Skip to main content

John Milton Ramm papers, 1900-1992

Ramm, John Milton, 1904-1984

Muralist, Painter

Collection Information

Size: 11 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter and muralist John Milton Ramm measure 11 linear feet and date from 1900 to 1992. Found within are biographical materials, family correspondence, personal business records, notes and notebooks, travel journals and other writings by Ramm and his father, John Henry Ramm. Art work consists of sketches, sketchbooks, watercolor sketches, mural designs, and other drawings by John Milton Ramm and John Henry Ramm. Also found are numerous photographs of family, friends, travels and voyages, and San Francisco cityscapes, as well as photographs of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires taken by John Henry Ramm.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Milton Ramm was born in San Francisco, California, on October 27, 1904. His parents were Antoinette Ramm and John Henry Ramm (1879-1948), who was also a painter and photographer, most notably recording the damage of the 1906 earthquake and fire. After graduating from Lowell High School in 1921, John Milton Ramm attended the California School of Fine Arts and later continued his art-related studies under his father. Between 1923 and 1938, he sailed on over a dozen merchant ships, traveling around the world performing various shipboard duties in addition to recording his surroundings in letters, drawings, and photographs. From 1928 to 1929, Ramm worked as a commercial artist and painted sets and backdrops for several motion picture studios including United Artists and Warner Brothers. Between 1932 to 1941, he painted murals and decorated the interiors of various business establishments such as restaurants and stores. In 1937, he was an art instructor at the San Francisco Boys' Club and at a W.P.A. Recreation Project Training course. From 1941 to 1945, Ramm was employed as a shipfitter and engineering draftsman aboard various ships. He was married to Hungarian-born Gabriella Vigh.

Provenance

The John Milton Ramm papers were donated in 1994 by Sandra Howard, a family friend who inherited the estate of the artist.