Sidney Simon

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Sidney Simon
The Four Seasons Fountain on the public plaza located at One Worldwide Plaza, New York, New York
The Four Seasons Fountain Sculpture located at One Worldwide Plaza, New York, New York
Born(1917-05-21)May 21, 1917
DiedAugust 4, 1997(1997-08-04) (aged 80)
ResidenceNew York City, New York, USA
Other namesSid Simon
EducationBachelor of fine Arts
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Years active1938-1997
EraNew York School (art)
Known forAmerican official war artist
Notable work
  • U.S. and Japan WWII peace treaty signing aboard the U.S.S. Missouri
  • The Four Seasons Fountain Sculpture
StylePainting, Sculpture
Home townPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Military career
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1942-1946
Battles/warsSouth West Pacific Theatre of World War II
  • Bronze Star

Sidney A. Simon (May 21, 1917 – August 4, 1997) was an American painter, sculptor, muralist, art school co-founder, and American official war artist.

Early life[edit]

Sidney Simon was born May 21, 1917 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His interest in art began at an early age, Simon won an art contest.[1] Simon's father was James Simon a shoe store merchant[2] who immigrated, in 1912, from an area between Siedlce and Sokołów Podlaski in Poland then Russia. Simon's mother was Minnie Lipman who immigrated  in 1913 with her family from Kalvarija, Marijampolė County, southwestern Lithuania, near Poland's border area then under Russian rule.[3] The James and Minnie Simon's marriage produced four children, Sidney A., Helen Judith, Leon Jacob, David Irving. Minnie Lipman's father's Americanized name was "Max Lipman" shortened from his European name which was Avram Michael Lipmanovitch. 1930 US census states Simon's family resided in the Squirrel Hill, an east end Pittsburgh neighborhood at 2766 Beechwood Boulevard.[4] Simon attended Taylor Allderdice High School in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1936 Taylor Allderdice High School honored Simon with a never before one-man art exhibit of the young artist works. At this time missing from the exhibit was an award-winning sculpture titled "Mother Earth" which was on tour with the National Scholastic Art Exhibit. The sculpture won Simon a 1-year scholarship to Dayton Art Institute. At this time Simon also won a John L. Porter Scholarship for two months summer study at Carnegie Institute of Technology. (now Carnegie Mellon University).


Simon attended Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At an early age, Simon's art potential was already recognized by his teachers when several of his works toured with the National Scholastic Art Exhibit. One sculpture, titled "Mother Earth", was part of nine pieces on tour gained special recognition, thus rewarding Simon a one-year scholarship to Dayton Art Institution, and a John L. Porter Scholarship which afforded Simon two months of study at Carnegie Institute of Technology. In 1936, Taylor Allderdice High School honored Simon with a one-man show when they lined their halls with his works in the only one man show given to one student up until that time.[5] After completing secondary education, Simon attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1931 to 1936, [6] while there Simon earned his bachelor in fine arts. During this time period, Simon also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, plus, Simon studied, 2 years at The Barnes Foundation of Merion, Pennsylvania.[6][7] Post World War II Simon studied and attended classes at, The Académie de la Grande Chaumière, in Paris, France.[7]

Military service[edit]

Simon enlisted U.S. Army November 11, 1942,[8] he rose to the rank of Captain,[7] and serving in the Army Corps of Engineers. Private Simon at age 25 then stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Simon's art talent became recognizedand Simon was tasked with heading and develop and a special service branch referred to as Morale Division. This experimental art and design pioneer test pilot project lead the way for other similar morale project throughout the military. Simon's Morale division was task with improving the appeal of the recreation center with murals and other appointments even down to the drapers.[9] It was while Simon was stationed at Fort Belvoir, that Simon, met and worked with fellow soldier, Willard W.Cummings,[9] whom was also part of this Morale Division art detail. Simon and Cummings would later, along with two other artist, later co-founder The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.[10] This School was conceived during these four founders war years. From March 1943 - October 1945, Captain Simon served 2 1/ 2 years as an American official war artist and was assigned to General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters.[11] Simon plus three other artists of his art unit covered major operations in New Guinea, and the Philippines, during the South West Pacific Theater of World War II operations.[9] His duties included painting and drawing and doing field reconnaissance intelligence. Simon was chosen to paint the formal surrender ceremony as witnessed September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay aboard battleship USS Missouri.[12][13][14] referred to as V-J Day, ending WWII.[15] This historical painting is reported to have hung in the White House.[13] Simon was discharged and released April 19, 1946.

Post-military career[edit]

Simon along with artist Willard W. Cummings (1915-1975), Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1971), and Charles Cutler (1914-1970), sensing the emergence of the New York School influence these four artists to follow through with their plans to ultimately developed and found, The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture located in Madison, Maine.[10] Simon created and sculptured a fountain consisting of four female holding up a stylized earth globe, titled "The Four Seasons" located, central to a public plaza at One Worldwide Plaza,[16][17]


Sidney Simon died on August 4, 1997, at the age of 80 in Truro, Massachusetts. Simon's first marriage, to Joan E Lewisohn, ended in divorce. At his death, Mr. Simon was survived by five children from this marriage; Mark Simon, Teru Simon, Rachael Simon,Nora Simon and June Simon Duenas. Mr. Simon's second marriage in 1968, was to Renee Adriance, in Manhattan, New York City. At Simon's passing, he was survived by his wife, Renee Lane Adriance Simon, and two children, Nick Simon. and Tony Simon. Tony Simon performs as Blockhead.[18]

Notable works[edit]

Professional associations.[edit]


  1. ^ "31 Mar 1967, Page 24 - The Morning Herald at". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  2. ^ "29 Jul 1955, Page 5 - The Pittsburgh Press at". Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  3. ^ "15 May 1918, 5 - The Guardian at". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  4. ^ "1930 United States Federal Census". 1930.
  5. ^ "ALLDERDICE BOY'S ARTWORKS SHOWN Paintings,' Sketches And Sculpture in Exhibit". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 10 June 1936. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  6. ^ "6 Apr 1956, Page 6 - The Journal News at". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  7. ^ a b c Klish, Renée (June 11, 2019). "Art of the American Soldier" (PDF). p. 280.
  8. ^ U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010
  9. ^ a b c Hagy, Robert, R. "7 Jul 1942, Page 19 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at". Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  10. ^ a b Ayer, Carolyn (June 4, 1967). "Skowhegan Art School Ready for 22d Season". The Boston Sunday Globe. p. 163. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "26 May 1946, Page 34 - The Philadelphia Inquirer at". Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  12. ^ a b "They Drew Fire - Combat Artists of World War II". PBS. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c "20 Jan 1955, Page 6 - The Journal News at". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  14. ^ "Images of Post World War II Japan". Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  15. ^ "2 Sep 1945, 2 - The Los Angeles Times at". Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  16. ^ New York Times 1997 Aug 8 Simon obituary
  17. ^ a b "NEW YORK | Worldwide Plaza | 778 FT / 237 M | 49 FLOORS | 1989 - SkyscraperPage Forum". Retrieved 2019-03-12.
  18. ^ Tom, Long. "6 Aug 1997, 59 - The Boston Globe at". Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  19. ^ "31 Mar 1967, Page 24 - The Morning Herald at". Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  20. ^ Dobrzynski, Judith H. (1997-08-08). "Sidney Simon, Sculptor, 80; Founded School". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  21. ^ "11 Nov 2012, T2 - The Record at". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  22. ^ "Annual Presentation of the 11th FAMILY OF MAN"AWARDS to President Gerald R. Ford" (PDF). 1975 FAMILY OF MAN AWARDS CEREMONIES. 1975-11-16. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  23. ^ "Exhibition here by Sidney Simon to open Monday". The Morning Herald. 31 Mar 1967. Retrieved 14 Jan 2019.