Biography: Willy Pogany

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Birth/Death

Birth: August 24, 1882
Death: July 30, 1955

Occupation/Title

Illustrator born in Hungary. Prolific illustrator of children’s and adult books.

Bio Summary

As quoted from www.answers.com, “Pogány, Willy (1882–1955), Hungarian?born artist; distinguished painter, illustrator, muralist, architect, stage designer, film art director, sculptor; naturalized US citizen, 1921. Pogány illustrated more than 100 books and was noted for his stylistic variety. While living in London, he produced—designed and executed—what have been regarded as masterpieces: Coleridge’s, Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1910) and the Wagnerian trilogy: Tannhäuser (1911), Parsifal (1912), and Lohengrin (1913). He also did singular illustrations of traditional fairy tales such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Cinderella’, and provided the artwork for W. Jenkyn Thomas’s The Welsh Fairy Book (1907) and Nandor Pogány’s Magyar Fairy Tales from Old Hungarian Legends (1930).” — Sharon Scapple

Early Life/Family

“From The Junior Book of Authors, edited by Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1934).’

Autobiographical sketch of Willy Pogany:

‘I was born many years ago in a town called Szeged, in Hungary, where I spent my early childhood with my brothers and sisters in a big farmhouse with a huge big backyard full of chickens, ducks, geese, dogs, pigs, and horses. The cows were taken away every morning very early to the pastures and driven home in the late afternoon for milking after which they were put to bed in the stables. When I was only six years old my parents took us children to the big city called Budapest, where we settled down and went to school. I studied very hard, because we were ever so poor and I wanted to become an engineer and to look after my mother, because meanwhile my father had died. I went to school for many years and was a good scholar, but I liked best to play soccer and football and row on the River Danube. Also I drew pictures and painted all my spare time. So instead of becoming an engineer when I grew up I tried to be an artist. I went to Paris in France where I studied and painted, but nobody wanted to buy my pictures so I was still awfully poor and went without food lots of times. Later when I had more luck and received some money for my works I left Paris and went over to London, England, where I became quite well known as an artist and illustrator of books. I married in London an English girl and my oldest son, John, was born in London. After ten years spent in England we came over to America, where we settled down in New York. Another son was born here, whom we called Peter. I worked very hard in America, and have done, besides illustrating books, all sorts of pictures, mural paintings, portraits, etchings, sculpture, and built hotels and swimming pools. I also became very interested in the theatre and designed lots of stage settings and costumes for different shows and the Metropolitan Opera House. Later I came to Hollywood where I am designing the sets for movies, which I find very interesting indeed. I also married again in Hollywood and I am living here in a beautiful garden, full of sunshine and flowers. I am always working hard, because it is great fun and hard work to be an artist.’ ”

Education/Training

For one year he went to school at the Budapest Technical School/University of Budapest before going to Munich, Germany and Paris, France for further studies.

Career Outline

Kunos, I. Turkish Fairy Tales Burt 1901
Farrow, G. E. The Adventures of a Dodo Unwin 1907
Thomas, W. J. The Welsh Fairy Book Unwin 1907
Ward, M. A. Milly and Olly Unwin 1907
Edgar, M. G. A Treasury of Verse for Little Children Harrap 1908
Goethe, J. W. von Faust Hutchinson 1908
Dasent, G. W. Norse Wonder Tales Collins 1909
Hawthorne, N. Tanglewood Tales Unwin 1909
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Harrap 1909
Coleridge, S. T. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Harrap 1910
Gask, L. Folk Tales from Many Lands Harrap 1910
Young, G. The Witch’s Kitchen Harrap 1910
Wagner, R. Tannhauser Harrap 1911
Gask, L. The Fairies and the Christmas Child Harrap 1912
Wagner, H. Parsifal Harrap 1912
Heine, H. Alta Troll Sidgwick 1913
Kunos, I. Forty-Four Turkish Fairy Tales Harrap 1913
Pogany, W. The Hungarian Fairy Book Unwin 1913
Wagner, R. The Tale of Lohengrin Harrap 1913
Pogany, W. Children Harrap 1914
A Series of Books for Children Harrap 1915
More Tales from the Arabian Nights Holt 1915
Swift, J. Gulliver’s Travels Macmillan 1917
Bryant, S. C. Stories to Tell the Little Ones Harrap 1918
Colum, P. Adventures of Odysseus Macmillan 1918
Olcutt, F. J. Tales of the Persian Genii Harrap 1919
Skinner, E. L. Children’s Plays Appleton 1919
Colum, P. The King of Ireland’s Son Harrap 1920
The Red Riddinghood – A Panorama Book Holt 1920
The Children of Odin Harrap 1922
The Adventures of Haroun El Raschid Holt 1923
Newman, I. Fairy Flowers Milford 1926
Flanders, H. H. Looking Out of Jimmie Dent 1928
Carroll, L. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Dutton 1929
Pogany, W. Mother Goose Nelson 1929
Anthony, J. Casanova Jones Century 1930
Pogany, W. Magyar Fairy Tales Dutton 1930
Burton, R. F. The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-Yezdi McKay 1931
Huffard, G. T. My Poetry Book Winston 1934
Pushkin, A. The Golden Cockerel Nelson 1938

He has illustrated more than 150 volumes.
Including:
The Adventures of Odysseus
The Tale of Troy
The Children of Odin
The Golden Fleece
The King of Ireland’s Son
Gulliver’s Travels
Bible Stories to Read and Tell
Little Tailor of the Winding Way
Tisza Tales
The Treasure of Verse for Little Children
Magyar Fairy Tales
Drawing Lessons
The Art of Drawing
Story of Hiawatha (c.1914)

Comments On Style

Pogany had the ability to illustrate using a variety of styles with each style being different from the last. After spending two years in France and ten years in England, Pogany was able to establish himself as an illustrator by the time he arrived in the United States in 1915. Books such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Lohengrin are examples of how he used calligraphy and combined graphite, ink, and tipped-in color plates. The Ancient Mariner showed how Pogany used a minimum of two colors per page with the addition of a decorative border. A book such as Rime used soft ivory paper with colored borders to help influence the observer or reader.

Influences

Personality

Anecdotes

Pogany illustrated “Story of Hiawatha” while the artist was getting ready to immigrate to the United States as he was leaving England. As noted by Sharon Scapple, “Story of Hiawatha” (c. 1914) was an exceptionally panoramically designed text. This statement, other than viewing his actual work, gives credit to his ability and talent as an illustrator and artist.

Miscellaneous

A. Books [ca. 1930-1945]
Drawing Lessons (1946)
Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám [ca. 1930-1945]
B. Illustrations [ca. 1916-1955]
……………………………..

Kunos, I. Turkish Fairy Tales Burt 1901
G. E. The Adventures of a Dodo Unwin 1907
Thomas, W. J. The Welsh Fairy Book Unwin 1907
Ward, M. A. Milly and Olly Unwin 1907
Edgar, M. G. A Treasury of Verse for Little Children Harrap 1908
Goethe, J. W. von Faust Hutchinson 1908
Dasent, G. W. Norse Wonder Tales Collins 1909
Hawthorne, N. Tanglewood Tales Unwin 1909
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Harrap 1909
Coleridge, S. T. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Harrap 1910
Gask, L. Folk Tales from Many Lands Harrap 1910
Young, G. The Witch’s Kitchen Harrap 1910
Wagner, R. Tannhauser Harrap 1911
Gask, L. The Fairies and the Christmas Child Harrap 1912
Wagner, H. Parsifal Harrap 1912
Heine, H. Alta Troll Sidgwick 1913
Kunos, I. Forty-Four Turkish Fairy Tales Harrap 1913
Pogany, W. The Hungarian Fairy Book Unwin 1913
Wagner, R. The Tale of Lohengrin Harrap 1913
Pogany, W. Children Harrap 1914
A Series of Books for Children Harrap 1915
More Tales from the Arabian Nights Holt 1915
Swift, J. Gulliver’s Travels Macmillan 1917
Bryant, S. C. Stories to Tell the Little Ones Harrap 1918
Colum, P. Adventures of Odysseus Macmillan 1918
Olcutt, F. J. Tales of the Persian Genii Harrap 1919
Skinner, E. L. Children’s Plays Appleton 1919
Colum, P. The King of Ireland’s Son Harrap 1920
The Red Riddinghood – A Panorama Book Holt 1920
The Children of Odin Harrap 1922
The Adventures of Haroun El Raschid Holt 1923
Newman, I. Fairy Flowers Milford 1926
Flanders, H. H. Looking Out of Jimmie Dent 1928
Carroll, L. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Dutton 1929
Pogany, W. Mother Goose Nelson 1929
Anthony, J. Casanova Jones Century 1930
Pogany, W. Magyar Fairy Tales Dutton 1930
Burton, R. F. The Kasidah of Haji Abdu El-Yezdi McKay 1931
Huffard, G. T. My Poetry Book Winston 1934
Pushkin, A. The Golden Cockerel Nelson 1938

Filmography

Art Director:

Palmy Days (1931)
The Mummy (1932) (uncredited)
… aka Cagliostro
… aka Im-Ho-Tep
… aka King of the Dead
Fashions of 1934 (1934)
… aka Fashions (USA: TV title)
Wonder Bar (1934)
Dames (1934)
Make a Wish (1937)

Art Department:

The Devil Dancer (1927) (set designer)
The Unholy Garden (1931) (sets)
Tonight or Never (1931) (settings)

Honors

Willy Pogany has received a silver medal from the New York Society of Architects and also won gold medals Budapest, Leipzig, and the Panama Pacific International Exposition.

Related Links

http://www.bpib.com/illustrat/pogany1a.htm
http://www.nocloo.com/home/checklist/pogany-willy-illustrated-books-checklist.html
http://www.theweeweb.co.uk/public/author_profile.php?id=136
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Willy-Pogany
http://www.timeout.com/film/people/298660/willy-pogany.html
www.bpib.com /illustrat/pogany2.htm
http://www.factbites.com/topics/Willy-Pogany
http://www.answers.com/topic/willy-pogany
www.wikipedia.com
www.linesandcolors.com/2007/07/

Bibliographic References

BIO-AAA-510

Contributors To This Listing

Deniseletter
Jennifer P.

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