Sigmund Waterman Portrait

The subject of this portrait was the first Jew to graduate from Yale University.

Unknown Artist

Sigmund Waterman (1819-1899) was born in Bruck near Erlangen, in Bavaria, Germany. He studied in the University of Erlangen before emigrating in 1840 to America, where he settled in New Haven. While working as a merchant he met a professor who recommended him for a job as instructor in German at Yale. He became the first Jew to teach at Yale. After three years as an instructor, he enrolled in the medical department of the college, and was the first Jew to receive a degree from Yale. On graduation he established his practice in New York City, where he served as police surgeon for thirty years. He made a special study of spectroscopic analysis and in 1868 was instrumental in its introduction into medical practice. He was for fifteen years physician of the Hebrew Orphanage Asylum of New York and later a professor of urology at the Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York. He was one of the founders of the Maimonides Library. In his will he left a substantial collection of medical books to the Yale Medical School.

  • Portrait of Sigmund Waterman as a Young Man

    unknown artist
    Germany or USA, ca. 1830s-1840s
    watercolor on paper

  • Poem by Sigmund Waterman

    Sigmund Waterman
    Germany or USA, ca. 1830s-1840s
    brown ink on paper

  • Kiddush Cup

    This cup belonged to the Waterman family, and Sigmund Waterman brought it to the US from Germany

    Sigmund Waterman
    Germany: Nuremberg, 1626

  • Photograph of Sigmund Waterman

    USA: New York, New York, late 19th century
    silver gelatin print

Name: Sigmund Waterman Portrait
Artist: Unknown Artist
Origin: Germany or USA?, ca. 1840s
Medium: Work on paper
Dimensions: 3 13/16 in.x 2 13/16 in.
Credit: Gift of the estate of Rosemary E. Krensky
Catalog Number: 97.150.21