Moses Soyer

IntroAmerican artist
A.K.A.מאזעס סאיער
Was Painter 
From Nigeria 
Type Arts 
Birth 25 December 1899 
, Borisoglebsk
Death 3 September 1974 
, New York
(aged 74 years)

Moses Soyer (December 25, 1899 – September 3, 1974) was an American social realist painter.


Soyer was born in Borisoglebsk, Russian Empire, in 1899. His father was a Hebrew scholar, writer and teacher. His family emigrated to the United States in 1912. Two of Soyer’s brothers, Raphael (his identical twin) and Isaac were also painters. Soyer’s wife, Ida, was a dancer, and dancers are a recurring subject in his paintings.

Soyer studied art in New York, first at Cooper Union and later at the Ferrer Art School, where he studied under the Ashcan painters Robert Henri and George Bellows. He had his first solo exhibition in 1926 and began teaching art the following year at the Contemporary Art School and The New School. He died in the Chelsea Hotel in New York while painting dancer and choreographer Phoebe Neville.


The Brooklyn Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC), the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) are among the institutions holding works by Moses Soyer. The untitled painting in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art is an example of his intimate and psychologically penetrating portraits of ordinary people, for which he is best known.