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Reuben Kadish papers, 1851-1995, (bulk 1913-1995)

Kadish, Reuben, 1913-1992

Muralist, Painter, Sculptor, Educator

Collection Information

Size: 7.9 linear ft. (on 6 microfilm reels 5655 - 5660)

Summary: Biographical material, letters, personal business records, an exhibition file, notes, writings, art work, printed material, photographs, and artifacts document the life and career of muralist, sculptor, and educator Reuben Kadish.
Biographical material, 1938-1992, includes résumés and personal identification items. Letters are from friends and colleagues including Herman Cherry, Philip Guston, Hilaire Hiler, Jules Langsner, Urban Neininger, Charles Pollock, and Jackson Pollock. One letter from the Leonard Stark family contains a small photograph of Georgia O'Keeffe.
Personal business records, 1952-1995, consist of legal documents, including estate papers for Ida and Reuben Kadish, and financial records. The only specific exhibition file documents the 1990 exhibition Reuben Kadish: Works from 1930 to the Present at the New Jersey State Museum in 1990.
Notes include unbound notes on mural painting, printmaking, sculpture, and other art-related topics, and handwritten translations by William H. Thomson of thirty classic texts by Homer, Horace, and Demosthenes. Writings, 1975-1992, consist of an autobiographical manuscript by Kadish, and typescripts concerning Kadish and other art-related topics by other authors including Dore Ashton, Herman Cherry, Howard Conant, and Judd Tully.
Artwork, undated and 1981-1992, includes a hundred sketches and seventeen watercolors by Kadish, and a drawing for DIG (Archeology) by Barbara Kadish. Printed material relates primarily to exhibitions for Kadish and others but also includes a baseball program autographed by Darryl Strawberry. Photographs include prints of Kadish and other artists working on murals, and photographs picturing family and friends.

Biographical/Historical Note

Muralist, sculptor, educator; Los Angeles, Ca. and New York, N.Y.; b. 1913; d. 1992. Born in Chicago, Kadish moved with his family, in 1921, to Los Angeles, where he befriended Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston, and studied painting under Lorser Feitelson. In 1933, Kadish, Guston, and Jules Langsner were apprenticed to Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, and continued their mural painting until 1940. After serving in the War Artist Unit during World War II, Kadish returned to New York, and worked for Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17. From 1946 to 1957, his family supported themselves on a New Jersey dairy farm, where a 1947 fire destroyed most of Kadish's paintings, inducing him to become a sculptor. In 1960, he began a thirty-year teaching career at Cooper Union.


Lent for microfilming 1998 by Morris and Ruth Kadish, brother and sister-in-law of Reuben Kadish, and executors of his estate. Subsequently donated 2002 by Judd Tully, Chairman and representative of the Reuben Kadish Foundation.