Three Generations: Glen Ryder, Livermore Falls, holds a portrait of his late father by Hungarian Fine Arts Professor Lajos Matolcsy (1905-1982), along with his grandson Cole Hartmann, Buckfield, who is a budding young artist himself.

PARIS — For the first time in 55 years, a portrait by Professor Lajos Matolcsy (1905-1982), is in the possession of the model’s family.

The subject of the portrait is Walden Ryder. He was a notable miner who worked with the likes of Frank Perham and other well-known local miners in the Oxford Hills area, prospecting for feldspar, mica, and occasional gemstones. Ryder also sat as a model, at least once, for a private session with the Hungarian fine artist in his south Paris studio.

“I have been very stingy moving my father’s work,” said the professor’s daughter, Aranka Matolcsy of Paris. The painting was part of the collection that she has treasured since her father’s death in 1982. “But when the son of the model who watched my father paint this portrait contacted me, I felt a need to reunite them,” she added.

Glen Ryder of Livermore Falls recalls being a boy around the age of 5 when he watched the fine arts professor paint a portrait of his father in a fisherman’s hat sometime around 1966. Over the years he searched for the professor, finally finding a website the younger Matolcsy built to showcase the professor’s work and biography:

‘Finding this portrait brings to the present, a moment and memories of the past: watching my dad sitting, wearing a strange yellow hat, while Mr. Matolcsy quietly worked, and the memories of playing with his son, my best friend, Sándor, who passed in a tragic accident not long thereafter,’ said the portrait model’s son.


“I’m honored to have this portrait in my possession to enjoy and share with future generations of my family. I am grateful to Aranka and her brother Zoltan for preserving and sharing their father’s great works, including this one of my father,” Glen continued.

Professor Matolcsy is well known in Maine and beyond for founding the Western Maine Art Group in Norway in 1962 and founding the Norway Sidewalk Arts Festival in 1967.

Before escaping from his homeland during the Nazi and subsequent Soviet invasions, he was a celebrated artist in Hungary, Austria and Germany. His work is known to the National Gallery in Hungary, and he is recognized as a national artist there.

In addition to numerous solo shows in Europe and the United States, he won many juried shows in Maine including the Portland Sidewalk Art Show, Art in the Park in South Portland, and the Fort Williams Art Show in Cape Elizabeth.

His work has also hung on the walls of senators’ offices in Washington DC, Maine hospitals, law offices, and restaurants, and is held in private collections all over the world.

Sixty-two years after its founding, the Western Maine Art Group still operates out of the one-room schoolhouse at 480 Main Street, Norway which Matolcsy acquired from the school district when the old schoolhouses were being decommissioned. It was named the Lajos Matolcsy Arts Center in his honor shortly before his death.

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