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Benjamin Kopman Papers / Collection

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: May 1966

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 Although unpublished, Mr.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.

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.

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.


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.

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.



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

Table of Contents

Benjamin Kopman Papers

Benjamin Kopman Collection