Born on Christmas day in 1899 in Borisglebsk, Russia, Moses Soyer was deeply influenced around 1910 by an exhibition of Russian paintings he saw in Moscow. The Soyer family moved to America in 1913 and between 1916 and 1920 he studied art at Cooper Union, the National Academy of Design, the Ferrer Art School (where Robert Henri and George Bellows were his instructors) and at The Educational Alliance Art School. One of the most important figurative artists of the twentieth century, Moses Soyer is known for his portraits of everyday people; young couples, workers, actresses, dancers, artists, friends and family. All his works depict intimate moments of quiet reflection and probe the psychological depths of the sitter. Moses Soyer’s humanism and sensitivity to individual character is especially evident in his paintings of his artist friends such as Jack Levine, Chaim Gross, Joesph Stella, David Burliuk, Robert Gwathmey, Ben Shahn, Max Weber, Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence, among others, and reflect his involvement with this vibrant community of New York artists.
In 1926 Moses Soyer was awarded a fellowship to travel throughout Western Europe. His work was featured in a group show at J.B. Neumann’s Gallery where in 1929 he would have his first solo exhibition. Between 1927 and 1934 Soyer taught art classes at the Educational Alliance, Contemporary Art School, the New Art School and the New School for Social Research. Moses Soyer began his association with ACA Galleries in 1944 and has exhibited with the gallery ever since. Moses Soyer’s work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of Art, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Detroit Institute of Art, MI; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Walker Art Center, MN, and many others.