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Special Home > Guide to the Rabbi Frederick Solomon Papers, 1927-1977

Guide to the Rabbi Frederick Solomon Papers, 1927-1977

Collection number: MC 170

Size: 1 box (0.33 cu.ft.)

About Frederick Solomon (1899-1980)

Dr. Frederick K. “Fritz” Solomon (née Solomonski) was born in Berlin, Germany in 1899. In 1938, when the synagogue he was serving at was torched by Nazis and he was subsequently summoned by the Gestapo, he left Germany with his wife, Margot, and emigrated to England.

While still in Europe, Solomon had studied art under the German-Jewish artists Max Liebermann, Martin Brandenburg and Eugene Spiro, and German expressionist Willy Jaeckel. In England, he continued his artistic career, exhibiting his religious and expressionistic work at various galleries throughout the country, including the Royal Academy and the Kensington Art Gallery in London, where he had a one-man show. His work is in the permanent collections of the Courtauld Institute, the Bazalel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Ben Uri Art Gallery St. John’s Wood, London (now incorporating the London Jewish Museum of Art). He was the curator of this latter gallery from 1943 to 1946.

In 1954, Solomon left England to take up a position as rabbi for Temple Beth Ha Shalom in Williamsport, PA. After three years in Pennsylvania, he sought another position and, as a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, was appointed rabbi at Temple Beth Israel in the Vedado suburb of Havana, where he wrote sermons and hosted religious services for his congregation, a part of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Solomon was also active in the Jewish Progressive movement, frequently communicating with representatives of The World Union for Progressive Judaism throughout the 1950s in an attempt to officially associate his congregation with the organization.

Dr. Solomon left Havana in 1960 and relocated to Laconia, N.H., where he served as rabbi at Temple B’nai Israel until 1963. He and his wife then moved to Rochester, N.H. in 1963, where he opened the New English Art Gallery and Studio. In his later years, Solomon served as the chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Nathaniel Hawthorne College in Antrim, New Hampshire. He died in in 1980.

About the Rabbi Frederick Solomon Papers

The collection consists of correspondence, essays, lectures, newspaper articles, and legal documents. The bulk of the material relates to Solomon’s claims for reimbursement for his exile from Germany and his work in Cuba during the Revolution. Much of the rest of the material relates to Solomon’s work as a rabbi in both Cuba and the United States, and his artistic pursuits including the publication of his work, Critique of Modern Art in 1970 by the Nathaniel Hawthorne College Press.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Rabbi Frederick Solomon Papers, 1927-1977, MC 170, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchase: Scott Petersen, March 2000 (Accession number: 2000.6)

Related Material

Rabbi Frederick Solomon Papers at the University of Miami

Collection Contents

Series I: Theological Papers, 1947-1977

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1 Correspondence, Oct 1947-Mar 1960

19 letters to Solomon, 1 from Solomon; primarily about Solomon’s time in Cuba including several visits from fellow rabbis, invitations to speaking engagements, and the work of the Rabbinical Placement Committee in finding Solomon a new congregation in 1960

Box 1, Folder 2 Correspondence, Apr 1960-Aug 1960

15 letters to Solomon; primarily about Solomon seeking a new congregation

Box 1, Folder 3 Correspondence, Oct 1960-Apr 1977 and undated

16 letters to Solomon, 1 letter from Solomon; primarily about Solomon’s rabbinical service and life in New Hampshire

Box 1, Folder 4 Miscellaneous

Lecture on Judaism and democracy, n.d.; two hand-written prayers, May 24, 1962 and undated; programs for Annual Union Thanksgiving Day Service, West Central Area Churches, Williamsport, PA, Nov 24, 1955 and Nov 22, 1956; hand-written service notes, n.d.

Series II: Papers Related to German Citizenship, 1927-1971

Box 1, Folder 5 Miscellaneous

Citizenship papers and proof of eligibility to work, Feb 7, 1927 (in German); letter from Solomon to the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Boston, MA submitting requested legal documents, Nov 15, 1965 (in German); application case number and general instructions for the Federal Insurance Institution for Employees, June 1970 (in German)

Box 1, Folder 6 Correspondence with the United Restitution Organization, Ltd., 1939-1953

Addresses claims for reimbursement

Box 1, Folder 7 Correspondence with the United Restitution Organization, Ltd., 1956-Sept 1957

Addresses claims for reimbursement

Box 1, Folder 8 Correspondence with the United Restitution Organization, Ltd., Nov 1957-Feb 1960

Addresses claims for reimbursement

Box 1, Folder 9 Correspondence with the United Restitution Organization, Ltd., Aug 1960-1962

Addresses claims for reimbursement

Box 1, Folder 10 Correspondence with the United Restitution Organization, Ltd., 1963-1970

Addresses claims for reimbursement

Box 1, Folder 11 Correspondence with the United Restitution Organization, Ltd., 1971

Addresses claims for reimbursement

Series III: Papers Related to Solomon’s Artistic Pursuits, 1945-1975

Box 1, Folder 12 Solomon’s art

Pencil sketches by Solomon (2); short biographies of Frederick Solomon (4); Exposicion Solomon: Scrap Book, Nov-Dec 1958, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba; “Exhibition of works by Erwin Weinberg, Anglo-Palestinian Club,” July 1, 1945 (address given by Solomon at the exhibition’s opening)

Box 1, Folder 13 Solomon’s publication, Critique of Modern Art

Articles: “The Art of Frederick Solomonski,” The Hippodrome, Winter 1945-1946; “’Critique of Modern Art’ by Dr. Frederick Solomon,” The Courier, Dec 3, 1970; “Fred Solomon, diskreter Rebell,” Aufbau, Feb 28, 1975

Correspondence: regarding publication of Solomon’s Critique of Modern Art, Aug 1968–Jan 1972

Box 1, Folder 14 Essays written by Solomon

On Jewish art and artists, June 6, 1953 (in German); “Gibt es eine Jüdische Malerei?” n.d. (in German); on the importance of art, n.d. (in German)