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Mitchell Siporin papers

 Collection — other: 1 manuscript box
Identifier: 03-MWalB00337A

Scope and Contents

Files in this collection were created from 1937 through 1976.  Materials include memos, correspondence, programs, catalogs, photographs, newspaper articles, notes, and memorial material.  Most of these items concern Mitchell Siporin's work as a member of the Brandeis faculty and his efforts to expand the Fine Arts program.  Others reflect his artistic work outside of the school.  Of note is a program from a retrospective exhibit of Siporin's artistic accomplishments throughout his career, as well as a draft of a chapter from Abram Sachar's book, A Host at Last.  The chapter addresses the arts at Brandeis and in the draft, Sachar asks for Siporin's input.


  • 1937-1976


Conditions Governing Access

Some material is restricted. Access to the collection is in accordance with the policies of the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or publish material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical / Historical

Mitchell Siporin (1910-1976) was the first permanent resident instructor of Art at Brandeis, and founded the Department of Fine Arts in 1951, soon after his hiring the same year. He began his painting career by focusing on labor issues during the Great Depression, aided by the Works Progress Administration, which funded several of his frescoes created in Chicago and St. Louis. Siporin joined the Army Art Corps during World War II, earning a Guggenheim Fellowship and Prix de Rome for his work during and after the war.

After Siporin joined the Brandeis faculty, he became the school's first professor to teach painting, drawing, and Art History. He was also the founder of the Brandeis Creative Arts Awards Commission, established in 1956 to honor American artists who had demonstrated extraordinary achievement. Siporin continued teaching until his untimely death in 1976.


1.50 Linear Feet

0.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in four series: 1. Art Exhibitions. 1942-1970; 2. Correspondence, 1951-1976; 3. University Administration and Curriculum, 1957-1976; 4. Subject Files, 1936-1976.The materials are organized alphabetically. For more information about each series, please consult the series descriptions in the box and folder listing. 1 manuscript box.

Other Descriptive Information

Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may still be available for use. Please contact us for more information.

Jeremy Naidus and K.A. Abramson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections