The Life of Kocsis

Born April 27 in Buffalo, NY, to parents Geya Kocsis, who worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp., and Marion E. Kocsis, née Whitbread.


Moved to Bethlehem, PA.


Began painting.


Leadership training in American Indian culture, beginning ten years of social work with youths.


First one-person show, Nitschmann Junior High School, Bethlehem, PA.


Carnegie National Art Award, Pittsburgh, PA.

Awarded four-year scholarship to Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts.

Taught American Indian cultural arts with Cherokee and Seneca Nation members.


Philadelphia Art Alliance Award for American Indian craft, design, and costume.


Met Carol Virginia Frearson, also a  student at the Philadelphia College of Art, who became his most frequent and important model. They married three years later.

Graduated from Philadelphia College of Art.

Nineteen-month U.S. Army tour of duty in Germany. Travel and study in Italy, France, and Spain.


United States Army Europe and Africa (USAEA) awards in drawing, painting, and photography.


Published writings and drawings on American Indian themes for children’s magazines and books.


Married Carol V. Kocsis, née Frearson.


Illustrated books and magazines for New York, Boston, and Philadelphia publishers. More than 20 books illustrated under the pseudonym J.C. Kocsis.


Member of the Philadelphia College of Art faculty; lecturer at Kutztown State Teachers College (now Kutztown University).


Publication of Edge of Two Worlds, written by Weyman Jones and illustrated by J.C. Kocsis (New York:  Dial Press). Book received the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award (1968); the illustrations also received the American Institute of Graphic Arts Biannual Award (1969).

Retired from illustrating, went into seclusion, and began painting full time.


Painting Production: IGNEOUS MAN SERIES.


Painting Production: CARNIVAL SERIES.


Painting Production: SCOURGE PERIOD and EXILE PERIOD.

Moved from Philadelphia to Bethlehem, PA.

Lehigh University in Bethlehem provided studio for painting and seclusion.


First published review by Dr. Albert Hofammann, Arts Editor, The Morning Call, Allentown, PA.


Private exhibitions of the painter’s work sponsored by collectors in New York City, Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia.

First one-person, museum exhibition of 30 paintings at Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC.


Tour of Eastern United States and Canada.

Television interview, WBEN-TV, Buffalo, NY.

Igneous Man Exhibition/Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the Harvard exhibition.

Radio interview, WHRB, Boston.

Visit to West Coast; tour of museums in California, Oregon, Washington.

Painting Production: MAN AS UNIVERSE SERIES

Installation: Two paintings, Confrontation and Crucifixion, on loan to the Philadelphia College of Art.

Letter of recognition by Lord Kenneth Clark, Kent, England.


Installation: The painting Scholar in the Bethlehem Public Library, Bethlehem, PA.


Toured Eastern United States.

Radio and television feature interviews: Washington, DC, National Public Radio, “Voices in the Wind”; Philadelphia, PA, WPVI-TV; Syracuse, NY, WSYR-TV; Buffalo, NY, WEBR, WNED-TV and WKBW-TV.

Guest speaker, Art Librarians Conference, American Library Association Convention, Chicago, IL.

First feature article including full-color reproductions in The Buffalo News Magazine, Buffalo, NY.


Igneous Man Exhibition/Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia. First international one-person exhibition, 34 paintings.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the Sydney Opera House exhibition.

Second letter of recognition by Lord Kenneth Clark, Kent, England.


Painting Production: QUINTESSENCE SERIES


Paragon Press published first monograph: KOCSIS, The Art of James Paul Kocsis, by Joseph C. Skrapits (Lehigh Valley: Paragon Press) 179 pp, including color reproductions of 16 paintings. National and international distribution of book by artist.

Bethlehem Public Library sponsored reception to honor the publication of KOCSIS, The Art of James Paul Kocsis. The Bethlehem Globe-Times, Bethlehem, PA, and The Morning Call, Allentown, PA, published full-page reviews with full-color reproductions.

Third letter of recognition by Lord Kenneth Clark, Kent, England.

Guest speaker: Art Series Program, Kutztown State College, Kutztown, PA.


Interview: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, with Anne D’Harnoncourt, Curator of Twentieth Century Painting.

Igneous Man Exhibition/China: Jilin University, Changchun, People’s Republic of China.

Igneous Man Exhibition/Saudi Arabia: Dhahran Central Library, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.


Painting Production: BLACK SERIES and WOMAN AS GOD


Start of Igneous Man Exhibition World Tour: United World College of Southeast Asia, Thirteenth Annual Festival of the Arts, Singapore; Italsider Steel Co., Genoa & Alessandria, Italy; United World College of the Adriatic, Trieste, Italy; United World College of the Atlantic, south Wales, United Kingdom; International Music and Art Festival, Glamorgan, Wales, UK; United World College of Southern Africa, Mbabane, Swaziland; United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya; United States International University/Europe, London, England; University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland.

James Joyce Museum, Dublin, Ireland, exhibited KOCSIS, The Art of James Paul Kocsis, and color lithographs.


Visit to London, England, and other locales; tour of museums and libraries.

Visit to the gravesite of Lord Kenneth Clark, Saltwood Church, Kent; interview with Lord Alan Clark.

Interview: Mary Burkett, Director, Kendal Museum, in London, England.

Interview: The Right Honorable Lord Quinton, President, Trinity College, Oxford University, Oxford, England; invitation for exhibition.


Igneous Man Exhibition/England: Kendal Museum, Kendal, England; opened by Richard Luce, M.P., Minister for the Arts.

Selected for Who’s Who in American Art—17th Edition.

Igneous Man Exhibition/Africa: International Public Relations Convention, Harare, Zimbabwe


Introduction to Chief B. E. Ogbuagu, President of the Federation of Africa.

Igneous Man Exhibition/Africa: Imo State Library Service, Owerri, Nigeria

Selected for Who’s Who in America – 45th Edition.


Igneous Man Exhibition/Memory of Lord Kenneth Clark, Trinity College, Oxford University, Oxford, England.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the Oxford exhibition.

Traveled to England for tour of London and Oxford and distribution of Oxford poster. Window displays by Foyles, Ltd. and Dillon’s in both London and Oxford; concurrent displays in U.S.A. book stores.

BBC-Oxford Radio interview at exhibition.

Tour: Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Columbia, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, New York City—distribution of Oxford poster. Posters installed by the British Embassy, Washington, D.C.; British Tourist Authority, New York City; British Information Service, New York City.

Guest speaker: Adelphia Institute for Psychic and Metaphysical Development, Awareness, & Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Interview: Coretta Scott King at Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc., Atlanta, GA. Scheduled Igneous Man Exhibition/Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., for April 1990.

Met Polish philosopher and political theorist Wlodzimierz Julian Korab-Karpowicz, who offered liaison for exhibitions in Poland.

Igneous Man Exhibition/Africa: Progress Bank of Nigeria, Inc., Lagos, Nigeria.


Igneous Man Exhibition/Africa: National Arts Theatre, Lagos, Nigeria. Guest of honor and speaker at opening: Prof. Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Installation: Healing, 1980 (Quintessence Series) at Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, Allentown, PA. Donated by Dr. Robert B. Doll. Unveiling sponsored by The Arts Advisory Board. Address by Wlodzimierz Julian Korab-Karpowicz. 


Igneous Man Exhibition/Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Freedom Hall, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Atlanta, GA. Related exhibit focusing on printed matter and paintings at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, Atlanta.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the MLK/Atlanta exhibition.

Interview, diplomatic representatives of the United Nations, New York City, in Allentown studio.


Painting production: GREEK SERIES and ASIAN SERIES


Igneous Man Exhibition/Independence Day: United States Mission to the United Nations, New York City.

Igneous Man Exhibition/United Nations: United Nations, New York City. First American to present one-person exhibition of paintings at the United Nations.


Continuation of Igneous Man Exhibition World Tour: Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych, Sopot, Poland; Galerya, Gdansk, Poland: American-German Institute, Saarbrücken, Germany; Amerika Haus, Frankfurt, Germany; Zentral Bibliothek, Cologne, Germany; Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Church Educational System, Western Samoa.


Igneous Man Exhibition/India; Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi; India International Center, New Delhi.

Missionaries of Charity, Calcutta, India, accepted collection of prints and posters. Letter of recognition from Mother Teresa.

Installation: Ghanian, 1984 (Black Series) and Green Belt, 1970 (Igneous Man Series) at Lehigh Valley International Airport, Allentown, PA.

Feature profile, WLVT-TV Lehigh Valley PBS, Art Watch.


Began to organize the Igneous Man Exhibition/South America and Igneous Man Exhibition/Mexico


Letter of recognition by Richard H. Glanton, President, The Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA.

Letter of recognition by art historian Sister Wendy Beckett, Norfolk, England.


Igneous Man Exhibition/South America: National Museum and Library, Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana Benjamin Carrion, Quito, Ecuador.

Igneous Man Exhibition/Mexico: Benjamin Franklin Library, Mexico City.

Traveled to Ontario and Quebec, Canada, for exhibitions of books, posters and prints at the National Gallery of Canada library in Ottawa, the National Library of Canada, in Ottawa, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens Library in Montreal.

Interview: Global Television, Channel 3, Montreal.


Painting production: SANTIAGO SERIES and LUNA SERIES


Lecture: “Pursuit of Quality” at Borders bookstore, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.

Interview: Henry Veguilla, “Philly Live” WYBE Public Television, Philadelphia.

Igneous Man Exhibition/Mexico: Galaria Guillermo Kahlo, Casa de Cultura Jesus Reyes Heroles, Coyoacán, Mexico City.

Paragon Press published KOCSIS SCOURGED, Surviving the Art World, by Dr. Albert Nekimken (Lehigh Valley, Paragon Press) 245 pp, about the interface of creative artists in all fields of expression with the commercial machinery; including interviews with Kocsis and color reproductions of 31 paintings.


Interview: “New Arts Alive” with James Carroll, for Berks Community TV; rebroadcast in Philadelphia, Buffalo, and New York City.

Interview: “Time Out—Lehigh Valley” with Ali Grossman, RCN-4 Lehigh Valley.

Featured: “5 O’Clock News: Artist Among Us” with Megan Waller, WFMZ Ch. 69, Lehigh Valley.


Igneous Man Exhibition/Greece: The Academy of Athens University, Athens; National Academy of Athens Library, Athens; Spata Airport, Athens; Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion, Crete.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the Greece exhibitions.


Igneous Man Exhibition/Russia: Hermitage Museum Library, St. Petersburg; Dostoevsky Museum; Staraya; Russian Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the Russia exhibitions.


Igneous Man Exhibition/Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington, D.C., with related show at Georgetown University.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the Washington exhibitions.


Igneous Man Exhibition/Paris: Église St.-Germain l’Auxerrois, Paris, France. First exhibition of paintings presented in the 12th-century Gothic Cathedral, directly across from the Louvre Palace and often referred to as the Parish of the Kings.

Designed, printed and distributed poster for the Paris exhibition.

Archbishop Patrick Jacquin, Rector of Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris, received prints and a copy of Kocsis Scourged, Surviving the Art World.


Established the James Paul Kocsis International Independent Museum at his home in Allentown, PA.


December 24 – Carol V. Kocsis, wife of James Paul Kocsis, died at the age of 80.


December 28 – James Paul Kocsis died at the age of 85 at an assisted care facility in Allentown, PA.