Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr
3809 Laguna Ave
Palo Alto,
CA 94306-2629


Willy Pogany - signature

A short autobiography

Willy Pogany photograph

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.


*Pogany = po-ga'-nee, with a broad "a" as in "father"

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Willy Pogany part one Willy Pogany - Part 2

Illustrations copyright by their respective owners. This page designed & © 2001 by Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.
Text taken from The Junior Book of Authors, 1934 H.N. Wilson - discovered and contributed by Ron Harris.