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Visual Interpretations Of C.W. Ceram’s Most Famous Quote

C. W. Ceram was the pseudonym of Kurt Wilhelm Marek, a German journalist and writer who was most noted for his works and opinions on archaeology – Götter, Gräber und Gelehrte which translated in English as Gods, Graves and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology in 1949. So how has he inspired so many designers with his most famous quote?

Photography by Sam Russell

Not much is known about the German since he kept a low social profile after the Second World War – he was an active member of the propaganda machine for The Third Reich. He is highly regarded in archaeological circles though, to the point where ‘The Ceram Prize’ is awarded to those who excel in archaeology, as he was responsible for popularising it in the mid-20th Century. He is also responsible for this famous quote which so often is the cause of much design inspiration today;

Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.

Our talented Creative Academy photographer Sam Russell has applied the meaning of this quote to modern day items that we take for granted, but are depended on in our daily lives. Most of them are inventions that, at some point in time, would have been completely incomprehensible by society. Take a look at his work below;

Genius Inventions: The Wristwatch

Genius Inventions: USB Drive

Genius Inventions: Table Fork

Genius Inventions: Safety Match

Genius Inventions: The Printed Book

Genius Inventions: The Pencil

Genius Inventions: The Lightbulb

Genius Inventions: The key

Genius Inventions: The Compass

Genius Inventions: The Battery

Genius Inventions: The Eyeglasses

Genius Inventions: Theory of Relativity  

You can find Sam Russell’s GKBC Profile here!   If you have been inspired by Sam’s work, why not join the Creative Academy? It’s free to join and here are the reasons why you should today!

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons 

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  1. Maria S

    November 25, 20139:54 am

    It definitely paid off!

  2. Sam E.A.B. Russell

    November 22, 201311:08 pm

    Thanks Maria! I have to say that the compass holds a special place in my heart. The lightbulb was the most difficult yet pleasing to shoot due to the lighting.

    All the best,

  3. Maria S

    November 22, 20139:08 am

    I LOVE this – my favourites have to be The Lightbulb and The Compass.

  4. Sam E.A.B. Russell

    November 15, 201310:30 am

    Thanks for visiting!


  5. Lesley

    November 14, 201311:16 am


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