Scope and Content Note
The papers of realist painter Raphael Soyer date from 1933 to 1989 and measure 3.9 linear feet. They document Soyer's career as a painter, printmaker, and writer. Found within the papers are scattered biographical materials, including several transcripts of interviews with Soyer; extensive personal and professional correspondence; writings and notes by Soyer and others; scattered legal and financial records; exhibition materials, clippings and other printed material; and photographs of Soyer in his studio, with artists and friends, and at art events. Also found are one sketch and a facsimile of Soyer's 1968 sketchbook produced by Forum Gallery.
Biographical materials include award certificates, including a 1975 certificate from the National Academy of Design, lists of artwork by Soyer, and several transcripts of interviews with Raphael Soyer in which he discusses topics such as his career as an artist, artists in New York City, and the inspiration for his artwork.
Personal and professional correspondence is with numerous artists, writers, art historians, curators, gallery owners, arts organizations, museums, and universities. Correspondents include Lambro Ahlas, Rudolf Baranik, George Biddle, John Bratby, David Burliuk, Peter De Francia, Lloyd Goodrich, Joseph Hirsch, Joseph Hirshhorn, Edward Hopper, Joe Lasker, Henry Varnum Poor, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and many others. Additional correspondence is addressed to Reality magazine, for which Soyer was an editor.
Writings and notes by Soyer include several drafts and notes for his four published books A Painter's Pilgrimage (1962), Homage to Thomas Eakins (1966), Self-Revealment: a Memoir (1969), and Diary of an Artist (1977). Also by Soyer are draft essays, lectures, and articles - many about social realism. Writings by others include essays and articles by artists and art scholars sent to Soyer for review.
Scattered legal and financial records include bank statements, receipts, leases, and documents related to the publishing of his books. Printed material consists of exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, and other published items.
Photographs depict Soyer in his studio, with other artists and friends such as Chaim Gross, Edward Hopper, and Jose De Creeft, and at art events, and include a few photographs of his artwork. Also found are one pencil sketch and a facsimile of Soyer's 1968 sketchbook produced by Forum Gallery.