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Moses Soyer papers, circa 1905-1974

Contents and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 6 series:

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Series 1: Biographical Material , 1925-1974
(Box 1, 5, OV 6; 12 folders)

Biographical materials include three address books, award and membership certificates, including Soyer's 1966 membership to the National Institute of Arts and Letters and several awards from the National Academy of Design, and a few exhibition labels for his artwork. Also found are scattered documents regarding his professional career including publishing contracts and royalty statements for books he wrote or illustrated and records of the sale or loan of his artwork to various galleries, museums, and individuals. Official documents found here include his marriage certificate, passports, naturalization record, and membership cards.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder. This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Address Books, circa 1940s-1970s
(2 folders)
1
1-2
Award and Membership Certificates, 1948-1974
(Oversized items housed in OV 6)
1
3
Marriage Certificate (in Hebrew), 1926
(Oversized; see Box 5, F1)
1
4
Passports, 1928, 1963, 1968
1
5
Exhibition Labels, 1950-1955
1
6
Publishing Contracts and Royalty Statements, 1963-1967
1
7
Records of Sale and Loan of Artwork, 1957-1966
1
8
Rail Tickets, 1947, 1965
1
9
Financial Documents, 1958-1974
1
10
Ida Soyer Biographical Material, 1938-1959
1
11
Miscellaneous Biographical Material, 1925-1974
1
12
Oversize Award and Membership Certificates, 1948-1974
(Scanned with Box 1, F3)
OV 6
Oversize Marriage Certificate (in Hebrew), 1926
(Scanned with Box 1, F4)
5
1

Series 2: Correspondence , 1928-1974
(Box 1-2, 5; 1.0 linear foot)

Moses Soyer's correspondence spans over forty years, with the bulk of it dating between 1962 and 1974. General correspondence is comprised primarily of incoming letters, with a few drafts of outgoing letters scattered within. Soyer was friends with many artists and cultural figures, and correspondents include artists Leonard Baskin, Isabel Bishop, Alex Dobkin, Philip Evergood, Chaim Gross, Frank Kleinholz, Benjamin Kopman, Ben Shahn, and his brother Raphael Soyer; writer Will Durant, poet Millen Brand, and dancer Helen Tamiris. Also of note is a holiday card made by artist Marguerite Zorach. There is correspondence with the American Contemporary Art (ACA) Gallery which represented his work, and with many galleries, museums, and schools which exhibited or purchased his work. There is also correspondence with students and publishers, patrons who purchased his work, curators, and arts organizations, as well as Clifford Evans who made a film about Soyer, and his friend Abe Lerner who worked on the book Moses Soyer, published in 1970. Some letters are in Hebrew and Russian.
Family correspondence includes Ida and Moses Soyer's correspondence with their son David while he was away at camp, in college, and as an adult. Included are several illustrated letters. Also found is correspondence between Moses Soyer and his grandchildren Daniel and Nancy, also including many letters illustrated by Moses. Condolence letters are also found.
Family correspondence is filed before general personal correspondence, and condolence letters appear last. This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Correspondence with David Soyer, 1933-1940, 1947-1973
(4 folders)
1
13-16
Correspondence with Grandchildren (Daniel and Nancy Soyer), circa 1960-1973
(Oversized items are housed in Box 5, F2)
1
17
General Correspondence, 1928-1974
(11 folders)
1
18-28
Undated Correspondence, A-Z, circa 1930-1974
(3 folders)
1
29-31
Unidentified Correspondence, circa 1930-1974
1
32
Condolence Letters to David Soyer, A-Z, 1974
(9 folders)
1
33-41
Condolence Letters to David Soyer, Unidentified Letters and Envelopes, 1974
1
42
Condolence Letters to Raphael Soyer, A-D, 1974
1
43
Condolence Letters to Raphael Soyer, E-Z, 1974
(2 folders)
2
1-2
Condolence Letters sent to Others, 1974
2
3
Oversize Correspondence with Grandchildren (Daniel and Nancy Soyer), circa 1960-1973
(Scanned with Box 1, F17)
5
2

Series 3: Writings & Notes , circa 1930s-1968, undated
(Box 2; 0.6 linear feet)

Writings by Soyer include two drafts of an autobiographical essay, "Three Brothers" (titled "This is Our Story" in the second draft), and typed and handwritten draft writings of Soyer's book Painting the Human Figure, which was published in 1964. Also found are several of Soyer's desk diaries and other miscellaneous writings, including poetry Soyer translated into English, drafts of speeches, brief essays on art, and various notes. Writings by others include scattered writings by Ida Soyer about daily events, an essay by David Soyer, "Studio", about his father's studio, and essays about Moses Soyer by friend and artist Philip Evergood and art critic Charlotte Willard. Also found is a handmade book by Noemi and Norberto (last names unknown), a notepad possibly belonging to Soyer, and writings in other languages including Hebrew and Russian.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Moses Soyer, "Three Brothers" or "This is Our Story", circa 1940
2
4
Moses Soyer, Draft Writings for Book Painting the Human Figure, early 1960s
(3 folders)
2
5-7
Moses Soyer, Desk Diaries, 1950, 1958-1968
(7 folders)
2
8-14
Moses Soyer, Miscellaneous Writings, circa 1940s-1960s
2
15
Moses Soyer, Notes, circa 1940s-1960s
2
16
Ida Soyer, Miscellaneous Writings, circa 1940s-1960s
2
17
David Soyer, Miscellaneous Writings, circa 1960s
2
18
Philip Evergood, Essay about Moses Soyer, 1962
2
19
Noemi & Norberto, Homemade Book, 1962
2
20
Charlotte Willard, "Moses Soyer, circa 1960s
2
21
Notepad, circa 1930s
2
22
Documents written in foreign languages, 1941, undated
2
23

Series 4: Printed Material , 1926-1974
(Box 2-3, 5, OV 6; 0.8 linear feet)

Printed material consists of catalogs and announcements for exhibitions of Moses Soyer's artwork and the artwork of others. Some of these catalogs are annotated. Also found are numerous news clippings about Soyer, his exhibitions, and about realist painters. Included are a few articles written by Soyer and clippings of cartoons and illustrations by Soyer published in newspapers and magazines. There is a scrapbook of clippings. Other scattered items include newsletters and programs, holiday cards designed by Soyer, and reproductions of his artwork. The New Handbook of Heaven includes a note on the inside cover by its author Diane Di Prima who had modeled for Soyer. Also found are a few items of Ida Soyer's dance publicity, including announcements, programs, and new clippings for dance recitals.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder. The bulk of the printed materials have been scanned, except for clippings in Hebrew and Russian, Ida Soyer's dance publicity materials, entire magazines, and printed reproductions of artwork.
Description Container Select
Exhibition Announcements & Catalogs, 1933, 1945-1973
2
24
Exhibition Announcements & Catalogs, Undated, circa 1930s-1970s
2
25
Announcements & Invitations (not art related), 1960s
2
26
Clippings, 1935-1973
(5 folders; Oversized items are housed in Box 5, F3)
2
27-31
Undated Clippings, circa 1935-1974
2
32
Clippings in Russian and Hebrew, 1938-1965
(Not scanned)
2
33
Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings, 1930s-1945
2
34
Clippings of Cartoons by Moses Soyer, circa 1920s
2
35
Ida Soyer Dance Publicity, circa 1930-1943
(Oversized items are housed in OV 6; not scanned)
3
1
The New Handbook of Heaven (with note to Soyer from author Diane Di Prima), 1963
3
2
The Treatment of Reading Disabilities, circa 1962
3
3
Magazines, 1935-1966
(2 folders; partially scanned)
3
4-5
Newsletters and Annual Publications, 1945-1973
(Partially scanned)
3
6
Programs, 1926, 1966
3
7
Cards Designed by Moses Soyer, circa 1930s-1974
(Not scanned)
3
8
Reproductions of Artwork by Moses Soyer, 1930s-1960s
(Not scanned)
3
9
Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1945-1960s
(Oversized items are housed in OV 6; not scanned)
3
10
Oversize Clippings, 1935-1973
(Scanned with Box 2, F27-31)
5
3
Oversize Ida Soyer Dance Publicity, circa 1930-1943
(From Box 3, F1; not scanned)
OV 6
Oversize Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1945-1960s
(From Box 3, F10; not scanned)
OV 6

Series 5: Photographs , circa 1905-1974
(Box 3-5, OV 6; 1.1 linear foot)

Photographs date primarily from the 1930s to 1974. Included are numerous portraits of Soyer, photographs of him painting and drawing in his studio and of him with models and sitters having their portraits painted. Family photographs are of Soyer with his wife Ida and son David and of him and his wife with friends and family. There are photographs of a party in honor of Soyer at the home of artist Chaim Gross.
There are a few photographs of Soyer with his students and several photographs of Soyer with other artists, including Peter Blume, Alexander Brook, David Burliuk, Frederico Castellon, Nicolai Cikovsky, George Constant, Alex Dobkin, Philip Evergood, Joseph Floch, Arthur Getz, Red Grooms, Chaim Gross, Jack Levine, Arnold Newman, John James Penney, Louis Ribak, Harry Shoulberg, Joseph Stella, Raphael Soyer, Sol Wilson, and Nat Werner. Many photographs in this collection were taken by Arnold Newman.
Photographs of exhibitions and gallery receptions are at the ACA gallery and other unidentified places. Also found are a few photographs of Soyer's artwork and artwork by others.
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder. The bulk of this series has been scanned, except for photographs of artwork and of David Soyer's family.
Description Container Select
Photographs of Moses Soyer, circa 1930-1974
(6 folders; oversized items housed in Box 5, F4-5)
3
11-16
Photographs of Moses Soyer in His Studio, 1930s-1974
(3 folders; oversized items housed in Box 5, F6)
(Includes a photograph of Moses in his studio with his brothers Isaac and Raphael, wife Ida, and students.)
3
17-19
Photographs of Moses Soyer in His Studio, Contact Sheets, 1950s-1960s
3
20
Photographs of Moses Soyer in His Studio with Models, 1938-1974
(4 folders; oversized items housed in Box 5, F7)
3
21-24
Photographs of Moses and Ida Soyer, 1926-circa 1970
(Oversized items housed in Box 5, F8)
3
25
Photographs of Moses, Ida, and David Soyer, 1928-circa 1948
3
26
Photographs of Moses and David Soyer, 1928-1948
3
27
Photographs of Moses Soyer and Raphael Soyer, circa 1920s-1970
(Oversized items housed in Box 5, F9)
3
28
Photographs of Moses and Ida Soyer with Friends and Family, circa 1905-1974
(5 folders; oversized items housed in Box 5, F10)
3
29-33
Photographs of Moses Soyer with Students, circa 1940s-1950s
3
34
Photographs of Moses Soyer with Other Artists, circa 1925-1970
(2 folders)
3
35-36
Photographs of Ida Soyer, circa 1926-1970
(3 folders; oversized items housed in Box 5, F11)
3
37-39
Photographs of Ida Soyer Dancing, circa 1930-1940
3
40
Photographs of Ida and David Soyer, 1928-circa 1945
3
41
Photographs of David Soyer, 1928-1974
(4 folders; oversized items housed in Box 5, F12)
3
42-45
Photographs of David Soyer, His Wife, and Children, circa 1954-1974
(5 folders; not scanned)
3
46-50
Photographs of Soyer Family at Hampton Bay, Long Island, 1957
3
51
Photographs of Moses and Ida Soyer on Vacation, 1960s
3
52
Photographs of Raphael Soyer, circa 1940s
3
53
Photographs of Family Members, circa 1920s-1964
4
1
Photographs of Party in Honor of Moses Soyer at Home of Chaim Gross (Photographs by Arnold Neuman), circa 1962
4
2
Photographs of Artists, 1941-1970
(Oversized items housed in OV 6)
(Artists include David Burliuk, Nicolai Cikovsky, Chaim Gross, Joseph Stella, Alfred Valente, and John Sloan.)
4
3
Photographs of Models, circa 1930s-1960s
(Oversized items housed in Box 5, F13)
4
4
Photographs of Others, circa 1928-1965
4
5
Photographs of Exhibition at ACA Gallery, 1970
4
6
Photographs of Exhibitions, 1943-1968, circa 1970
(Oversized items housed in Box 5, F14)
4
7
Photographs of the Moses and Ida Soyer Collection, Montclair Museum, 1971
4
8
Photographs of Artwork by Soyer, circa 1929-1974
(Not scanned)
4
9
Photographs of Artwork by Others, circa 1940s-1960s
(Not scanned)
4
10
Miscellaneous Photographs, circa 1930s-1950s
4
11
Oversize Photographs of Moses Soyer, circa 1930-1974
(Scanned with Box 3, F11-16)
5
4-5
Oversize Photographs of Moses Soyer in His Studio, 1930s-1974
(Scanned with Box 3, F17-19)
5
6
Oversize Photographs of Moses Soyer in His Studio with Models, 1938-1974
(Scanned with Box 3, F21-24)
5
7
Oversize Photographs of Moses and Ida Soyer, 1926-circa 1970
(Scanned with Box 3, F25)
5
8
Oversize Photographs of Moses Soyer and Raphael Soyer, circa 1920s-1970
(Scanned with Box 3, F28)
5
9
Oversize Photographs of Moses and Ida Soyer with Friends and Family, circa 1905-1974
(Scanned with Box 3, F29-33)
5
10
Oversize Photographs of Ida Soyer, circa 1926-1970
(Scanned with Box 3, F37-39)
5
11
Oversize Photographs of David Soyer, 1928-1974
(Scanned with Box 3, F42-45)
5
12
Oversize Photographs of Models, circa 1930s-1960s
(Scanned with Box 4, F4)
5
13
Oversize Photographs of Exhibitions, 1943-1968, circa 1970
(Scanned with Box 4, F7)
5
14
Oversize Photographs of Artists, circa 1944-1970
(Scanned with Box 4, F3)
OV 6

Series 6: Artwork , circa 1940s-1960s
(Box 4-5; 0.2 linear feet)

Artwork includes numerous pencil and ink sketches by Moses Soyer. Most of the sketches are of human figures and faces and many are sketched on reused pieces of paper, such as brochures, programs, or blank postcards. Also found is a complete set of illustrations by Soyer for the First Book of Ballet, written by Noel Streatfeild, and published in 1953. Additional artwork includes a valentine Soyer made for his wife, Ida, a drawing by his granddaughter, Nancy, and a pencil drawing by one of Soyer's students, Ray Sherwin, of Soyer in his studio.
This series has been scanned in its entirety.
Description Container Select
Sketches by Moses Soyer, circa 1940s-1960s
(6 folders)
4
12-17
Illustrations for First Book of Ballet, circa 1953
(Oversized, housed in Box 5, F15)
4
18
Homemade Valentine, 1954
4
19
Drawing by Nancy Soyer, circa 1960s
4
20
Drawing by Ray Sherwin, circa 1940s
4
21
Oversize Illustrations for First Book of Ballet, circa 1953
(Scanned with Box 4, F18)
5
15

Make a Request

  • To request an appointment to view materials, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reading Room" button. Please note, you will receive the full box.
  • To request reproductions, make your selections using the checkboxes and click the "Reproduction" button.