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Mihaly Biro

May 24, 2010


(May Day 1919, Budapest)
I just found a book on Hungarian artist/designer Mihaly Biro. I don’t read Magyar so I can only supply scant biographical details: he was born in 1886, went into exile in the US during WWII, and returned to Hungary after the war, where he died in 1948. He worked as a commercial illustrator and designer and was also tied to socialist movements in Hungary and Germany. He made beautiful work, done in a modern European style before the hegemony of constructivism/bauhaus and socialist realism on the left.


Red Parliament: Vote Social-Democrat

This is an advertisement for the magazine Nomunkas, and the subtitle (I believe) says ‘an advocate for working women’. (1910s?)
The book I found has mostly poster work, both commercial and political. Graphic Witness has a series of Goya-like images he made against the right wing Horthy regime in Hungary.


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One comment on “Mihaly Biro”

Biro never went to the US. He spent WWII in occupied Paris, as a patient at the Rothchild Hospital. He suffered from tuberculosis and I guess that the Rothchild Hospital offered some protection. He returned to HUngary after the war and used the motif of a poster he had created much earlier – a red man with a hammer – as a poster for the 1947 elections.
He was a friend of my grandparents.

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