harry_mirror

Happy 100th Birthday Harry!

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Harry Mayerovitch was born in Montreal a hundred years ago today, on April 16, 1910. How can anyone even begin to properly summarize Harry’s life? He was an accomplished architect, a beloved teacher and lecturer, a Depression-era painter, political cartoonist, and lithographer, a WW2 anti-Nazi propaganda machine, a late-blooming romantic (he began his relationship with the love of his life, Betty Ann Affleck, when he was over 80), an actor in a highly-praised film, an eclectic nonagenarian zine publisher (he handed out copies of his self-published pamphlet of cartoons to guests at his 90th birthday party), and, overall, a lifelong aesthete and irrepressible bon-vivant.

Harry Mayerovitch was born in Montreal a hundred years ago today, on April 16, 1910. How can anyone even begin to properly summarize Harry’s life? He was an accomplished architect, a beloved teacher and lecturer, a Depression-era painter, political cartoonist, and lithographer, a WW2 anti-Nazi propaganda machine, a late-blooming romantic (he began his relationship with the love of his life, Betty Ann Affleck, when he was over 80), an actor in a highly-praised film, an eclectic nonagenarian zine publisher (he handed out copies of his self-published pamphlet of cartoons to guests at his 90th birthday party), and, overall, a lifelong aesthete and irrepressible bon-vivant.

His WW2 posters were featured in a large-size volume of Drawn & Quarterly a decade ago and his 2002-03 drawings on the subject of death were collected in a book, appropriately titled Way To Go, and launched just days before his 94th birthday. It was a big affair, with what seemed like over 200 people in attendance and two giant birthday cakes (courtesy of Cantors Bakery’s Tony Medeiros) both featuring the cover of his latest book embedded in the icing. Sadly, Harry died in his sleep only two weeks later – on the morning of his actual 94th birthday.

For anyone living in or near Montreal, I’d recommend a visit to The McCord Museum where over a dozen of Harry’s paintings, posters, and lithographs are currently on display (through May 2nd) as part of the Jewish Painters of Montreal exhibition.

Happy 100th birthday Harry, I really miss you.

Above: Harry at left with John Grierson at The National Film Board of Canada circa 1944.

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