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Early life and education
Béni Ferenczy was born in 1890 in Szentendre, Hungary, the second son of Károly Ferenczy and Olga Fialka, both painters. His sister Noémi was his fraternal twin. All three of the children became artists: Valér was a painter, Béni a sculptor and Noémi a weaver.
As a young man, Ferenczy went to Munich and Paris to study art, as did many artists from Hungary since the late nineteenth century. In the latter city, he studied with both Antoine Bourdelle and Archipenko.
After his experiences with cubism first and with expressionism later, his art evolved in sculptures with emphasized forms. While a highly talented sculptor he was one of the most accomplished graphic artists in Hungary of the period. He also illustrated many books.
Marriage and family
He married Erzsi (Elizabeth) (c.1904-2000) in 1932. She was his close companion, an inspiration for his work and a frequent model of his.
Ferenczy died in 1967.
After his death, Erzsi Ferenczy worked to preserve her husband's work and memory. She died in 2000 at the age of 96.
Legacy and honours
- 1972, Erzsi Ferenczy founded the Ferenczy Museum in Szentendre, with holdings that included artwork by each member of the family.
- In 1993, Erzsi established the Ferenczy Family Foundation.
- In 2005, the Foundation mounted a small exhibit at the Hungarian National Gallery to honour the memory of Béni and Erszi Ferenczy. The curators Mária Földes and Ferenc Zsákovics selected the material from the small collection of works which Erzsi had kept to the end of her life. These sculptures, drawings and ceramics had chiefly personal subjects of their family and friends. In addition, the exhibit included some loose work such as preliminary sketches.
- Ferenczy Károly (1862-1917) gyűjteményes kiállítása (The Retrospective Exhibition of Károly Ferenczy), eds. Judit Boros and Edit Plesznivy, Budapest: Hungarian National Gallery, 2011
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