Melbourne: Lyall House by Anatol Kagan on sale

Anatol Kagan / profile 

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Born in St Petersburg on 4 October 1913, Anatol Kagan was the son of a university lecturer and a teacher.  The elder Kagan was one of a large group of intellectuals who, considered by the Soviet government to be potentially dangerous to the new regime, were exiled aboard the so-called “Philosophy Steamer” towards the end of 1923. The Kagan family made a new life for themselves in Berlin, where Anatol’s father, who had also worked as a book publisher in Russia, re-established his imprint.  Anatol Kagan, whose talent for drawing had surfaced as a child, soon became attracted to a career in architecture.  He initially enrolled in the diploma course at the Berlin Technical University, hoping to transfer thence to the Bauhaus; however, when the latter school was closed by the incoming National Socialist government in 1933, Anatol Kagan was left to finish his studies at the BTU, where he received a diploma in 1937.  Being a foreigner in Germany, Anatol Kagan was not permitted to practice architecture there, so he decided to emigrate.  As he had been supplementing his income by teacher English language classes, he chose Australia as his new home.  Kagan travelled via London, where he remained for six months while his immigration paperwork was processed; during that period, he gained some professional experience in the office of a minor architect of theatres.  (Simon Reeves)


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