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Benjamin Kopman Papers / Collection

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Kopman, Benjamin, b. 1887
Title: Benjamin Kopman Papers / Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1911-1962
Quantity: 2.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American Jewish painter, lithographer, etcher, illustrator, sculptor.Born in Russia. Correspondence (1911-1962), including a series of letters (1936-1958), some in scrapbook form, by Kopman to his art dealer, G.D. Thompson; manuscript poems, and prose, some in Yiddish; legal and financial papers; sketches; and photographs of Kopman's work and his family. Incoming letters, arranged alphabetically, include those from the Art Institute of Chicago, David Burliuk, the Federal Art Project, Rockwell Kent, Katharine Kuh, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Clifford Odets, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Phillips Memorial Gallery, Hugo Robus, Frederic F. Sherman, Raphael Soyer, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Carl Zigrosser.
Language: English, few items in Yiddish.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Benjamin Kopman (1887-1965) was a Russian-American painter, graphic artist, and illustrator. Born in Russia, he emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1903. As a youngster, he was tutored by the artist Abel Pen, but he had no formal education. In 1905, he studied for six semesters at the National Academy of Art in New York. He became a citizen of the United States in 1913.

Kopman's work is represented in the collections of the great museums of the United States and Israel. He illustrated the Book of the Month Club edition of Crime and Punishment and Frankenstein. In 1945, he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Philadelphia Academy. Although unpublished, Mr. Kopman was also a writer and poet.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection consists of two related sets of material: the papers of Mr. Kopman, and some additions to the collection made by Mrs. G.D. Thompson, wife of Mr. Kopman's art dealer. The former are referred to as the Benjamin Kopman Papers; the latter are known as the Benjamin Kopman Collection.

The Benjamin Kopman Papers consists of biographical material, correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, and published material.

Correspondence includes both incoming and outgoing. Subject files consists of documents, accounts, passports and photographs. Manuscripts contains drawings, essays, journals, artwork, prose, and some few items in Yiddish. Published material consists of articles, a book, clippings, exhibit cataloges, and photographs.

The Benjamin Kopman Collection contains correspondence, one subject file, and a few manuscripts and published material.

Correspondence consists of outgoing only -- Kopman's letters to G.D. Thompson. The one Subject file contains negatives of photographs of Kopman's work. Manuscripts contains drawings, poems and prose. Published material contains clippings and exhibit material.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Benjamin Kopman Papers: Incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically by author; outgoing correspondence is arranged chronologically; correspondence of others is arranged alphabetically. Subject files are arranged alphabetically by topic. Manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by type, and within each type, alphabetically by title. Manuscripts of others are placed at the end of the series. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type.

Benjamin Kopman Collection: Correspondence is arranged chronologically; scrapbooks have some overlapping of dates. Manuscripts are arranged alphabetically by type and alphabetically by title within type. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Burliuk, David, 1882-1967.
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971.
Kopman, Benjamin, b. 1887 -- Archives.
Kuh, Katharine.
Odets, Clifford, 1906-1963.
Robus, Hugo, 1885-1964.
Sherman, Frederic Fairchild, 1874-1940.
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987.
Thompson, G. David.
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-

Corporate Bodies

Art Institute of Chicago.
Federal Art Project.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Phillips Memorial Gallery.
Whitney Museum of American Art.


Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Illustrators -- United States.
Jewish artists -- United States.
Jews, American.
Lithographers, United States.
Lithography, American -- 20th century.
Painters -- United States.
Painting, American -- 20th century.
Painting, American.
Russian Americans.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Drawings (visual works)
Exhibition catalogs.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Benjamin Kopman Papers / Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift, in part, of Mrs. G.D. Thompson. Additions to the Benjamin Kopman Papers given by Mrs. G.D. Thompson

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: May 1966
Revision history: 10 Apr 2008 - converted to EAD (AMCon)

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Benjamin Kopman Papers
Biographical material
Box 1 Biographical material
Box 1 A-B
Box 1 Art Institute of Chicago 1914, 1920-21, 1939, 1950
Box 1 Baldinger, Wallace S. 1937, 1939
Box 1 Book of the Month Club 1942, 1945, 1946, 1956
Box 1 Brooklyn Museum 1917, 1939, 1949, 1962
Box 1 Burluik, David 1952
Box 1 C-F
Box 1 Carnegie Institute 1938, 1940, 1944, 1947-49, undated
Box 1 Cheney, Martha 1938
Box 1 Fisher, William F. 1913, undated
Box 1 Fulton, James G. 1946 - Congressman
Box 1 G-L
Box 1 Kent, Rockwell 1939
Box 1 Knvedler, Leinie 1917-22, undated
Box 1 Kopman, Benjamin 1948
Box 1 Kopman, Diana 1946, undated - daughter
Box 1 Kuh, Katharine 1936-37, 1939, undated
Box 1 Landau, R. 1930
Box 1 Lewisohn, Dana A. 1939, 1947
Box 1 M-O
Box 1 Macbeth, William 1914-17, 1922
Box 1 Metropolitan Museum of Art 1939, 1945, 1949, 1950
Box 1 Museum of Modern Art 1932, 1949, 1950, 1951
Box 1 New Art Circle 1930, 1937, 1945-46, 1949, undated
Box 1 Odets, Clifford 1946-47, 1950, undated
Box 1 P-Y
Box 2 Parker, Woodruff J. 1919-21
Box 2 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 1913, 1917, 1935, 1939, 1946, 1961
Box 2 Porter, James W.
Box 2 Phillips Memorial Gallery 1939
Box 2 Reis, Bernard 1931
Box 2 Robus, Hugo 1911, 1915
Box 2 Rockefeller, Abby 1932
Box 2 Sherman, Frederick F. 1915, 1916, 1917
Box 2 Soyer, Raphael undated
Box 2 Thompson, G.D. 1936
Box 2 Thompson, G.D. 1937
Box 2 Thompson, G.D. 1938
Box 2 Thompson, G.D. 1939
Box 2 Thompson, G.D. 1945-48, 1954, undated
Box 2 Warbury, Edward M. 1939 - sec'y F.Levine
Box 2 Whitney Museum 1932, 1935-38, 1954
Box 2 Wyatt, Beverly 1945-47, undated
Box 2 Zigrosser, Carl 1923, 1951, undated
Box 2 Works Progress Administration 1935 1938-39,
Box 2 Young, J.W. 1918, 1920
Box 2 Unidentifiable 1916, undated
Box 2 1938
Box 2 Not sent 1911, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1941, 1956-58, 1961, 1962, undated
Of others
Box 2 1918, 1947-49
Subject file
Box 3 Accounts, documents, passports
Box 3 Kopman's work
Box 3 Kopman and family
Box 3 Drawings
Box 3 Art
Box 3 Autobiographical
Box 3 General
Box 3 Journals
Box 3 Poems
Box 3 "Ben Venoo"
Box 3 "Days in the Life of the Unholy Glatius"
Box 3 "The Posthumous Diary of Glatius, A Pound of Body For a Pound of Emotion"
Box 4 "Glatius, the Casual Journal of a Painter Poet"
Box 4 "The Murderer"
Box 4 Yiddish
Box 4 Of others - poems by W.M. Fisher
Published material
Box 4 Articles about Kopman
Box 4 Articles by Kopman
Box 4 Book - about Kopman
Box 4 Exhibition catalogues
Box 4 Newspaper clippings about Kopman
Box 4 Newspaper clippings by Kopman
Box 4 Newspaper clippings - Yiddish
Box 4 Pictures
Benjamin Kopman Collection
Correspondence - Kopman letters to G.D. Thompson
Box 5 1937, 1939-41, 1946, 1933, 1956, 1958, undated
Box 5 Scrapbook 1936-39
Box 5 Scrapbook 1938 1940-48,
Box 5 Scrapbook 1940
Subject file
Box 5 Negatives - Kopman's work
Box 5 Drawings by Kopman
Box 5 Poems by Kopman
Prose by Kopman
Box 5 "A Few Highlights in My Life"
Box 5 "Days in the Life of the Unholy Glatius"
Published material
Box 5 Exhibits - Kopman and others
Box 5 Newspaper clippings about Kopman

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