S. Cramer (1931-2021) was an American television producer and contemporary art collector in New York, New York. Avis Berman (1949- ) is an art historian and author in New York, New York.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.

Originally recorded as 4 sound files. Duration is 5 hr., 8 min.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This interview is open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Terms of Use
The Archives of American Art makes its Oral History Program interviews available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. Quotation, reproduction and publication of the recording is governed by restrictions. If an interview has been transcribed, researchers must quote from the transcript. If an interview has not been transcribed, researchers must quote from the recording. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Producers and directors Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
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Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001