Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing

Subject Tracings


A Finding Aid to the

Moses Jacob Ezekiel Collection

Manuscript Collection No. 44

1864-1974 0.8 Linear ft.


The MOSES JACOB EZEKIEL COLLECTION was presented to the American Jewish Archives through various sources. The original Ezekiel correspondence was donated by Ezekiel's sister, Esther Samuels (Mrs. Seymour Samuels) of Cincinnati in 1951 and 1954, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion Library in Cincinnati in 1953 and by Hannah Billingheimer Bowman of Cincinnati in 1962.

The correspondence of Ezekiel scholars and photographs of Ezekiel's works were donated by Joseph Gutmann of Detroit, Michigan in 1962 and Stanley F. Chyet of Cincinnati in 1976. The photocopies of Ezekiel's correspondence were also included among the Gutmann and Chyet donations. The original copies of the majority of these letters are located at the Library of Congress or the Virginia Military Institute.

Property rights are assigned to the American Jewish Archives. Literary rights to the materials authored by Moses Ezekiel are held by the Ezekiel heirs. Literary rights to material authored by others are held by the individuals or his/her heirs. Questions about literary or copyrights should be addressed to the Director of the Archives.

The MOSES JACOB EZEKIEL COLLECTION is open to all users. The Collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.


Moses Jacob Ezekiel was born in Richmond, Virginia on October 28, 1844. He was the sixth child of Jacob and Catherine de Castro Ezekiel. In 1861 Moses Ezekiel entered the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and during the civil war he fought in the VMI Cadet battalion. In 1861, after studying anatomy at the Medical College of Virginia for one year, Ezekiel came to Cincinnati to study art. In 1869 he entered the Royal Academy of Art in Berlin, Germany. On the merits of his bust of Washington, he was admitted into the Berlin Society of artists. In 1873 Ezekiel became the first non-German to win the Michael Beer prize.

Throughout his life, Ezekiel was a prolific sculptor and, fortunately, many of his works have been preserved. In 1874 the B'nai B'rith commissioned him to execute a marble group for presentation at the U.S. Centennial in 1876 (this marble group, "Religious Liberty," is now located on the grounds of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.). In 1912 Ezekiel's Confederate memorial monument, "New Southern," was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery. Included among his other works are statues and busts of Franz Liszt, Cardinal Gustav Adolf Hohenlohe, Eve, Homer, David, Jesus Christ, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Isaac Mayer Wise and Edgar Allen Poe.

During his lifetime, Ezekiel was widely acclaimed and honored for his sculptures. He received knighthood from both Germany and Italy. He was awarded the Crosses of Merit and Art from the Emperor of Germany. The Italian rank of "chavalier" was bestowed upon him by King Victor Emanuel and the title of "Officer of the Crown of Italy" by King Humbert. He received the Raphael Medal of Urbino, a silver medal from the St. Louis World Exposition, several medals from the Royal Art Association of Palermo as well as numerous other honorary medals and membership in art institutes and societies across the world.

During World War I Ezekiel participated in the formation of the American-Italian Red Cross Relief Committee.

In 1917 Moses Jacob Ezekiel died in Rome, Italy. Due to the war and its political aftermath, his body was not returned to the United States until 1921. Ezekiel's grave is in Arlington Cemetery, near the site of his memorial sculpture "New Southern".


The Moses Jacob Ezekiel Collection (1867-1974) documents the life and career of this Jewish sculptor. The collection includes original and photocopies of Ezekiel's correspondence and writings, photographs of many of his works, biographies, genealogies, memorial tributes, correspondence of Ezekiel's biographers, articles and newsclippings concerning Ezekiel and miscellaneous items. The collection is divided into two records groups: I. EZEKIEL PAPERS and II. EZEKIEL COLLECTION.

Record Group I, EZEKIEL PAPERS, 1866-1921, contains original and photocopies of Ezekiel's personal papers. The Record Group consists of two folders containing his correspondence, 1866-1917, chronologically arranged; one folder containing a series of articles he wrote for The Jewish Record concerning Roman Jews, 1875-1876; a folder containing material generated upon his death in 1917 and his burial in the United States in 1921, which includes his will, memorial tributes to him, obituaries and funeral book; and one folder containing miscellaneous material , 1864-1917, which includes the announcement of Ezekiel's parent's 50th wedding anniversary and an 1883 check signed by Ezekiel.

Record Group II, EZEKIEL COLLECTION contains material which was gathered by Ezekiel scholars: Zebulon Vance Hooker II, a grand-nephew of Ezekiel, and Stanley F. Chyet and Joseph Gutmann, the editors of Moses Jacob Ezekiel: Memoirs from the Baths of Diocletian (1875). During his lifetime, Ezekiel wrote several autobiographical pieces--he kept diaries, began an autobiography from these diaries and recorded his memoirs as a sculptor in Italy. The attempts to find, as well as publish, these manuscripts are traced in the three folders of correspondence in this Record Group. Impressions from those who personally knew the sculptor and some biographical information are also found in this correspondence.

Record Group II also contains one folder of newsclippings; a folder of biographical articles; one folder of Ezekiel family genealogies; a folder of photographs of Ezekiel, his studio and his grave at Arlington Cemetery; and four folders of photographs of his works, the majority of which depict his sculptures. The first three folders of these photographs note the name of the Ezekiel sculptures pictured. Most of these have been dated and they are chronologically arranged by the date of their completion or dedication. The fourth folder contains photographs for which the names have not been ascertained. Appendix A of this Inventory details the contents of the first three folders of these photographs.


Box  Folder    Contents


1    1         Correspondence, 1866-1899.
     2         Correspondence, 1901-1921; n.d.
     3         Ezekiel, Moses. "The Ghetto and the Jews in Rome,"
                    Series in The Jewish Record, 1875-1876.
     4         Memorial tributes, funeral book, obituaries, 1917-1921.
     5         Miscellaneous, 1864-1917.


     6         Correspondence, 1949-1956 (Zebulon Vance Hooker II).
     7         Correspondence, 1970-1971 (Joseph Gutmann and
                    Stanley F. Chyet).
     8         Correspondence, 1972-1974 (Joseph Gutmann and
                    Stanley F. Chyet).
     9         Biographical Articles.
     10        Ezekiel Family Genealogies.

2    1         Lists of Ezekiel's Works.
     2         Newsclippings, 1965-1974.
     3         Photographs of Ezekiel, his studio and his grave, 1870-1921.
     4*        Photographs of Ezekiel's works, 1868-1884.
     5*        Photographs of Ezekiel's works, 1995-1915.
     6*        Photographs of Ezekiel's works, [Not dated].
     7         Photographs of Ezekiel's works, [Not titled}.
327  1*        Photographs of Ezekiel's work 1879-1894
     2*        Photographs of Ezekiel's work [not dated]
     3*        Photographs of Ezekiel's work [not dated]
     4         Photographs of Ezekiel's work [not titled]
     5         Photographs of Ezekiel and his studio [not dated]

* Appendix A lists the contents of these folders.

Note: This list represents the significant subjects and correspondents contained in Record Group I of the MOSES JACOB EZEKIEL COLLECTION. References are to boxes and folders, i.e. « means Box 1, Folder 2. The specific date of the letter is noted in the parentheses following the box and folder reference.

Civil War 1/1 (May 10, 1866)

Ezekiel, Jacob, death 1/1 (May 18, 1899)
Ezekiel, Moses Jacob, death 1/2 (April 4, 1917)

Fisher, Dorothy Canfield 1/2 (n.d.--two letters)

Hohenlohe, Gustav Adolf 1/1 (September 12, 1889--photocopy)
Harding, Warren G. 1/4 (March 30, 1921--photocopy)

Straus, Oscar S. 1/1, 2 (May 4, 1894, October 23, 1901)

White, Andrew D. 1/2 (October 30, 1901)

This list details the contents of Box 2, Folders 4-6, which contain photographs of Ezekiel's sculptures for which a title has been provided. The photographs are arranged chronologically by date that the sculpture was completed and/or dedicated.

Box 2, Folder 4

1868 "Industry" (3)
1869 "Virginia Mourning Her Dead"
1872 Sister Sally
1873 "Israel"
1874 Ezekiel's parents
1876 "Religious Liberty" (4) commissioned by B'nai B'rith in order to
          commemorate the U.S. Centennial
1877 "Faith"
1879 "Francis Howard Baldwin"
     "Raphael" (2)
     "Phidias" (2)
1879 and 1880 "Raphael" and "Michelangelo"
1880 "Michelangelo" (2)
     "Judith" (2)
     "Duerer" (2)
     "Miss Nannie Whitmell Turnstall" (2)
1881 "Homer and Guide" (2)
     "Franz Liszt" (2)
     "Franz Liszt" [clay model]
1881-1883 "Reubens" (3)
          "Rembrandt" (2)
          "Da Vinci" (2)
          "Titian" (2)
          "Murillo" (2)
          "Canova" (2)
1884 "Neptune"
     "William Corcoran" [ca. 1884]
     Statues on Renwick Gallery (originally the Corcoran Gallery of Art),
          Washington, D.C. [ca. 1884]

Box 2, Folder 5

1886 "Ecce Homo"
1887 "Cardinal Hohenlohe"
1888 "Mrs. Andrew D. White"
     "Mrs. Porter" [ca. 1888]
1889 "Mrs. Andrew D. White (Recumbent Statue)"
     "Thomas Jefferson" [bust]
     "Thomas Jefferson" [statue] [ca. 1889]
1890 "Bellamy Storer" [ca. 1890]
1891 "Shelley" (ca. 1891)
1892 Statue on face of Columbus Memorial Building, Chicago, Illinois
     "Equestrian Statue" and "Longfellow" [1892?]
1893 "David"
1894 "Jesse Seligman Memorial"
     "Refus King Fund"
1895 "Head of a Little Girl"
     "Lord Sherbrooke"
1897 "James E. Murdoch"
1898 "Virginia Virgo"
1903 "Allen Bennett" (11)
1904 "Eve Hearing the Voice"
     "Anthony J. Drexel"
1906 "Goldwin Smith"
1907 "Professor Alfonso Sella [ca. 1907]
1908 "Mrs. Jennie McGraw Fiske (Recumbent Statue)"
1909 "Stonewall Jackson" (2)
     Memorial window in Philadelphia's Keneseth Israel Congregation
1910 "Southern"
1912 "New Southern" Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery (6)
1913 "John W. Daniel" [ca. 1913]
1915 "Edgar Allen Poe" (2)

Box 2, Folder 6

Not dated "Abraham Lincoln" (2)
          "Head of Christ with crown of Thorns"
          "Admiral David Glasgow-Farragut"
          "Portrait Medallion"
          "Mrs. Edith Lach"
          "Captain de Bosis"
          "Winged Victory"
          "Bas Relief Portrait"

Box X-327, Folder 1

1879 "Rafael"
1880 "Judith" (2)
1881 "Homer and Guide" (2)
1881-1883 "Rembrandt"
          "Reubens" (3)
          "Da Vinci" (2)
1884 "Neptune"
     "William Corcoran"
1889 "Mrs. Andrew D. White [Recumbent Statue] (3)
     "Thomas Jefferson [Bust] (2)
     "Thomas Jefferson [Statue] [ca. 1889] (2)
     "Justice", "Equality", "Brotherhood of Humanity", and "Liberty" (2),
          (from Thomas Jefferson Statue)
1890 "Bellamy Storer"
1894 "Jesse Seligman Memorial"

Box X-327, Folder 2

Not dated "Lord Sherbrooke" (2)
          "Thomas Jefferson" [First Sketch]
          "Robert E. Lee"
          "Jessica" (2)
          "Miss Becker"
          "Mr. Corcoran"
          "A Sprite"
          "Victor Emanuel"
          "Martyr" (4)
          "Miss Anne Thomson"
          "Virgin" and "Martyr"

Box X-327, Folder 3

Not dated "Fedor Encke"
          "Cassandra" ("Miss Richardson of New Orleans")
          "Mrs. Edith Lack" (3)
          "Miss Bullock of Mobile"
          "Christ in the Tomb" (2)
          "H.P. Federson"
          "Alen McDonald"
          "Miss Beiker"
          "Mrs. McKibbon" (3)
          "Dulan V. Hessenbrick" (?)
          "Mrs. Algidi" (?)