Mexican Dance - Francis De Erdeley

Francis De Erdeley, 1949

(1904 - 1959) Born in Hungary in 1904, Francis De Erdely grew up during the first World War. Depicting the atrocities of war in his sketches and early paintings, the artist was eventually banished from Hungary by early Gestapo members. After his studies were completed at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, De Erdely studied at the Real Academie de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris.

In 1944, the artist made his way west, settling briefly in New York and then, finally in Los Angeles. It was in the West Coast city of Los Angeles where he found his place as an American artist. Depicting the regional minorities of African and Mexican heritage, De Erdely was interested in conveying a sense of strong social commentary.

After serving as Dean of the Pasadena Art Museum School in 1945, he became a faculty member at the University of Southern California until his death in 1959. Exhibiting across the U.S. as well as in Australia and Belgium, he gained local as well as international recognition. His work is in the collections at the Chicago Institue of Art, The Melbourne National Museum, and the Carnegie. Along with fellow Modernist painters Bentley Schaad, Sueo Serisawa, and Richard Haines, De Erdely became instrumental in the West Coast Modernist movement.

Biography courtesy of