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Morris Kantor Portrait

Morris Kantor Portrait

Morris Kantor

Minsk, Russia 1896

Nyack, New York 1974

Active in:

  • New York, New York

Photo Caption:
Morris Kantor, Self Portrait, 1918, oil on linen, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift of Mrs. Morris Kantor 1976.146.1.

Photo Caption:
Morris Kantor, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001756

Luce Artist Quote

"From the start I painted with a great freedom, working without hesitation or fear and entirely free from all influence of the masters, old and new." The artist, quoted in an essay from 1940


Born in Russia, brought to the United States in 1906, lived in New York City. Painter who explored futurism, Cubism, and other styles as alternatives to the realism that characterizes his best-known work.

Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Russian-born Morris Kantor learned to support himself at a very young age when he came to the United States, in 1906. By the time he was twenty, he had saved enough money working in the garment district to enroll at the Independent School of Art in New York. Kantor went on to become a prominent artist and teacher in New York City, where he taught at the Art Students League for thirty years. He continued to travel and study, and in 1928 married fellow artist Martha Ryther, a recognized master of the difficult medium of painting on glass. A prolific artist, Kantor produced a diverse body of work. He explored many different styles, ranging from abstraction to realism, as seen in Synthetic Arrangement (1922) and Baseball at Night (1934), both in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.