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 Matthew Troyan  (1913 - 2007)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut / Germany/Poland      Known for: figure, animal, still life painting

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An example of work by Matthew Troyan
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Biography from Art Gateway Inc./Titus Paul Gallery:
Matthew Troyan (1913-2007)

"When the heart of the observer meets the heart of the creator there is a symphony of angels in the Heavens."

Matthew Troyan was born February 19, 1913 in Kielce, Opatow County, Poland and was the youngest surviving child of seven.  His father Pawel, was a decorative blacksmith and traveled extensively throughout Poland to create decorative gates, iron railings, and iron ornamentation for wealthy clients.  Unfortunately, Pawel died in 1916 when Matthew was only 3 years old and the responsibilities for raising the children fell on the shoulders of the mother, Franciszka, and the oldest son, Jan.  Jan worked, after completing his education, as a foreman in a steel mill in Germany and also earned money as a translator because of his perfect German.  The family worked very hard to maintain itself but also was confronted by another tragedy when Cassimere, Matthew's older sister, died of a massive infection from an untreated wound that resulted from an accidental fall.  Cassimere died one week after her father at the age of 17.  She was a young, vibrant, and very promising artist.

Education was prized in the family and although it was difficult, all the children finished school.  Marian, one of Matthew's other brothers, continued in school and achieved a doctorate in history but then chose to follow his passion and become a stage actor.  During his career he became quite famous as an actor in Poland.  As Marian grew older, he continued to develop his lifelong interest in antiques and fine art and opened a shop in which he sold not only paintings of well known artists but also his own artwork.  Marian had painted since he was a young boy and was considered to be quite accomplished but had no formal training.

Matthew finished his elementary school education, and then high school.  During his high school years, Matthew designed and created sets for the theater group at school and was part of the art group.  In 1937, he began a four year course of studying painting at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art under Professor Ted Pruszkowski.  Pruszkowski was a sympathizer for the Jewish cause and provided food and shelter for them in Poland.  Pruszkowski was made prisoner of the Nazis and executed for treason in January of 1942.  Soon after Matthew's graduation from the academy in 1941, he was taken prisoner by the Nazis and spent three and a half horrific years as a prisoner at the camps at Mauthausen, Auschwitz, and Ebensee.  The accounts of Matthew's life in the camps will be detailed in the book I am writing, The life and Works of Matthew Troyan: a Tribute to the Human Spirit.  Upon release from the camp at Ebensee in 1945, Matthew traveled to Düsseldorf and began a six year course of study at the Academy of Fine Art at Düsseldorf under the guidance of professors Pankok, Housier, Champion, and Schreibert.  A chance meeting while at the school brought him together with Joan Miro who guided and gave advice to Matthew on his painting.  Matthew received recognition from his professors at Düsseldorf as an outstanding student and was given the honor of painting a mural on the wall at the Academy of Fine Art at Düsseldorf.  While in Germany, at school, he began, what became a lifelong love affair with Alette Bauer that was never actualized in real life.  Matthew married twice with his first wife, Sophy, dying in 1970.  He is survived by his second wife, Mitzi, who is still living in Connecticut and three children he raised and cared for who were his second wife's children.

To backtrack, Matthew came to the United States in 1950, after graduating from the Academy at Düsseldorf.  During his studies at Düsseldorf, he was involved in a number of group exhibitions at Duisburg, Frankfort, Hanover, Mulheim Ruhr, Düsseldorf, and Gmunden and Munich in Austria.

In the States, he spent his early years between Connecticut and the Village in New York City.  It was during these early years that he befriended and became part of the group of the "New York artists" which included Pollack, Kline, Hoffman, and De Kooning.  He spent many an hour at the "cedar bar" with them discussing art, painting, critics, and preparing to forever change the art scene in the world.  Matthew, however, could not tolerate the raucous bar scene and left the group to create his own life in Connecticut.  In Connecticut he lived the life of a quiet, somewhat withdrawn artist producing his amazing collection of art. He had two one man exhibitions at the New Britain Museum of American Art in 1954 and again in 1965.  The director of the museum, Sanford Lowe, loved Matthew's works and felt he was a major American artist.  One of Matthew's still lives was purchased by the museum for their permanent collection in 1965 for $850.00.  Matthew spent his entire life perfecting his art and did hundreds of private commissions to earn money.

One of his early friends, and fellow artist, from the village, Franz Kline, said that he felt that Matthew was one of the best, if not the best, colorist of art in the world.

Matthew died in 2007 at the age of 94 at his home in Connecticut with his wife Mitzi and her children Pail, Lisa and Tom by his side.

It is now time that the world comes to know one of the great artists of the world and understand the power of his work.  It is my pleasure and privilege to champion the works of Matthew Troyan.

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