The Moissey Kogan Archive


The loss of Moissey Kogan’s documentary estate

Following Moissey Kogan‘s death at Auschwitz in February 1943, his studio and documentary estate was managed by his partner, Maryla Emmanuella Friedman, initially at Cité Falguière, Paris, his atelier and their home together since December 1926, and subsequently elsewhere in Paris.

Maryla endeavoured, with some success, to place some of the works by Kogan remaining in her possession in the collections of museums internationally. However, in 1955, she died at an early age, and the contents of Kogan‘s studio were acquired by the Galerie Zak, Paris, which sold many of the surviving sculptures, prints and drawings, or gifted them to museums in France and elsewhere.

Title page of Galerie Zak's exhibition of Moissey Kogan's work 1955
Title page of exhibition catalogue, Moïse Kogan, 1879-1942. Sculptures – dessins – cravures (sic),  Galerie Zak, Paris, Nov/Dec 1955 (NB death date given is incorrect)

Somewhere along the line, it is believed that Kogan‘s documentary estate was destroyed, although we continue to hope that parts of it may surface one day. Whereas the estates of other artists are often retained by their heirs or lodged with a museum or archive, and are thus readily available to art historical researchers, museums and other interested parties, nothing of the kind exists for Moissey Kogan. This represents a major loss to art history, including, specifically, Jewish art history, that the Moissey Kogan Catalogue Raisonné Project hopes in some part to remedy by building an archive for Moissey Kogan.

Building an archive for Moissey Kogan

Since 1994, our director, Helen Shiner, has been amassing material of all kind in relation to Kogan. This includes correspondence to and from Kogan and his patrons, clients, friends, and galleries, museums and exhibiting fora internationally, as well as art journal and newspaper articles of various kinds, exhibition reviews, and photographic material, and much else that documents his life, oeuvre, career, persecution and death.

Helen is enormously grateful to everyone who has generously assisted her with the identification of, and access to, this rich and valuable collection.  We are equally very much obliged to all those who have submitted copies of documentation in their possession, or who have alerted us to material which might otherwise not be known to us, since Helen founded the Moissey Kogan Catalogue Raisonné Project in 2018 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Kogan’s death.

All of this material goes to support the research undertaken in the preparation of the Moissey Kogan Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture & Prints and a monograph on Kogan’s life and career, as well as other related projects.

Ultimately, however, we would like to fully digitise the Moissey Kogan Archive and make it available online, once the necessary permissions have been sought from respective owners.

Submitting material to the Moissey Kogan Archive

If you are in possession of any material in relation to Moissey Kogan, or know of its whereabouts, we would be extremely grateful if you would share it with us. Your contribution will help us to ensure that Moissey Kogan is properly honoured and remembered as the major avant-garde artist he was, and to bear witness to him as a persecuted victim of the Holocaust. It will help us to protect his legacy and, above all, assist us in our work to research his life and career, and to increase knowledge of, and appreciation for, his oeuvre in all media for posterity.

In the first instance, we would ask you to contact us. All communication is always treated in the strictest confidence, unless you give permission otherwise. We will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.