Alumni Profile: Moses Soyer, A 1917

Moses Soyer, A 1917

Moses Soyer was born in Russia in 1899.  He came with his family to Philadelphia in 1912 and then to The Bronx around 1915.

Click link to see photo of Moses Soyer

Moses Soyer, A 1917 with dancer Marina Svetlova, taken by Alfredo Valente, 1942

Moses was one of six children.  He has two brothers, Raphel and Isaac who were also artists.  Raphel Soyer was his twin and both Moses and Raphael attended The Cooper Union together at night.  They finished their study at Cooper in 1917.  They were only seventeen when they graduated from Cooper.  Next Moses studied at the National Academy of Design, Ferrer Art School, and The Educational Alliance Art School.  Moses Soyer’s wife, Ida, was a dancer, and many of his paintings are of dancers.

Moses had his first solo exhibition in 1926 and began teaching art the following year at the Contemporary Art School and The New School. Between 1927 and 1934 Moses Soyer taught Art at The New School, and at the Educational Alliance.

Moses painted a mural,that features children playing on a snow covered hill, for the children’s Surgical Ward, Green Point Hospital in 1935.  See Article with image in New York Times.

In 1966, Moses Soyer was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Moses and Raphael were members of the National Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He died in the Chelsea Hotel in New York while painting dancer and choreographer Phoebe Neville. He passed away in 1974.  His wife, Ida Soyer passed away in 1970. He was survived by his son David.

His work, Bethune Street on Sunday, 1935, is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

His work, Artists on the WPA, is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  See Painting

Photos of Paintings by Moses Soyer on Art Net  Link


Between 1927 and 1934 Moses Soyer taught Art at The New School, and at the Educational Alliance.



  • Archives, Link
  • Two Gritty Realists who loved Beauty: Assesing the Work of two Artists, Raphael and Moses Soyer, Twin Brothers and Artists, by Steiker, Valerie, Forward, Feb 25, 2000
  •  Obituary in the New York Times, Moses Soyer, 74, Dead; Traditional U.S. Painter, Stermber 3, 1974.  Link
  •  Review in the New York Times, Philip Evergood and Moses Soyer Exhibit their Paintings at Montross and Kleeman’s Galleries, January 25, 1935.  Link
  • Review in the New York Times, I Wish I Had More Eyes, November 6, 1977.  Link
  • News article in New York Times, Diverse Mural Projects: A Survey of Some Enterprises Directed By the College Art Association, May 19, 1935.  Link
  • ACA Galleries Bio for Moses Soyer.  Link