American artist William Pachner was born in Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1915. Trained as an illustrator, Pachner moved to Prague and eventually left Czechoslovakia for the United States in 1939. When World War II broke out, he realized he could not return. The family he left behind was killed by mass murder. Pachner, however cannot forget the bond with the memory of his family, and has said, “…the connectedness was of lasting and determining importance – a bond of intimate and life-giving connection, which intensified with its loss.”
During World War II, Pachner became art director for Esquire Magazine. His works included fanciful designs to accompany national anthems of the Allied Powers, portraits of GI’s recovering from injuries and cartoons to illustrate some humor in a world of sorrow. Later he illustrated for Collier’s, Cosmopolitan and other national magazines.
Following the war, Pachner abandoned his career as an illustrator to become a studio artist. He moved to Woodstock, New York, established himself as a studio artist and began a career for which he is highly recognized today. In Florida, Pachner is known as one of the founders of the West Coast Art Center and was a winter resident of Tampa until 2009.
There is a special emphasis on his last works, which serve as powerful statements about the world in which we live.