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About The Oregon daily journal. (Portland, Or.) 1902-1972 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 31, 1920)
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11 1 r ttfeU-LM
Artist and His
Theatre and Are
Shocked at a
of Him Which
Pogany to Leave
the Artist and
He Brings Suit
sT'M coins to take you to the theatre
I this evening," said Mr. Willy
Pogany, the distinguished portrait
painter and designer of grand opera cos
tumes and scenic effects. It was the day
after he and Mrs. Pogany returned from
their Summer outing on the coast of
There's a play I'm told has some In
teresting scenes of artist colony life," be
explained as hit wife smiled in pleasur
. able anticipation.
Seated in orchestra chain a few rows
from the stage the well-known artist and
his wife settled themselves comfortably
and the curtain rose on en attractive stage
setting. ' Mr. Pogany was studying the
scenic effect with interested eyes whea
he caught the words of his own name
coming across the footlights.
What was the actress saying?
To his startled ears came these lines
"I have a sweetheart, Pogany. Willy
Pogany. He have come to stay. So now
we marry ourselves and go home to Buda
pest. I meet him one day in
a Hungarian restaurant. The
first time he see me he
love me at one look. Dear
boy. Just now he have no
work. His picture he do
not yet sell, but I land a
little money. He payme
back when we marry may
be. That Is not why he love
me. I am not pretty, no,
but I am clever like the
devil. When I do facet I
catch the light in the eyes,
the shine of the hair. It is
for that Willy love me, my
talent and my style. . . .
One cannot be great until
they love and love so much
that one minute they want
to live and one minute they
want to die. ... I send
my Pdgany a note and tell
him I stay."
Scarcely grasping the
' thought that he. Willy Pog
any, distinguished painter.
medallist of foreign and American art ex
hibitions, the creator of the famous and
brilliantly original scenery of the opera
Coq d'Or," which was the sensation of the
Metropolitan Opera season, wis the tub-Ject-of
humiliating caricature, be listened,
and soon, these lines greeted his aston
"Joan flei', I have been so blue. I a big
fool. I tell youwhat you think? Pogany
Is not true 'to me. Money I give him all
the time and he blow it on an American
girl . "I "see them with my eyes.
They eat and laugh , and talk In the res
taurant, and my money pays. He go and
- dance and I go home and eat my heart
alone. . . .
"More- timet than many X suppose, if he
get the chance, and all the time he swear
he love no one but me. In one week was
THE OREGON : SUNDAY , JOURNAL, PORTLAND, SUNDAY MORNING,
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Willy Pogany, the Distin
my weddfcg day. Oh, I sue, that is what
I do. I sue htm for promise of breaches.
Oh, the brute!"
And again those words, "Pogany,"
"Willy," ''Willy Pogany" came:
'""Joan, dear, please may' I use the tele
phone, just for a little while? Something
very much I want to say to him. . . .
I give him one chance more . . . Joan,
Joan. Pogany, Willy, have explain . . .
Yes. I am to blame. What you think, she
is all the time his cousin. I hurry now.
I take my Pogany, Willy, to dinner. You
postpone the case."
Inexpressibly shocked, too Indignant for
words, they left the theatre. Mrs. Pogany
epent & sleepless night pondering over,
what she bad heard..
What a revelation!
Over the footlights had come suddenly
r; ,y - -v . i
' 1 ciM
Which Was the Great Event of the Metropolitan Optnl
Mr. Pogany sat listless and distracted
in front of his easel in his studio at Sixty
one Washington Square. To a reporter the
"c "Yes, Mrs.' Pogany and our little boy
Mrs. Pogany and Their Child. They
Refused to Listen to Mr. Pogany
Protests That the Lines of
the Play Were Untrue
and Have Left Him.
what she believed must be the true but
unsuspected picture of the life of decep
tion her husband had practiced.
Of course4, the last person to know the
truth about a husband was the wife, she
If everybody knew Mr. PoKanv's habits
of life bo that Ihey were common property,
and were so well known that a Broadway .
piay usea mm as a sort of typical frlvoler
then thtlme had come for a self-respecting
wife to cut loose from such a husband.
Next morning Mr. Pogany was stunned
when his wife notified him that she was
taking their little boy and sailing imme
diately for Europe.
hjo tmonnt of protestation and asser
tions of the injustice of the lines of the
play were of any avail.
"Of course, I expect you to deny It. Men
always do.. But what seems to be common
knowledge to everybody except your wifo
must be true. This is a farewell."
(O 1920. International Feat or Serrlee. too.
of the Grand
are gone. Whether I can win them back
I do not know. This is the great task be
fore me my art, my painting, must wait
until I have exhausted every means of
proving to her the utter untruth of the
things so lightly and flippantly said in the
play which has destroyed the happiness of
"It is a great mystery to me who should
have planned to dgthls thing, and why.
It Is inconceivable.
"For many years my wife and I have
been the fondest of pals. We hare traveled
the world together. She was my helpmate
and my Inspiration when I was doing those
Uiings in Vienna and Paris which earned
me recognition from the greatest art mu
seums of Europe. Always it was she who
stood behind me when my completed pic
tures were ready to be unveiled, and who
enjoyed with me the thrill there was in
the realization that I had accomplished
something that would live through the ages
"We had many playtimes together, for
we never were poor.
"In the words of the play Willy Pogany
is held up to ridicule as an artist who
paints but cannot sell his paintings. That
is slanderous. I speak only the truth,
known throughout the art world, when I
say that much greater measures of success
have come to me than to most artists. I
have sold fourteen paintings to the State
t Hungary; twelve of my works have been
bought by France. In California now there
is a permanent exhibition of some of my
more recent pictures. My studio always is
busy much more work than I. can do.
Nearly all the great publishers of books
in the United States shower ma with com
missions for illustrative paintings every
year. We were prosperousmy wife and
I and happy in our ability to enjoy the
good .things of life."
"But the actress in the play says of
Willy Pogany, 'His picture be do not sell,
but I give him a little money!
"And this actress says, later on, 'Money
Croat Brttaia Rirnta Beianud.
f A W
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OCTOBER 3i, 1920.
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ITie Actress in the Play Who Innocently Babbled
the Lines Which Destroyed Mr. Pogany's Home.
I give my Pogany Willy, he blow on
American glrL He so and dance with her
and I go home and eat my heart alone!'
"When my wife heard these words she
went white. They were the ones that hurt
her most of all. She knew I did not have
to accept money from womenT hut she
thought these later lines let out a truth
about me I had been,going to dances and
restaurants with some other woman!
"My wife has always known what I was
working on. A whole week I did not leave
my studio even for meals when I was at
work on the scenery for the Metropolitan
Opera Company's production of 'Coq d'Or
But my wife knew what I was doing.
"Now, though, when she heard the ac
tress speak those lines suspicion came to
" 'It is all very well for you to tel me
you have been busy at the studio she said
to me whenI pleaded with her at home.
'But now-1 know you were busy at other
things, too. You cannot tell me a great
play producer, an actress who Is almost a
star, and a theatre manager and a stage
director and the other actors and ac
tresses in the company and the playwright,
too that all these people, familiar with
the life of frivolous Broadway, would agree
with each other that the best way to typify
to a Broadway audience a man who fools
bis wife and has affairs In public with
other women would be to use your name
if they did not know they were doing what
everyone would understand. It is all very
plain to me now. . A good wife always
trusts until she knows she Is deceived.
But It is only a foolish wife who trusts
after she knows the unhappy truth.'
indignant for words,
they left the theatre.
Mrs. Pogany spent a
pondering over what
she had heard across
"1 brought my friend!
to my home. They all
assured my wife she was!
wrong. They one and all
said they knew I was as
faithful a husband as
ever lived. They said It
was ridiculous for any
one to think that I could
have an affair with any
"I could not say, 'Why,
my dear,-that was just
an accident Just a coin
cidence. The man of
whom the actress speaks
is a Hungarian, and tha
playwright picked a Hun
' garl&n name. That name
happened to be the same
y as mine.' I could not say
that to her, because the
Willy part of my name
Is not Hungarian: I
adopted that name la
Paris when I was doing
caricatures for a publi
cation there in my
younger days. I selected
it because it seemed
more intimate for my
caricature work than my
own name. It )tuck to
me throughout my ca
reer. Now, wherever
one speaks ox winy
Pogany, in Europe or American, every one
knows I -am referred to.
I could not say to my wife, It is only a
poor Joke, my dear!' Because It is no Joke
to -say In public of an artist that he cannot
sell his works. ' - ,
"In fact, there was-nothing I could ear
to my wife. Is there? Can anyone explain
it? I do not know the producer of the
play. I never met the actress. I never
met any one of the other actors or ac
tresses, nor the manager of the theatre nor
the playwright. They do not know me
hence they could not Joke even so crudely.
" "Very well, then,' said my wife, 'you
may deny it all, of course. That is your
privilege the privilege of every guilty
husband. But if you cannot explain yeti
must not expect me to believe your denials.
I have been a fool for years, no doubt. I
shairbe one no longer. My boy shall not
be raised by a father of whom all Broad
way may hear it said, "He is the world's
best example of the man who deceives his
wife." I shall go home to my parents.
Ton may continue to enjoy the reputation
you evidently have so thoroughly earned.'
"And she is gone. And my ' boy, too.
What am I to do about itr
'Mr. Pogany has partially answered Us
own question by filing a suit in the Hew
York Supreme Court against the theatre
owner, the play owner and the young
woman star, asking $200,000 damages,
which he says will notat all recompense
him for the loss of his wife and boy. In
the meantime the actress continues every
night and at every matinee to tell oWier
faithless sweetheart, "Pogany WUly,"
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