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Gabriella Polony-Mountain: Mosaic Artist, Renaissance Woman

 

Gabriella Polony-Mountain
Gabriella Polony-Mountain. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

As a bonus to going on my Hildreth Meiere pilgrimage in March, I was introduced the work of Gabriella Polony-Mountain in the Regina Quick Center for the Arts collection.  I had never heard of her, and was glad I discovered her work. She was born in 1918, and just in 2009 at age 91, had a first comprehensive showing of her work in Kansas City where she lived for many years after emigrating from Hungary.

Polony-Mountain takes a journey with a journalist to the sites of many of her Kansas City works of art, including a mosaic panel, in pristine condition, hidden behind a mirror in an apartment building lobby.  A resident of the building describes her relief that mosaic has reemerged, since she remembered seeing it as a child, and then moved into the building as an adult and it was gone.  Much of Polony-Mountain’s work is yet to be found.  Fortunately, the Quick Center has mosaics, stained glass, and copper repousse doors.

Making Music, Stained Glass by Gabriella Polony-Mountain, 1950's
Making Music, Stained Glass by Gabriella Polony-Mountain, 1950’s. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

The very first piece was a work of stained glass, Making Music, by the entry, followed by an interpretation of the same theme in mosaic.  In the same space, there is a magnificent set of copper repousse doors, with a Guardian Angel on the left side, and a Fallen Angel on the right side.  When her name appeared as the artist for these as well, I was amazed by her many talents, and glad to see its manifestations in one place.

Music, Mosaic by Gabriella Polony-Mountain, 1960
Music, Mosaic by Gabriella Polony-Mountain, 1960. Photo by Wayne Stratz.
The Guardian Angel and The Fallen Angel, Copper Repousse by Gabriella Polony-Mountain, 1980-81
The Guardian Angel and The Fallen Angel, Copper Repousse by Gabriella Polony-Mountain, 1980-81. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

4 comments

  1. Hilly says:

    The Regina A Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University is a gem of a museum. Not only do they own Gabriella Polony-Mountain’s work but they have received a donation of a sample mosaic of Hildreth’s work. One can now go see mosaics created by two wonderful women. Thank you for sharing Gabriella’s story in this blog and for putting in the link to the newspaper article on her.

  2. Maira Grove says:

    What talent! Absolutely beautiful work. To think that someone would hide something like that behind a mirror…

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