An exhibition of Willy Pogány’s art might at first appear to be the work of an artists’ collaborative, for the prolific Hungarian-born American artist worked masterfully in several different media and styles to capture precisely the spirit of each assignment. Having illustrated 100 books, countless magazine articles and ads, and even a fantasy guesthouse on the William Randolph Hearst estate, his artistry simply could not be contained!
During the McCarthy era, Pogány was falsely named the brother of Hungary’s communist leader. Bringing suit saved his career though he did not prevail; the judge ruled the misnomer an unmalicious error.
Above from Tisza Tales, Hungarian Folktales collected by Rosika Schwimmer. Below, L-R, title page from Wagner’s Parsifal; image from The Rubiayat of Omar Kayyam; Saturday Evening Post cover, 1933.
Note for us purists: In America, Willy’s name is pronounced “Po-GAN-y, however, “…in my native Hungary this name is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable with a slightly shorter o and the gany is as the French -gagne (the y is silent)”: PO-gahn.”