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Ernst Van Leyden Papers

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 18 Nov 2010

Biographical History

Ernst Van Leyden (1892-1969) was a European painter and sculptor known for his murals and frescoes, particularly his use of light, and for his work in mixed-media sculpture.

Born in Holland, he studied there and in London and Berlin, and worked in various countries around Europe including Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, England, Egypt and the Middle East. He emigrated to the United States in the early years of World War II and spent ten years in California. In 1948 he created his first abstract work (prior to this his work had been more expressionist). His circle of friends included Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Willem de Kooning. He died in Paris in 1969.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ernst Van Leyden Papers includes artwork, correspondence, printed material, and writings.

Artwork contains one item: a double-sided page with sketches by Salvador Dali.

Correspondence contains a majority of incoming mail with some outgoing.

Printed material contains clippings about Van Leyden and his wife, Karin.

Writings contains material by or about Van Leyden, including lectures.

Arrangement of the Collection

Artwork is a single item. Correspondence is arranged chronologically, with undated material at the end. Printed material is in no particular order. Writings by Leyden are arranged chronologically with undated material at the end. Writings by others are arranged alphabetically with unidentified material at the end.


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


Dalí, Salvador, 1904-1989.
Van Leyden, Ernst, 1892-1969.
Van Leyden, Karin, 1906-1977.


Muralists -- United States.
Painters -- United States.
Sculptors -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ernst Van Leyden Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ernst Van Leyden, 1964.

Table of Contents



Printed material