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Moses Soyer papers, circa 1905-1974

More Information

Erin Corley
Scope and Contents
The papers of realist painter Moses Soyer date from circa 1905 to 1974 and measure 3.8 linear feet. Within the papers are scattered biographical materials, general correspondence with friends, artists, galleries, art organizations, and others, as well as correspondence with his family, including his son David, writings and notes by Soyer and others, exhibition materials, news clippings, and other printed material, numerous photographs of Soyer, his family, fellow artists, friends and his artwork. Also found are book illustrations and loose sketches by Soyer.
Biographical materials include awards, business documents such as records for the loan of his artwork, passports, his marriage certificate, and other official documents. Soyer's 1966 membership to the National Institute of Arts and Letters and several awards from the National Academy of Design are found here as well. Correspondence is with friends and artists such as Leonard Baskin, Isabel Bishop, Alex Dobkin, Philip Evergood, Chaim Gross, and his brother Raphael Soyer, as well as with students, galleries, art organizations, museums, universities, and others. Also found is correspondence with his son David and his grandchildren that include many letters illustrated by Soyer.
Writings and notes include Soyer's draft writings for his book Painting the Human Figure, autobiographical essays, desk diaries, and miscellaneous writings and notes. There are also writings by Ida and David Soyer, artist Philip Evergood, and others. Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings about Soyer's career and realist painting, and scattered material such as newsletters, programs, and magazines.
The papers contain numerous photographs of Soyer, including photographs of him working in his studio, with models, with family, and with fellow artists such as David Burliuk, Nicolai Cikovsky, Chaim Gross, Raphael Soyer, and many others. Additional photographs are of Soyer's family, fellow artists, friends, events, and his artwork. Among the photographers is Arnold Newman. Original artwork includes book illustrations for First Book of Ballet and loose sketches by Soyer.
Moses Soyer first lent the Archives of American Art material for microfilming in 1965. Some of these papers, along with additional material, were donated by Soyer between 1966 and 1969. His son, David Soyer, gave more material in 1974 and 1975.
Separated Materials
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel D176), the majority of which was later donated. Loaned materials not donated at a later date are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Related Material
Also found at the Archives of American Art are the Abe Lerner papers concerning the book Moses Soyer, 1961-1970, a Moses Soyer letter to Herbert S. Schimmel, and a Moses Soyer letter and two photographs, donated by Marilyn Mark. Also available at the Archives are the papers of Raphael Soyer, Moses Soyer's twin brother.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Processing Information
The collection was microfilmed in the order in which it was received on reels D283, D359, and 1198-1203. The entire collection was merged, fully processed, arranged, and described by Erin Corley in 2007 and scanned in 2009 with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.