New Installation: Margit Pogany, Self-Portrait, 1913

I am pleased to announce a new installation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art showing a self-portrait by Margit Pogany beside two works by Constantin Brancusi related to Pogany and her work. Pogany was a Hungarian-Jewish painter who met Brancusi in Paris around 1910 and commissioned a portrait from him, which he called Mademoiselle Pogany and which brought him international fame when it debuted at the 1913 Armory Show. Pogany then translated a poem about Prometheus and mailed it to Brancusi, prompting his creation of a sculpture on the subject, which is featured in the installation as well. Pogany returned to Budapest in 1911, was documented after the war as a survivor of the Holocaust, and resettled with her family to Australia, where she died in 1964.

We are excited to present this painting in the Brancusi gallery, where it provides unique insight into an artistic dialogue and relationship behind one of the best known works of modern art. The stars aligned here — I believe the PMA is the only museum outside Hungary or Australia to own a painting by Pogany and this painting is her only known self-portrait. Immense thanks to her family for their generous assistance in my research for this installation, particularly to Andrew Forgas, and to my colleagues at the PMA for the collaboration to make this installation a reality.