Lot 77 of 210:
Archive of artist Aaron Sopher  

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Lot closed - unsold
$15,000 - $25,000

Extensive archive of original artwork by Aaron Sopher, with thousands of sketches, drawings and watercolors

Sopher, Aaron (American 1905–1972)

Baltimore, etc.


1930’s to 1970’s




  • Over 2,000 unsigned ink sketches and drawings, some preliminary in nature, others quite finished, approx. 4x4” to 8x10”.
  • Over 45 matted drawings and watercolors, all signed, approx. 8x10” top 16x21”.
  • Approx. 100 loose signed finished drawings and sketches.
  • Approx. 100 loose signed finished watercolors.
  • Box of several hundred letters from clients requesting works for various projects.
  • Ledger of his sales from 1944-1972, with names of purchasers, prices paid, etc.
  • Over 40 engraved copper plates.
  • Portfolio of illustrations for book "Princess Mary"

Important working archive of the prolific Baltimore cartoonist, illustrator and artist, which has remained in the family until this time. Aaron Sopher gained his fame portraying the hardship and devastation felt by the American people during the Great Depression. After attending the Maryland Institute of Fine and Applied Arts (now the Maryland Institute College of Art), Sopher worked as a freelance illustrator for the Baltimore Sun.  He moved to New York City in 1929 for two years where he regularly had his cartoons in the New Yorker and the Leftist periodical, “The New Masses”.   Returning to Baltimore, Sopher became a fixture in the local artist community, receiving numerous requests for commissions from Baltimore businesses, his drawings being used for announcement cards, corporate reports, menus and the like.  Periodicals that published his material included Harper's Magazine, the Johns Hopkins' Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. Sopher's drawings and watercolors have been featured in exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of  Modern Art, Denver Art Museum, Library of Congress, and the New York Public Library. He illustrated over seven books, had over thirty one-man exhibitions and won twenty-eight art awards. Sopher’s inspiration came in large part from studying the drawings of George Cruikshank, with many volumes illustrated by Cruikshank in his personal library, as well as by Daumier, Hogarth and Rowlandson.  He also admired the work of German Expressionists, and was a friend of George Grosz.

Due to the size and/or weight of this lot extra charges may apply.

Lot Amendments

Condition varies, as usual for such an archive, with many of the better pieces in fine condition. Sold as is.

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