Alma Eikerman (1908 – 1995) American jewellery designer and silversmith

Alma Eikerman black and white
Alma Eikerman black and white

Alma Eikerman (1908 – 1995) was an American jewellery designer and silversmith. Eikerman was born in Pratt, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State College in Emporia with a B.Sc. in 1934 and an M.Sc. in 1942. 

Biography

She taught jewellery design at Wichita State University in Kansas before joining the Indiana University Bloomington faculty in 1947. In 1950, while on sabbatical, Eikerman studied Scandinavian silversmithing in Copenhagen with Karl Gustav Hansen, which would later become the basis of her hollowware. In 1978, Eikerman retired from teaching at Indiana University, where she was named Distinguished Professor.

Bracelet - Alma Eikerman - sterling silver and red brass
Bracelet – Alma Eikerman – sterling silver and red brass

Karl Gustav Hansen, designer director at Hans Hansen Solvmedie in Kolding, was her metalsmithing mentor (Sweden). Baron Fleming’s Stockholm workshop was also where she worked.

Her renowned studio was funded by a Carnegie Foundation grant in 1968, culminating in the film Creative Silversmithing. Vasilii Kandinskii, Claude Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keefe, Stuart Davis, Charles Burchfield, Charles R. Sheeler, and Hans Hofmann inspired her work.

Balanced Bowl, 1974, sterling silver and red brass designed by Alma Eikerman
Balanced Bowl, 1974, sterling silver and red brass designed by Alma Eikerman

Recognition

Many distinctions and prestigious awards have been bestowed upon Eikerman. In 1948 she received a Handy and Harmon Silversmithing Award for study at Rhode IslandSchool of Design under Baron Erik Fleming of Sweden. In 1976, she was named Distinguished Professor at Indiana University, and in 1978, she retired as Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Eikerman received grants from the Carnegie Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts during her career. The American Craft Council awarded him the Gold Medal in 1993. In the same year, then-Governor of Indiana, Evan Bayh, presented her with the Indiana Governor’s Arts Award for her contributions to arts education. Eikerman received a Distinguished Teaching Award in the Fine Arts from the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association in 1980.

Her work was the subject of a 1985 exhibition at Indiana University Art Museum.

Her energetic teaching at Indiana and national reputation made her a role model for women aspiring to be professional artists in the 1950s and 1960s.

Sources

Alma Eikerman. American Craft Council. (n.d.). https://www.craftcouncil.org/recognition/alma-eikerman.

Alma Eikerman. Smithsonian American Art Museum. (n.d.). https://americanart.si.edu/artist/alma-eikerman-6159.

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, January 26). Alma Eikerman. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:50, May 12, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alma_Eikerman&oldid=1002971956

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