London: George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., . Item #04179
An Exceptionally Fine Rubáiyát
Illustrated by Willy Pogany
POGANY, Willy, illustrator. Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Presented by Willy Pogany. [The illustrations and decorations in this edition of Fitzgerald's translation of the "Rubáiyát" are by Willy Pogany]. London: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., [ca. 1916].
Later edition. Octavo (8 3/4 x 6 inches; 223 x 152 mm.). Text printed in blue and black. 112 unnumbered pp. With sixteen tipped-in color plates within decorative borders by Willy Pogany, and numerous text illustrations printed in blue.
Bound ca. 1916 in full brown polished calf, front cover elaborately bordered in gilt enclosing at the top, a circle divided into eight panels surrounding a 2 1/4 inch circle with an intricate floral design with green onlaid leaves. Smooth spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt with similar green onlaid leaves. The same design from the front cover repeated in blind on the lower cover, pale marbled end-papers, the front free end-paper excised, otherwise a very fine example.
"Had Omar Khayyam, the old tentmaker, visioned the beauty of his verses centuries later in Western dress, as embroidered by a Hungarian artist, he might have had a new conception of the meaning of immortality. For Pogany, the Hungarian, had made Omar, the Persian, live again." (Willy Pogany and his Work. eight-page leaflet).
Willy Pogány, born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1882, studied at Budapest Technical University and in Munich and Paris. His reputation as a muralist, painter and illustrator was well established in Paris, London and Munich before arriving in the United States in 1915, at the age of thirty-three. Skilled in an unusually wide range of media, he had won gold medals at exhibitions in Budapest, Leipzig, and at the Panama Pacific International Exhibition.
"Among Pogány's many murals are those for the Heckscher Children's Theatre in New York City and the Niagara Falls Power Station. As a painter he did portraits of famous people in all walks of life. An expert on scenery design and lighting effects, Pogány also designed sets for ballets and operas, including "Le Coq d'Or," and for many films, such as Modern Times for Charlie Chaplin as well as animated cartoons based on his children's books.
"Among his other artistic endeavors Pogány was an accomplished book illustrator. It was this phase of his career, especially as an illustrator of children's books, which gives this collection special relevance for Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Oregon Libraries. Pogány designed and illustrated more than 150 books. His illustrations include those for the Rubaiyat and the Sonnets from the Portuguese, The Song Celestial, The Adventures of Odysseus, Gulliver's Travels, and many others, both classic and original.
"Working tirelessly right up until the end, Willy Pogány died in 1955" (University of Oregon, Guide to the Willy A. Pogány Papers 1910-1967).