Soldier, Teacher, Scholar
Moses served as a private in the United States Army from 1952 to 1954. He distinguished himself during a leadership course and received a “Best Soldier” award. He also made good use of his language skills, serving as an interpreter in France, where he was photographed in uniform in Paris’ Tuileries Gardens in 1953. His experiences abroad seem to have stoked his enthusiasm for European art and culture, for, following his discharge from the army and brief teaching stints at the Barnes Foundation and Lincoln University in Philadelphia, he accepted a position as an instructor at the Overseas School of Rome in 1957. He remained there for two years, taking advantage of the city’s museums and libraries to deepen his knowledge of its art. Ever open to new experiences, he also played a small role in Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s 1959 production of Ben-Hur, which was being filmed in Italy at the time.
Moses returned to the United States in 1959 to begin a graduate degree in the fine arts at Harvard University, with a specialization in the study of late nineteenth-century French prints. His admittance to the program was supported by an enthusiastic letter of recommendation written by Violette de Mazia, Director of Education in the Art Department at the Barnes Foundation. Following the completion of his MA the following year, Moses took a position as a teaching fellow at Harvard while beginning his work towards a doctorate.