Portland State University Graphic Design 

Matthias Kemeny Endowed Design Lecture Series

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Past
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About the Philanthropist

Matthias Kemeny

Matthias Kemeny was born on July 25th, 1942 in Auxerre, France to a Hungarian father and German-Polish mother. He was educated as an artist and designer, earning his Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in 1973. Matthias combined his talents in the arts with this entrepreneurial skills to build a very successful exhibition and display business, producing fine and commercial art for more than 40 years. His work can be found across the globe, from museums in his home state of Washington, too as far away as Pakistan. He was never at a loss for ideas and authored several patents, many of which are still in use. He was talented, creative and innovative.

A world traveler much of his life, Matthias would sketch in pen and ink on table napkin drawings of the people he saw on his travels. Late in his life, he culminated his dream of transforming these line sketches into a catalogue of painted drawings which he called “Collecting Souls.” These portraits speak to the commonality of the human race. These works conveyed a simple yet powerful message of his love for humanity.

A powerful yet gentle man, Matthias was intensely focused and strongly committed to making the world a better place. His intellectual curiosity was remarkable, as was his genuine, deep interest in every person he met. He continued life-long friendships with diverse people from all over the world.

Matthias Kemeny passed away from ALS in March of 2007.