Born in Budapest, Laszlo Ispanky gained early fame in his native country, but during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 he made the decision to escape his homeland and emigrate to the United States. Soon after, he was awarded a Fellowship to the distinguished Cranbook Academy of Art in Michigan to study and to teach sculpting.
He moved to New Jersey in 1960 and became the Master Sculptor for Cybis Porcelains. Among his notable creations at that time was the 48 State Flower Bouquet for the 1964 World’s Fair.
In 1966, he started his own porcelain company with George Utley, in Trenton, New Jersey.
Ispanky’s works have been selected by the United States as special gifts to heads of state, and he remains internationally renowned for his remarkable ability to duplicate an individual’s likeness. This is most visible in his majestic sculpture of Pope John Paul II.
His pieces are in some of the finest collections in the world, including The Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art of Peking, The Brooklyn Museum, The Rockefeller Collection, Buckingham Palace, and the Vatican.
President Gerald Ford selected three of Ispanky’s major pieces for presentation to heads of state on his European trip in 1975, as well as a presentation to Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung. During John Paul II’s visit to the United States, the Pope was presented with Ispanky’s “Ten Commandments," which is now at the papal summer home in Castle Gandolfo. In 1974, he created “Basketball Players” for the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.
The Museum of American Porcelain Art is open to the general public at listed times and welcomes requests for private or group tours. The Museum also welcomes inquiries about donations, including donations of collections. Please contact us for more information.