Raphael Soyer  (American, 1899-1987) 

Raphael Soyer (American, December 25, 1899–November 4, 1987) was considered an American Scene and Social Realist painter. Soyer was known for depicting contemporary society in his paintings. He is known for paintings such as Entering the Studio, Standing Nude, and Dancing Lesson. Soyer was born in Borisoglebsk, Tambov. He had a twin brother named Moses (Russian/American, 1899–1987), as well as a younger brother named Isaac (Russian/American, 1902–1981).

In 1912, Soyer's family moved from Russia to the United States, and settled in Bronx, NY. Soyer began to study art at the Cooper Union, a privately funded college that is located in the East Village of New York City. While studying at the Cooper Union, Soyer befriended Chaim Gross (American, 1904–1991). After attending the Cooper Union, Soyer attended the National Academy of Design. Eventually, Soyer also attended the Art Students League of New York, and studied under Boardman Robinson (Canadian/American, 1876–1952) and Guy Pene du Bois (American, 1884–1958). After completing his education, Soyer was frequently associated with other painters including Reginald Marsh (American, 1898–1954), Kenneth Hayes Miller (American, 1876–1952), and Isabel Bishop (American, 1902–1988).

Soyer opposed the Abstract Art that became popular during the 1940s and 1950s. Instead, he chose to depict life as it really happened by painting scenes of family, friends, and strangers in New York. Soyer often used watercolors to create his art. In 1930, Soyer began teaching at the John Reed Club in New York. He also taught at the New School for Social Research, as well as the Art Students League of New York. During the 1930s, Soyer began to regularly exhibit his artwork at such places as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy of Design, the Carnegie Institute, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Many of these exhibitions included work from other artists as well. During his lifetime, Soyer also co-founded the magazine Reality. He wrote and illustrated several books including A Painter's Pilgrimage: An Account of a Journey with Drawings by the Author and Diary of an Artist. Soyer died in 1987 from cancer.

Find Raphael Soyer artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Raphael Soyer, Furnished Room


Raphael Soyer
Furnished Room

George Krevsky Gallery
Raphael Soyer, Railroad Waiting Room


Raphael Soyer
Railroad Waiting Room

George Krevsky Gallery
Raphael Soyer, Self Portrait (with Cigarette)


Raphael Soyer
Self Portrait (with Cigarette)
circa 1920

George Krevsky Gallery
Raphael Soyer, Seated Young Woman


Raphael Soyer
Seated Young Woman
circa 1940

William McWillie Chambers III
Raphael Soyer, City Street


Raphael Soyer
City Street
circa 1930

Raphael Soyer, View from the Window


Raphael Soyer
View from the Window

Raphael Soyer, Portrait of a Man


Raphael Soyer
Portrait of a Man
circa 1930

Raphael Soyer, Portrait


Raphael Soyer
circa 1979

Mojo Portfolio
Raphael Soyer, Seated Woman Blue Skirt


Raphael Soyer
Seated Woman Blue Skirt
circa 1979

Mojo Portfolio
Past auction results (1497)  View All
Raphael Soyer, Girl Combing Hair


Raphael Soyer
Girl Combing Hair, 1979


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Raphael Soyer, Seated Young Man


Raphael Soyer
Seated Young Man
watercolor and pen and ink on paper


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Raphael Soyer, Girl at Doorway


Raphael Soyer
Girl at Doorway, 1941


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1899   Born: Borisoglebs, Russia
1912   Moved to New York, NY
1914 - 1917   Studied at Cooper Union, New York, NY
1914 - 1922   Studied at the Educational Alliance Art School, New York, NY
1918 - 1922   Studied at the Academy of Design, New York, NY
1933 - 1942   Taught at the Art Students League and at the New School, New York, NY
1953   Co-founded the figurative art magazine, "Reality"
1979   Gold Medal from the National Arts Club, New York, NY
1987   Died: New York, NY
2009   American Modernism 1920-1950: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
2007   American Social Realism: 1920 - 1950, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
"Modern and Contemporary Landscapes", Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2005   Raphael Soyer: Finding America, Forum Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
"Raphael Soyer: Back in the Day", George Krevsky Gallery, San Fransisco, CA (solo)
"Modern and Contemporary Works on Paper", Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
"Eye Contact: Painting and Drawing in American Art", Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
2004 - 2005   Recent Acquisitions, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
2002   Recent Acquisitions:: Modern and Contemporary Art, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
2000   Inaugural Exhibition: 68 Years / 68 Masters, ACA Galleries, New York, NY
1999 - 2000   Moses and Raphael Soyer Centennial Exhibition, ACA Galleries, New York, NY
1997   American Master Prints, Kennedy Galleries, New York, NY
"Facets of the Figure: A Spectrum of 20th Century American Art", Gallery I; Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
ACA Galleries, New York, NY
1988   Urban and Suburban, Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York, NY
1967   Raphael Soyer: Retrospective, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo)
1962   Bernard Crystal Gallery, New York, NY
1960   ACA Gallery, New York, NY
1946   Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1945   Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, TX
1944   Weyhe Gallery, New York, NY
1940   Art Institue of Fine Arts, Chicago, IL
1938   Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
1934   Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
1932   Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1929   Daniel Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1926   Salons of America, New York, NY
  Fogg Museum of Art, Cambridge, MA
  Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
  The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
  The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
2005    Raphael Soyer: Finding America. New York: Forum Gallery, 2005 (catalogue)
2003    Baskind, Samantha. Raphael Soyer and the Search for Modern Jewish Art. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003
1988    Wooden, Howard E. Raphael Soyer: The Shape of Human Dignity. Witchita: Witchita Art Museum, 1988
1984    Soyer, Raphael and Patricia Hills., Raphael Soyer’s New York: People and Places. Boston: Boston University of Art, 1984 (catalogue)
1969    Soyer, Raphael. Self-Revealment, A Memoir. Random House, NY: Maecenas Press, 1969