News

Defining an era

George and Jean Barsony.
George and Jean Barsony.

George Barsony passed away on the October 7, 2010, just short of his 93rd birthday.

I feel honoured and privileged to have met George and Jean Barsony, the enigmatic couple behind Barsony Ceramics. I cannot think of any name in Australian pottery from the mid 20th century who has as much significance or mystery as George Barsony. The elegant and sophisticated but very edgy Barsony lamps have become very collectible over the past few years. People may know them better as the notorious ‘Black Lady Lamps’. The mystique about the person deepens because there is no other Australian artisan to have an era named after them. The ‘Barsony Era’ is recognised here and internationally, in Europe and America. It has become synonymous for a particular style, design and look that was original and exciting for its time. The Barsony name cuts a very distinguished position in not only Australian pottery, but in European and Australian social history.

The fifties was a time when families painted their homes in ‘gay’ colours, when a black lady lamp/figurine would not be considered ideologically incorrect, although the nudity was considered risqué, a housewife was not yet considered a domestic goddess and ladies had their hair done in a salon. The Barsony era conjures up images of cool sophistication, cocktail parties and a joie de vivre . Many Australian writers and artists left our barren cultural landscape and became expatriates to find what they were looking for overseas, usually in Europe. The strange thing about this phenomenon is that many Europeans were leaving their shores to find peace and tranquillity in a democratic country. To Australia’s advantage, many European migrants came to our shores and without their knowing, enriched our cultural identity. George Barsony was one of these people.

George was born in Pecs, Hungary, on November 15 1917. He completed his first major sculpture when he was just 21years of age. The 2.2 metre high bronze statue of St Francis of Assisi in Pecs was honoured by the city this year.

In 1949, George arrived in Sydney as an assisted refugee. He met and married Jean Bird. In 1955, they settled into a home in Bankstown and set up a small art pottery workshop in the backyard called ‘Barsony Ceramics’. For many years the ‘Ballerina’ with her delicate beauty was the most popular lamp as well as the ‘Little Boys’ and the ‘Little Girls’. Barsony Ceramics ceased trading by 1970.

George Barsony passed away peacefully in Casino. The curtains closed to the sound of the Argentinean tango. A fitting finale to a vibrant, creative and loving personality.

He is survived by his wife Jean and his three children Roger, Elena, and Melanie.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Feed brain and body will take care of the rest

Psychologist and author on brain nutrition and dealing with female stress, Delia McCabe, talks at Lismore's City Library.

Delia McCabe talks about her new book in Lismore: Feed The Brain.

New Australian film a Goldstone

STARS: Jacki Weaver and David Wenham in a scene from the movie Goldstone.

Detective Jay Swan is back to the big screen

Local musos: Ask Minister Grant for a music grant

OPPORTUNITY: Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant has asked NSW musicians to apply for the Opportunity Development Grants Program.

Applications close on Tuesday, September 6.

Latest deals and offers

New Australian film a Goldstone

Detective Jay Swan is back to the big screen with a long list of Aussie stars

Local musos: Ask Minister Grant for a music grant

OPPORTUNITY: Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant has asked NSW musicians to apply for the Opportunity Development Grants Program.

Applications close on Tuesday, September 6.

Multiple guns and drugs seized in raid

Guns seized from a property at Ellangowan.

Twp people have been charged following a raid this morning

Guns, bullets, and drugs seized in Northern Rivers raid

Police conduct drug raids in the city and surrounding areas, confiscating an array of drugs, implements used to conceal drugs, and firearms. A number of people are on multiple charges. July 8, 2016

Rural property searched and two people charged.

Search for Lismore’s new supermodel

Senior finalists represented Lismore in the 2015 Tamblyn Model Discovery Grand Final.

Tamblyn Young Model Search held from Thursday at Lismore Square

NORPA brings My Radio Heart back

Performers in the NORPA co-production My Radio Heart, from left, Randolf Reimann, Phoebe Rose, Mathew Daymond, Claudie Frock, Zac Mifsud (sitting), and Lydian Dunbar. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

The piece premiered in 2014 in Lismore

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

New Australian film a Goldstone

STARS: Jacki Weaver and David Wenham in a scene from the movie Goldstone.

Detective Jay Swan is back to the big screen

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Local musos: Ask Minister Grant for a music grant

OPPORTUNITY: Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant has asked NSW musicians to apply for the Opportunity Development Grants Program.

Applications close on Tuesday, September 6.

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started