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Alma Eikerman

Born:
Pratt, Kansas 1908

Died:
Bloomington, Indiana 1995

Luce Artist Quote

“The true function of jewelry is to decorate, to ornament and thus command attention and admiration. In this sense the ornament must reveal form that is worthy and expressive of its time.” Artist quoted in Tyler School of Art Catalogue


Biography

Born in Pratt, Kansas, Alma Eikerman earned a B.S. degree in 1934 at Kansas State College in Emporia and an M.S. in 1942 at Columbia University. She subsequently taught jewelry design at Wichita State University in Kansas and in 1947 joined the faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington. While on sabbatical in 1950, Eikerman studied Scandinavian silversmithing with Karl Gustav Hansen in Copenhagen, which was to become the foundation of her hollowware. Eikerman retired from teaching at Indiana University in 1978, having been honored with the title of Distinguished Professor.

Eikerman's legacy at Indiana University was an exceptional metals program that inspired two generations of artists. A founding member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, she received the Indiana Governor's Art Award and the American Craft Council's Gold Medal in 1993.

Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Alma Eikerman grew up a farmer’s daughter in Kansas, where she took her first courses in jewelry making. She moved to New York City in the late 1930s and received a master’s degree from Columbia University. In 1947, Eikerman established the metals program at Indiana University, which would become one of the best in the nation. Her energetic teaching at Indiana and her national reputation made her a role model for women who aspired, in the 1950s and 1960s, to be professional artists.