Artist, critic and teacher Kalman Kemeny was born into a Jewish family in Nagykanizsa, Hungary in 1896 and trained at the Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest from 1913–14. During the First World War, he served as an officer and was commissioned as the youngest Official War Artist with the Austro-Hungarian army on the Italian and Eastern Fronts between 1915 and 1917. Afterwards, he attended the Academy of Creative Arts in Vienna, before moving to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia in 1925, where he remained until 1938, when he left for England. He settled in London and during the Second World War worked in an aircraft factory and as a fire-watcher, while continuing to practise as an artist. His portraits included fellow refugees, such as the artist Max Sokol, and the writer, actor and life model Quentin Crisp and, after winning a competition in 1945, he was commissioned to paint two prominent Ben Uri committee members. He also painted still lives and landscapes, many of St John's Wood, Maida Vale and Regent's Canal. Postwar he taught at Hammersmith College of Art (1947–79) and was for some years advisor to the House of Commons Fine Art Committee. Kalmany Kemeny died in London in 1994.





  • Academy of Fine Art, Budapest (student)
  • Hammersmith College of Art (teacher)
  • Chelsea School of Art (teacher)



  • Retrospective exhibition, Ben Uri Gallery, London (1991)
  • Ben Uri Highlights: Key Works and Figures, Ben Uri Art Society, Dean Street, London (1990)
  • Exhibition of Selected Works from the Permanent Collection of the Ben Uri Art Gallery, Ben Uri Gallery, Dean Street, London (1980)
  • Paintings from the Ben Uri Art Gallery, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Dorset (1970)
  • Selection from the Permanent Collection, Ben Uri Art Gallery, Portman Street, London (1960)
  • Jewish Artists in England: Tercentenary Exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery (1956)
  • Autumn Exhibition of Paintings, Sculptures, and Drawings by Contemporary Jewish Artists, Ben Uri Art Gallery, Portman Street, London (1951)
  • Royal Academy (1951, 1949, 1948)
  • Spring Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture by Contemporary Jewish Artists, Ben Uri Art Gallery, Portman Street, London (1947)
  • Royal Academy (1947, 1946, 1945, 1944)