Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967

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Correspondence to Lewis Mumford from Victor Karl Hammer and his wife, Carolyn R. Hammer.

From the description of Letters, 1939-1983, to Lewis Mumford. (University of Pennsylvania Library). WorldCat record id: 155869064

Printer, associated with the Anvil Press of Lexington, Kentucky.

From the description of Letter, 1956 Feb. 12, Lexington, Kentucky, to Mr. [Lewis?] Allen. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754866453

Victor Hammer (1882-1967), Austrian-born artist active mainly in Florence and Vienna and later in the United States. His output consists largely of portraits and religious scenes--paintings, sculpture, drawings, woodcuts, engravings, and mezzotints. He is widely known for his contribution to the book arts as a designer of uncial typefaces and a printer on hand presses. An avid amateur musician, Hammer played the clavichord, lute, and clarinet. A number of his friends were musicians, among them Schenker and Hans Weisse (who dedicated several of his compositions to Hammer). He completed a mezzotint portrait of Schenker in 1925, and a portrait drawing of Weisse in 1923. His exchange of letters with Schenker record their discussion of the existence in both music and pictures of the Urlinie. The influence of Schenker's ideas can be seen in Hammer's essays on the philosophy of art, most of which he published after his emigration to America in 1939. He taught at Wells College in Aurora, New York, and later at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, where he continued his work in the book arts with his second wife, the printer Carolyn Reading Hammer.

Hans Weisse (1892-1940), Austrian (later naturalized American) teacher, theorist and composer, who studied with Schenker between 1908 and 1919, taught for ten years in Vienna and, after contemplating prospects in Germany, opted to emigrate to the United States, teaching in New York until his premature death. He, more than anyone else, deserves credit for initiating the wide dissemination of Schenker's theory that took place in the U. S. in the mid-20th century, his impact coming not through publications but through his teaching, his pupils including Oswald Jonas, Adele T. Katz, William J. Mitchell, and Felix Salzer. Arriving in New York in late September 1931, he introduced himself to his new colleagues at Mannes with a successful half-hour talk on "the relationship of a music theory teacher to the other teachers in a school of music" and he quickly confirmed his reputation as a gifted educator. Many of the letters of this period he wrote to Schenker during this period describe the success he had in communicating the importance of music theory for the way music should be listened to and, especially, performed.

From the description of Victor Hammer Collection. (New School University Library). WorldCat record id: 480218874

Victor Hammer (1882-1967), born in Vienna, was a trained architect with a particular interest in calligraphy and printing. From 1898-1908 he was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. After exhibiting his various works in the years leading up to World War I, he spent four months in combat as a soldier with the Fourth Austrian Infantry Regiment. The remainder of the war he spent as a war artist in the Urals and in Constantinople. In 1919 he returned to his studio in Vienna and began his printing career, publishing Milton's Samson Agonistes in 1931. Hammer remained in Vienna until 1939. After the outbreak of World War II, he immigrated to the United States, and secured a teaching position in the art department at Wells College. Here he established both the Hammer Press and the Wells College Press, cut his third type-face (known as American Uncial), and continued to paint portraits. In 1948 Hammer accepted a position at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. He continued his work there until his death in 1967.

Hammer is best known for his typeface designs, engravings, and woodcuts, though he is also known as a portraitist and a painter of religious or allegorical images. Hammer's typefaces are unique, as he would create types through cutting his own punches, instead of drawing letters and relying on others to cut them.

There are four presses that are identified with the work of Victor Hammer: the Stamperia del Santuccio (established in Florence, 1929), The Hammer Press, The Wells College Press (Aurora, New York), and The Anvil Press (Lexington, Kentucky).

From the guide to the Victor Hammer Private Press Collection, 1931-1993, (Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967 : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Chappell, Warren, 1904-1991. Material by and about Warren Chappell inserted in books in his library, 1964-1980. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Victor Hammer ephemera. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967. Letters, 1939-1983, to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn O'Connor, Cynthia. Victor Hammer : his life and typographical work / Cynthia O'Connor. University of Kentucky Libraries
referencedIn Kredel, Fritz, 1900-1973. Fritz Kredel collection, 1915-1973. Yale University Library
referencedIn Lewis, Janet, 1899-1998. Letter : Los Altos, Calif. : ALS, 1948 Aug. 5. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Merton, Thomas, 1915-1968. Thomas Merton collection, 1947-1968. University of Kentucky Libraries
referencedIn University of Chicago. Renaissance Society. The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago records, 1917-1981. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Steiner, Herbert, 1892-1966. Letters : to Victor Hammer, 1950-1963. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-. Viktor Hammer : artist file : study photographs and reproductions of works of art with accompanying documentation 1930?-1990 [graphic] [compiled by staff of The Museum of Modern Art, New York]. Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection
creatorOf Chappell, Warren, 1904-1991. Material by and about Warren Chappell inserted in books in his library [manuscript], 1964-1980. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, ca. 1933-1997. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945. Letters and autobiographical sketch, ca. 1896-1941. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967. Victor Hammer Collection. The New School, New School Libraries & Archives
creatorOf Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967. Prospectuses, 1946-1956. Dartmouth College Library
referencedIn Mayer, Ralph, 1895-. Ralph and Bena Frank Mayer papers [ca. 1920]-1964. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Middleton, R. Hunter (Robert Hunter), 1898-1985. Robert Hunter Middleton Papers, 1921-1985. Newberry Library
referencedIn Cummington Press. Cummington Press records and Harry Duncan papers, 1933-1998. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Victor Karl Hammer collection, [194-̲196]̲. Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, Kentucky Guide Project Office
creatorOf Victor Hammer Private Press Collection, 1931-1993 Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
referencedIn Sir William Rothenstein correspondence and other papers, 1887-1957. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Richard Von Mises papers, 1908-1950. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. Motion picture collection, 1912-1980. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967. Letter, 1956 Feb. 12, Lexington, Kentucky, to Mr. [Lewis?] Allen. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn George Grosz papers, 1893-1981 (inclusive) 1919-1959 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Fine Press Printing Ephemera Collection, 1898-2010, 1924-1948 Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special CollectionsGraphic Arts Collection
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Anvil Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Chappell, Warren, 1904-1991. person
associatedWith Cummington Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. corporateBody
correspondedWith Grosz, George, 1893-1959 person
associatedWith Hammer, Carolyn Reading. person
associatedWith Hammer Press corporateBody
associatedWith Kredel, Fritz, 1900-1973. person
associatedWith Lewis, Janet, 1899-1998. person
associatedWith Mayer, Ralph, 1895- person
associatedWith Merton, Thomas, 1915-1968. person
associatedWith Middleton, R. Hunter (Robert Hunter), 1898-1985. person
associatedWith Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith O'Connor, Cynthia. person
associatedWith Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections. corporateBody
associatedWith Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945. person
associatedWith Steiner, Herbert, 1892-1966. person
associatedWith University of Chicago. Renaissance Society. corporateBody
correspondedWith Von Mises, Richard, 1883-1953 person
associatedWith Weisse, Hans, 1892-1940. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Kentucky
United States
Subject
Printers
Art--Austrian--Reproductions
Weisse, Hans--1892-1940--Manuscripts
Presses, Issues of--Anvil
Art, Austrian
Printing
Private presses--United States
Occupation
Printer
Function

Person

Birth 1882-09-09

Death 1967-10-07

Austrians

Information

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SNAC ID: 467028