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Masood Ali-Wilbert Warren Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 4 Aug 2022

Biographical History

Masood Ali Wilbert Warren (1907-1995) was a Black American painter and sculptor known primarily for his many bronze busts of high-profile entertainers, celebrities and politicians. Born in Notasulga, Alabama, Warren attended the Art Students League in New York (1932-1935), earned his BA from New York University (1939), and a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in sculpture from Temple University (1961). He served in the United States Army as a staff artist in the Special Services and the Quartermaster Corps from 1941-1950, and in United States Air Force during the Korean War as a combat artist (1953-1955). His work has been exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the American Watercolor Society, and the National Arts Club, and several of his works are in the Richard Allen Collection at St. Luke's Church in New York City.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Masood Ali-Wilbert Warren Papers consists of artwork, correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs.

Artwork contains mainly sketches and one large painting. The sketches, completed on fragile, acidic paper, document a variety of subjects from everyday people, largely in Harlem, sleeping on subway cars or park benches; in candid poses on sidewalks, in restaurance, and on park benches; nude figural studies; and closeup and full-figural studies of animals. Warren put the date in the corner of the majority of his sketches when he finished a sketch with the dates ranging from 1958 to 1986.

Correspondence include personal and professional letters with some professional letters from Charles Rangel, Percy Sutton, Robert Kennedy, Ed Sullivan, and more.

Memorabilia contains an article clipping from Umoja and two sculpture proposals, one for the pilot Thomas McGuire and the other for the submarine SSN Thresher.

Over seventy photographs show Warren at work during his military period, his sculptures during various stages of completion, and inscribed portraits from Lena Horne, Kay Starr, and John Raitt.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranced alphabetically. Due to their fragile nature, the sketches are kept in original arrangement. Memorabilia is arranged chronologically, but photographs are not.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advance 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


Warren, Masood Ali Wilbert, 1907-1995.


African American sculptors.
Animals in art.
Figure drawing.
Nude in art.
Soldiers in art.


Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
New York (N.Y.)

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Paintings (visual works)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Masood Ali-Wilbert Warren Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2022.

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