Lily Furedi

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Lily Furedi
Born(1896-05-20)May 20, 1896[1]
DiedNovember 1969[note 2] (aged 73)
NationalityAmerican
Known forPainting
Notable work
The Subway (1934)
The Village (1931)
After the Masquerade (1934)
MovementRealism, impressionism
Spouse(s)
Morris Teplitzky (m. 1929–1930)

Lily Furedi (May 20, 1896 – November 1969) was a Hungarian-American artist. A native of Budapest, she achieved national recognition for her 1934 painting, The Subway, which is a sympathetic portrayal of passengers in a New York City Subway car. Light-hearted in tone, the painting depicts a cross-section of city dwellers from the viewpoint of a fellow commuter.[2][7][8][9]

Artistic career[edit]

When Lili Furedi was 31 years old she debarked from the ship Cellina at the port of Los Angeles. She came from Budapest by way of Trieste and on the ship's manifest she reported her occupation as painter.[10][11][note 3] There is no record of art training she may have received either before or after her arrival in the United States.[11] There is no doubt she was working as a professional artist, however, because in 1931 she won a prize for her painting, The Village, at the annual Christmas show held by the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors at the Argent Gallery in January of that year.[4][note 4] In 1932 and for much of the rest of the decade she placed paintings in group exhibitions, including: (1) a 1932 exhibition by Hungarian-American artists in which she showed works called Hungarian Village and Hungarian Farm,[4] (2) a 1935 exhibition of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors in which she showed a painting called Interior,[14] (3) a 1936 exhibition by the New York Municipal Art Committee,[15] and (4) a 1937 exhibition at the Woman's Club of Glen Ridge, New Jersey.[16]

Reviewing the 43rd annual Women Painters and Sculptors show of 1934, Edward Alden Jewell of The New York Times called attention to a painting of Furedi's entitled The Interesting Book which he included with paintings by three other artists as "unhappily deliberate attempts to be 'modern' at all costs."[17][18] In contrast, the New York Sun chose another of Furedi's paintings, called After the Masquerade, as the sole illustration accompanying its review of the exhibition.[19][note 5] In reviewing another exhibition held in 1934, the critic, C.H. Bonte, listed Furedi within a group of artists considered to be among the "best known" of American women "who have gained high recognition" for their work.[20][note 6]

Lily Furedi, The Subway, 1934, oil on canvas, 39 x 48 1/4 in. (99.1 x 122.6 cm.), created for the U.S. Public Works of Art Project

Early in 1934 Furedi was accepted into the Public Works of Art Project. This pioneering federal program employed artists at craftsmen's wages to make pictures on the theme of "the American scene."[21][note 7] Her contribution to the project was the painting called The Subway. The picture was one of twenty-five selected for presentation as gifts to the White House. It was also in a group that President and Mrs. Roosevelt had themselves selected as being among the best in the show.[21][note 8] Beginning in 1935, when it accompanied a book review in The New York Times,[24] the painting has frequently been used as an illustration in books, articles, news accounts, and Internet web sites.[note 9]

In examining Furedi's The Subway, critics and other observers have found much to say. The painting was said to be cheerful and the artist's interest to be sympathetic.[35] It was seen as vibrant, bright, and optimistic.[11][36] Its scene was said to be playful, clean, and decorous[32][37] and its design elements as idealistically deployed.[8] One reviewer saw an influence of "Cézanne's cubes and cones" in a scene which tells a compelling story of a projected "society in which sex and race are comfortably, if nervously, aligned"[34] and a poet, using the ekphrastic poetic technique, declared that the painting showed the "best in mass transit," in which "we get to meet, greet, / and saunter through / time and space together." The poem, by Angie Trudell Vasquez, is called "Eyes Alive." It closes: "see what beauty / we can make / when all is lit up with color / warm and welcoming, / beckoning you / into the picture, / offering you a seat."[38]

Following the 1934 touring show in which it appeared, The Subway was not again included in a public exhibition until 1983 when it appeared in "Social Concern and Urban Realism: American Painting of the 1930s" at Gallery 1199 in New York's Martin Luther King Labor Center.[8] It appeared again in "1934: A New Deal for Artists," a touring exhibition put together by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2009.[2][21][23][25]

After the Public Works of Art Project was closed down in 1934 Furedi joined the Federal Art Project. She is recorded as being employed in this program in 1937–1939[39] and, specifically as a muralist, in 1940.[40]

Furedi's work was reviewed infrequently after the mid-1930s. In 1941 she painted an altar mural called The Galley Slave which she donated to a Hungarian church in New York.[41][note 10] In 1950 Furedi showed a decorated piece of pottery in a group exhibition at the Greenwich House Pottery in New York.[42] She died in New York at the age of 73 in November 1969.[6]

Personal information[edit]

Furedi was born on May 20, 1896.[1][note 11] Her place of birth was either Debrecen or Budapest.[note 12]

Family[edit]

Her father, Samuel Furedi (1872–1933), was a cello soloist and teacher.[note 13] Her mother, Paula Sudfeld Furedi, was a former piano teacher at the Debrecen Conservatory,[44] and one of her uncles, Sandor Furedi, was a concert violinist and teacher in New York.[42][44] Furedi had a brother, Ernest Furedi, who was a merchant in Budapest, and a sister, Anna Furedi, an oral surgeon and director of the laboratory of the New York Institute of Clinical Oral Pathology.[45][note 14] In 1927, Furedi traveled from Budapest to Los Angeles where her father had a music studio.[10][44] She recorded her occupation as "painter" on the ship's manifest.[10][note 15] On May 29, 1929, Furedi married Morris Teplitzky in New York. The marriage certificate states that she was previously unmarried.[48] The marriage did not last long. The U.S. Census for 1930 says she was single and living with her parents in New York.[49][note 16] She was also recorded as single and living in New York with her mother in the Census for 1940. This report says that Furedi was a naturalized U.S. citizen working for the government doing mural painting in the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.[40]

Death[edit]

Furedi died between November 1 and 7, 1969. A death notice placed in The New York Times on the latter date has the following text: "Furedi, Lily, beloved aunt of Agnes Kraus, also survived by cousins. Private services held Friday, Nov. 7th 1969."[6]

Other names[edit]

The Furedi surname is sometimes given as Füredi, Fueredi, or Furedy. Furedi's first name has been given as Lilly, Lillie or Lilian.[40][43][49]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some reference sources give Budapest as her birthplace,[2][3] but both her younger sister, Anna, and her father were born in Debrecen.[4][5]
  2. ^ Furedi died between November 1 and 7, 1969. A death notice placed in The New York Times on the latter date has the following text: "Furedi, Lily, beloved aunt of Agnes Kraus, also survived by cousins. Private services held Friday, Nov. 7th 1969."[6]
  3. ^ Furedi was the only alien listed on the manifest of the S.S. Cellina from Trieste. She had obtained a visa to enter the United States in Budapest on November 24, 1927. She reported that she was unmarried and could read and write in German and English as well as Hungarian.[10]
  4. ^ This Christmas show was not the regular annual exhibition of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors (which, in 1931, was the 40th), but rather a show of small paintings, sculptures, crafts, and miniatures which had opened in December 1930 at the Argent Gallery in the association's headquarters building on West 57th Street in New York.[12][13]
  5. ^ The exhibition was spread over a number of galleries. Furedi's painting was hung in the Argent Gallery.[14][19]
  6. ^ The exhibition was held in January 1934 at the Plastic Club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[20]
  7. ^ This short-lived project resulted in the creation of over 15,000 easel paintings and murals from 3,671 artists in every region of the country. Furedi's contribution was one of 500 works chosen to be exhibited first in a show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and subsequently circulated to other museums around the country.[22][23] A newspaper critic wrote that "In all, it is announced, 3,671 artists have been employed, for varying periods, under the PWAP, receiving craftsman's wages of from $23.50 to $42.50 a week. The total allotment to carry out the project has amounted to $1,408,381."[21]
  8. ^ In reviewing the exhibition, Edward Alden Jewell wrote: "President and Mrs. Roosevelt spent an hour and a half at the exhibition on Sunday. They personally selected, as particularly good, thirty-two easel paintings—and their list, one learns, includes all of the twenty-five pictures that had previously been selected by Mr. Bruce and the members of his committee, with the idea of presenting them to the White House.[21]
  9. ^ Most recently the painting, The Subway, has appeared in accounts related to a Smithsonian exhibit, "1934: A New Deal for Artists," which has appeared at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and on national tour. [25][26] Other appearances include a news article on 1930s art,[27] weblog postings,[28][29] a jigsaw puzzle,[30] and various exhibition reviews.[9][31][32][33][34]
  10. ^ Furedi donated the altar mural in memory of her father, Samuel Furedi, a concert cellist who had taught students and performed frequently in New York during the 1920s. The church was the First Magyar Presbyterian Church at 233 E. 116th Street in New York. The painting showed two martyrs of 1677, one of whom was related to the pastor of the church.[41]
  11. ^ 1901 has also been given as her birth year.
  12. ^ Some reference sources give Budapest as her birthplace,[2][3] but both her younger sister, Anna, and her father were born in Debrecen.[4][5]
  13. ^ Samuel Furedi's father's name was Elias Friedman. It is not known why his surname was different from his father's. His mother was Elizabeth Friedman.[43] An obituary for Samuel Furedi in The New York Times gives his name as "Sumel"[44]
  14. ^ Anna Furedi married Zoltan Kellner in 1928[46] and John Gustave Codik in 1936.[47]
  15. ^ Furedi was the only alien passenger on the ship. In addition to saying she was an artist, she reported that she could speak and read German and English as well as Hungarian.[10]
  16. ^ Her sister Anna and her husband Zoltan Kellner were in the same household when the 1930 census was taken.[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Lily Furedi, Nov 1969". "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing). Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lily Furedi". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  3. ^ a b "Lily Furedi – Artist Keywords and Quick Facts". AskArt. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  4. ^ a b c d Edward Alden Jewell (1931-12-04). "ART: Prizes Won at Christmas Show". The New York Times. p. 26. Sumel Furedi, player and teacher of the 'cello, died suddenly Friday afternoon of a heart attack in the office of his physician, Dr. Eugene Foldes of 898 Park Avenue. He was born in Debrecen, Hungary, sixty-one years ago. Surviving are his widow, Paula, former piano teacher at the Debrecen Conservatory; a brother, Sandor, of this city, concert violinist, and three children, Ernest, a merchant in Budapest; Anna, a physician attached to the Wealen Clinic in Passaic, N.J., and Lilian, an artist, of this city. Before he came to this country in 1921 Mr. Furedi had taught the 'cello in the Debrecen Conservatory and had appeared in concerts in Paris, Vienna and Berlin. Here he had studios in Los Angeles and New York, and pupils of his have won scholarships in the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. Recently he had been living at 281 Brooks Avenue, Passaic.
  5. ^ a b "Anna Furedi, 1928". "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925–1957," database with images, FamilySearch; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  6. ^ a b c "Deaths". Tbe New York Times. 1969-11-07. p. 47. Furedi, Lily, beloved aunt of Agnes Kraus, also survived by cousins. Private services held Friday, Nov. 7th 1969.
  7. ^ "Going Out Guide: The Way We Were". The New York Times. 1983-04-19. p. C14. ...Lily Furedi's Subway, showing weary riders in a car that looks cleaner and more decorous than those run on today's subways.
  8. ^ a b c Grace Glueck (1983-04-22). "Also of Interest This Week". The New York Times. p. C25. ...Lily Furedi's graffiti-less Subway, with its cross-section of urban types idyllically deployed in the cleanest subway car you ever saw...
  9. ^ a b Charlotte Sutton (2009-11-29). "Memory Serves: In recalling stark 20th century imagery, two shows in Washington cunningly prove the power of art". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Fla. p. L2. ...the delightful glimpse of commuters in Lily Furedi's Subway...
  10. ^ a b c d e "Lily Furedi, 1927". "California, Los Angeles Passenger Lists, 1907–1948," database with images, FamilySearch; citing Immigration, ship name Cellina, NARA microfilm publication M1764 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 16; FHL microfilm 2,229,918. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  11. ^ a b c "Research Notes, Subway, 1934, Lily Furedi" (PDF). Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
  12. ^ "Women Painters and Sculptors Hold 40th Annual Exhibition". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, N.Y. 1931-01-25. p. 15.
  13. ^ "Christmas Exhibits". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, N.Y. 1930-12-07. p. 3E. Galleries that are specializing in Christmas shows are the Argent Gallery...where the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors are exhibiting small pictures, crafts and sculptures, ...
  14. ^ a b Edward Alden Jewell (1935-01-02). "Women To Exhibit Their Art Today; Association of Painters and Sculptors to Open Forty-Fourth Annual Show". The New York Times. p. 23.
  15. ^ "Summer News of Art". New York Sun. 1936-07-25. p. 11.
  16. ^ "Women Showed Artistic Spirit in Colonial Days". Independent Press. Bloomfield, New Jersey. 1937-04-13. p. 2.
  17. ^ Edward Alden Jewell (1934-01-14). "The Women Painters and Sculptors". The New York Times. p. X12. While a few pictures are palpably poor, some at least competent. Only here and there—as instanced by Theresa Pollak's "The Widow," Lily Furedi's "The Interesting Book," Beulah Stevenson's "Polperro Harbor," and Eugenie Marron's "Portrait of a Negro"—does one encounter what appear to be unhappily deliberate attempts to be "modern" at all cost.
  18. ^ "In the Galleries". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, N.Y. 1934-01-07. p. 28.
  19. ^ a b Melville Upton (1934-11-16). "Two Art Shows of Interest; Woman's Association Holds First Display of Season". New York Sun. p. 32.
  20. ^ a b C.H. Bonte (1934-01-14). "In Gallery and Studio; Plastic Club Guests". Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Penn. p. 19.
  21. ^ a b c d e Edward Alden Jewell (1934-04-24). "Public works art shown at Capital: President and Mrs. Roosevelt Will Open Exhibit Today in Corcoran Gallery; 500 Subjects on Display; Work of Painters Known Only in Their Own Communities Makes Good Impression". The New York Times. p. 21. The exhibition proves impressive on several counts. It distinctly offers the spectator a panorama that is nation-wide in scope... You feel the sweep and breadth of the creative impetus the government has by this means provided... It is gratifying to observe that most of the painters with whose work we are already familiar have held confidently to their own style, skilfully adapting it, where necessary, to the demands of the allocated subject, "the American scene."
  22. ^ William H. Young; Nancy K. Young (2007). The Great Depression in America: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-313-33522-8.
  23. ^ a b David A. Taylor (2009-05-18). "What's the Deal about New Deal Art?". Smithsonian Magazine web site. Retrieved 2015-11-21. Artists were recruited through newspaper advertisements placed around the country; the whole program was up and running in a couple of weeks. People lined up in the cold outside government offices to apply, says George Gurney, deputy chief curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where an exhibition of PWAP art is on display until January 3: "They had to prove they were professional artists, they had to pass a needs test, and then they were put into categories—Level One Artist, Level Two or Laborer—that determined their salaries."
  24. ^ R.L. Duffus (1935-11-03). "PERSONAL LIBERTY IN AMERICA: Herbert Agar Sets Forth His Hope for a New Jeffersonian Society LAND OF THE FREE". The New York Times. p. BR1.
  25. ^ a b "Exhibitions: 1934: A New Deal for Artists / American Art". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  26. ^ "Art History News: 1934: A New Deal for Artists". Art History News Report. January 2014. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  27. ^ Paul Richard (1979-10-26). "The Art of the 30's". Washington Post. Washington, D.C. p. D6.
  28. ^ "Stealing glances in a Depression-era subway car". Ephemeral New York. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  29. ^ Chavez AMT 200. "Early Modern". Retrieved 2015-11-23.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "Subway, 1934, Lily Furedi Jigsaw Puzzle". PuzzleOut. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  31. ^ Gayle Worland (2013-02-11). "Exhibit of Depression-era art is illustrative comparison as state cuts public funding for arts". Seattle Times. Seattle, Wash. Retrieved 2015-11-21. ...the delightful glimpse of commuters in Lily Furedi's Subway...
  32. ^ a b Paul Richard (2009-02-27). "In Town". Washington Post. Washington, D.C. p. T3.
  33. ^ Mary Thomas (2010-01-31). "A New Deal for Artists 1930s Paintings at the Frick and Westmoreland Reverberate with Particular Poignancy Today". Pittsburgh Post. Pittsburgh, Penn. p. E1.
  34. ^ a b "Art review of Experience America, a Smithsonian permanent exhibit". Open Letters Monthly – an Arts and Literature Review. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  35. ^ "Exhibition Label: Subway by Lily Furedi / American Art". Smithsonian Museum of American Art. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  36. ^ Michael Upchurch (2010-12-11). "'New Deal for Artists' paints a picture of Depression-era America". Seattle Times. Seattle, Wash. Retrieved 2015-11-21. ...the delightful glimpse of commuters in Lily Furedi's Subway...
  37. ^ Richard F. Shepard (1983-04-19). "Going Out Guide: The Way We Were". The New York Times. p. C14. [T]he exhibition includes pieces borrowed from museums and elsewhere and created by, among others, William Gropper, Thomas Hart Benton, George Biddle, Jacob Lawrence, Reginald Marsh, Ben Shahn and the Soyer brothers, Raphael and Isaac. Here is the famous fiercely cynical trio, the corrupt cop, the hack politician and the gangster-capitalist in Jack Levine's Feast of Reason, from the Museum of Modern Art, done, as many here were, during the Works Progress Administration's Art Program. In contrast, almost, is Lily Furedi's Subway, showing weary riders in a car that looks cleaner and more decorous than those run on today's subways.
  38. ^ "Bridge Poetry Series 3/21/13: Eyes Alive by Angie Trudell Vasquez". Chazen Museum of Art. 2013-03-21. Retrieved 2015-11-23. The Bridge Poetry Series highlights...poetry inspired by art. This series establishes a unique opportunity for Wisconsin poets to write and read ekphrastic poems. In the second century AD, ekphrasis (description) was a rhetorical exercise of creating mental images with words, and it frequently began with a description of artworks. The program was launched in spring 2012 by Madison poets Katrin Talbot, Sara Parrell, Susan Elbe, and Jesse Lee Kercheval in collaboration with the Chazen Museum of Art. Twice yearly, in conjunction with a spring and fall exhibition, about a dozen poets visit the exhibition, write poems, and then take part in a group reading at the Chazen.
  39. ^ "Detailed description of the Federal Art Project, Photographic Division collection, circa 1920–1965, bulk 1935–1942". Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2015-11-24.
  40. ^ a b c "Lilly Furedi in household of Paula Furedi, Assembly District 21, Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, United States". "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch; citing enumeration district (ED) 31-1829, sheet 16B, family 291, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 2668. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  41. ^ a b Rachel K. McDowell (1941-12-20). "Mural to be Dedicated". The New York Times. p. 16. An altar mural painted by Lily Furedi, a gift to the church in memory of her father, Samuel Furedi, well-known cellist, will be unveiled and dedicated tomorrow at the 11 a.m. service in the First Magyar Presbyterian Church, 233 E. 116th st. The subject of the painting is "The Galley Slave," being an adaptation from an early steel engraving picturing two of the 1677 martyrs, Stephen Sellyei and Stephen Harsanyi, the latter an ancestor of the pastor, the Rev. Ladislous Harsanyi.
  42. ^ a b "Sandor Furedi, 81, Violinist, Is Dead; Player of Magyar Themes". The New York Times. 1956-10-07. p. 86.
  43. ^ a b "Samuel Furedi, 16 Jun 1933". "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795–1949," database, FamilySearch; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,070,692. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  44. ^ a b c d "SUMEL FUREDI. 'Cellist Dies of Heart Attack in His Physician's Office". The New York Times. 1933-06-18. p. 24. Lily Furedi [received] the National Association Medal for The Village.
  45. ^ "Dental Care Held a Curb on Cancer". The New York Times. 1934-01-04. p. 21.
  46. ^ "Zoltan Kellner and D. Anna Turedi, 18 Sep 1928". "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829–1940," database, FamilySearch; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,653,419. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  47. ^ "John Gustave Codik and Anna Furedi, 11 Mar 1936". "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829–1940," database, FamilySearch; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,674,325. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  48. ^ "Morris Teplitzky and Lily Furedi, 28 May 1929". "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829–1940," database, FamilySearch; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,653,830. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  49. ^ a b c "Lillie Furedi in household of Samuel Furedi, Manhattan (Districts 1001–1249), New York, New York, United States". "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch; citing enumeration district (ED) 1229, sheet 1A, family 5, line 14, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1579; FHL microfilm 2,341,314. Retrieved 2015-11-18.