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George Molnar
, 1983

by Judy Cassab

oil on canvas laid on masonite (frame: 115.0 cm x 98.0 cm, support: 106.0 cm x 93.0 cm)

George Molnar AO OBE (1910–1998), cartoonist, artist, architect and social commentator, was born in Hungary and studied architecture at Budapest University, graduating in 1932. He came to Australia as a sponsored migrant in 1939, initially working in Canberra as a government architect before joining the architecture faculty at the University of Sydney. By this time, his cartoons had started appearing in the Daily Telegraph and other publications. In 1954, he joined the Sydney Morning Herald, remaining one of its primary cartoonists for the next 30 years, his work often addressing topics such as urban planning, art, taste and censorship, as well as politics and other social issues. In addition, he published books of his cartoons, held exhibitions of his watercolours and gave public lectures on architecture and sustainable development. In 1967, he took up a role at the University of New South Wales, working there as an Associate Professor of Architecture until his retirement from teaching in 1975. Awarded an OBE in 1971 and an AO in 1988, on his death in 1998 Molnar was described as ‘a cultured man whose wit was as elegant as his art’.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2013
Accession number: 2013.52