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Maurice Sochachewsky - Emails - Page 1

Mining Art

George Barnard - Maurice Sochachewsky
Dave Skye (Sochachewsky) - I am the son of Maurice Sochachewsky
Ken Clark - Reference Mr Skye's request for a photo of his father's painting of miner and child - I have one
Alex Welch - I am searching for a sketch of coal miners to give my friend as a gift.

George Barnard
20 May 2015
Maurice Sochachewsky

Your website includes an exchange from a few years ago with a query from a man named David Skye, who was looking for a copy of a picture of a Miner And His Child, by Mr. Skye's father, Maurice Sochachewsky.

I have recently learned that my family name was originally Sochachevsky. One of my great-great grandfathers, Baruch Sochachevsky, moved from Poland to England in the 1850s, changed his name to Barnard, and moved on to America in the 1860s. I wonder if some members of the family did not change their names and stayed in England.

Maurice Sochachewsky was roughly contemporary with my father (1918-1969 vs 1911-1977), and any common relative would have been two, three, or four generations before that. All of the Sochachwesky/Barnards of whom I have any knowledge lived in the East End of London in the 1850s and 1860s before coming to America, and Maurice Sochachewsky's paintings of miners and of English landscapes represent something very different. I first became aware of him when, on a recent visit to London, I saw one of his paintings, depicting a performance in the Yiddish theatre, in the Jewish Museum of London.

Perhaps you could help me contact Mr. Skye so that I can see if we might be related.

Dave Skye (Sochachewsky)
15 March 2012
I am the son of Maurice Sochachewsky

Dear Fionn,
I am the son of Maurice Sochachewsky (I changed the name to 'Skye' in 1973, as my father had been using that locally in our small village - where everyone called you Mr (or Mrs) err-um!

Whilst scanning the internet on mining I came across reference to a painting "Miner and Child" painted by my father in 1938ish. It is owned by Grant Waters. I would like to contact him to ask if he has a good photograph of the painting. Perhaps you could contact him on my behalf, or give me his email address (I don't know the protocol for these sort of interactions!)

Maurice Sochachewsky
We met two young girls who watched my father paint this picture - They remembered the incident clearly

Dad died in 1969 and my mother eventually married again, but rapidly declined with Alzheimers (I'm fairly sure that it was due to shock) and eventually was defeated by cancer (a lifelong smoker).

Anyway, before his death he gave me a large box of "stuff". It contained photos and many, many letters from my father to his parents during his stay in
Tal-y-Wain. I have not yet had a chance to go through them as it is like standing at the bottom of Mount Everest and saying "here we go"!!

So I am trying to find copies of his pictures from that period. Grant Water's picture of the 'Mine and Child' is one I would particularly like. We actually met the baby in the picture when we visited Tal-y-Wain with my uncle a few years ago. He is still in the village, but obviously quite elderly.

In another painting, which my uncle has, of a miner sewing, there were two young girls watching my father paint the picture - and we met them too. They remember the incident clearly.
I look forward to hearing from you,

Many thanks,
Dave Skye

Ken Clark
28 Jan 2014
Reference Mr Skyes request for a photo of his fathers painting of miner and child - I have one

I came across your site when googling something else. Interesting indeed. Reference Mr Skye’s request for a photo of his father’s painting of miner and child - I have one.

The man and child are my father and the child my brother Terry - both now deceased.

If this request is still current then please contact me on my e-mail address.


Ken Clark

Attached are  copies of Sochachewsky paintings from a newspaper cutting from 1937 (not good quality) and another colour one of my father, Ivor Clark and brother Terry - both now deceased. This was painted in December 1937 a few days before my father was killed in a roof fall at Red Ash Colliery, Varteg in his first week of employment for three years, leaving a widow and four sons under the age of seven years.

The newspaper cutting shows the picture David Skye was looking for. I have seen a much better one somewhere and will look for it. This one is entitled 'The Light of Youth', and the boy in the painting is Jack Johnson, from Woodlands, Talywain. Jack told me that he posed with the lamp and clothing in the doorway of the shed and Sochachewsky painted around it at his leisure. Jack died in 2012. The third picture is entitled 'Their Burden' of a married couple bring home coal gleaned from the spoil tips. They are Mr and Mrs James, which is all I know about them.

Sochachewsky described them in a London gallery showing them as from Cwmglo (valley of coal in Welsh) a made up place. They were actually from Talywain, a mining village in the Eastern Valley of Monmouthshire.

2 Feb 2014
Dear Fionn (and Ken)
Thank you for the information (and Ken for the email), but I have some interesting news!

I received two photos of "Miner and Child" - but the paintings were different"! It would seem that my Father painted at least two - and there is evidence of a third painting of "Father and Child". At the moment my computer with these photos is away being repaired, but when I get it back I will send you copies and you can clearly see that they are different pictures. I believe that there might be a third copy in the USA.

I wonder how long it took Dad to knock up a copy!! It was an extremely emotive subject, so I can understand the request for copies.
I'll be in touch,
Best Wishes
Dave Skye

Alex Welch
7 December 2006
Maurice Sochachewsky

Just wondering if you had any art or information about an artist called Maurice Sochachewsky, he visited Talywain in the 30's and painted many miners. One in particular is called 'Miner and Child’; the man in the painting was called Ivor Clark who died 3 days after the painting was finished, in a mining accident.

If you have any other information (or even if you have heard of him!) or this artist I would be most interested, a long shot really, but I am struggling to find out anything else about him.

Thanks (in advance!)
Alex Welch

From: Tony -
Sent: 11 June 2011

Alex Welch's query is several years old, but the Miner and Child painting and several other Welsh miner paintings were featured in Weekly Illustrated (14 May 2011 p13). I can send a photo if it's still wanted.

Best wishes

From: Bruce Laird
Sent: 2 Feb 2010

In December 2006 Alex Welch asked on your website about this artist who, he said, had painted miners in Wales.

All I know is that he illustrated two books by a journalist and writer Theo Lang. The first was called "Cross Country” and it was on my parents bookshelf. I read it about sixty years ago. It has always remained in my memory and with difficulty I have borrowed it from the public library system.

The book describes a journey mainly on foot from Lands End to John O'Groats but there is a lengthy diversion into Wales and there are drawing of miners.

The second book is called “Highroad from Paris” and I have not yet seen it, but I intend to try and get hold of a copy. The drawings in “Coast to Coast” are intriguing.

Both books were published just after the Second World War.
Bruce Laird

From: Grant Waters
Sent: 06 December 2007

Alex Welch was asking about an artist Maurice Sochachewsky, who painted South Wales miners in the 1940s. I have information about him and indeed I own a large painting 'Miner and Child' by Sochachewsky.

I don't have access to Alex's email address to send him the info he was seeking. Can you help? You are welcome to send my address to him.

Many thanks.

Grant Waters

From: Eileen Hauptman
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009

I am wondering if you can help? I have just been introduced to your website and have seen the following.
An email from Grant Waters dated 6 December 2007 in response to an email of the 7 December 2006 from Alex Walsh regarding the above artist? Would you or anyone have more information about this artist's life and works. If the aforementioned are willing to share information I would be most grateful.  Please feel free to give them my email address.
I am most interested.
Thank you so much
Eileen Hauptman


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