Jacob Kramer was born into a Jewish family in Klintsy, Russia (now Klincy, Ukraine) in 1892, immigrating to England with his family and settling in Leeds in 1900. He studied at Leeds School of Art from 1907-1911. In 1917, he was awarded a Jewish Education Aid Society scholarship to study for one year at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. In 1915 he was elected a member of the London Group. During the First World War he spent a short time as a regimental librarian. In 1919 he held a solo exhibition at Frank Rutter's Adelphi Gallery in London, returning to Leeds in 1920, where in 1931 he set up the Yorkshire Luncheon Group. He died in the Jewish Home of Rest, Balham, London on in 1962.