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Moissaye Marans Portrait

Moissaye Marans Portrait

Moissaye Marans

Kishinev, Romania 1902

New York, New York 1977

Photo Caption:
Moissaye Marans, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001954

Photo Caption:
Photographed by Pinchos Horn. Image is courtesy of the Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, 1935-1942 in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Luce Artist Quote

“An artist can never finish. The minute he is satisfied he has failed. It is the eternal dissatisfaction that drives me on, to continue, to create.” Moissaye Marans, New York Times, 1975


Born in Russia, moved to the United States, lived in New York City. He worked as a WPA artist and won several prizes for his paintings but did not become widely known.

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

Moissaye Marans grew up in Kishinev, Romania. As a child, he traveled around Europe with his father, a railroad worker, and learned several languages. He started carving in scrap pieces of slate at the age of eleven, making his own tools from the steel parts of old mechanical instruments. Following his father’s advice, he studied chemical engineering at the University of Jassy and the Technological Institute of Bucharest. He was more interested in sculpture, however, and in 1924 immigrated to America to study art. Marans created many sculptures that celebrated peace and brotherhood, including the statue Swords into Plowshares of Isaiah breaking the sword of war, which was adopted as an emblem by the Atomic Energy Commission.