Artist, musician and teacher George (né György) Mayer-Marton was born into a Jewish family in Győr in Austria-Hungary (now Hungary) on 3 June 1897. During the First World War he served in the Austro-Hungarian army as an artillery officer, afterwards studying at the Art Academies of Vienna and Munich (1919-24). He established a successful career as a painter, designer, writer and curator and took part in over 40 national and international exhibitions as Secretary and Vice-President of the progressive Hagenbund, Vienna. He was twice awarded the Prize of of Honour of the City of Vienna (1928 and 1936) and also received the Decoration de Chevalier de l’Ordre de Leopold II of Belgium in 1937. Six months after the Anschluss (Nazi annexation of Austria) he was forced to flee to England with his wife, pianist Greta Fried, in 1938. He taught at the St John's School of Art until the onset of the Blitz in September 1940, during which his London studio home was bombed, destroying all of his early work. Subsequently he worked as a lecturer for the British Institute of Adult Education, and later for CEMA (the precursor to the Arts Council). In 1945, he learned that his parents had been killed during the liquidation of the Győr ghetto (his mother was killed outright, his father was transported with 5,000 others before being murdered in Auschwitz, and his younger brother Vilmos died on a forced labour march).
In 1952, following the death of his wife, he moved north, becoming Senior Lecturer at Liverpool College of Art, a post he held until his death. He worked in oils and watercolours and was a highly skilled muralist and mosaicist, carrying out commissions including the Pentecost mosaic for the Chapel of Unity in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool and Roman Catholic church of Holy Rosary in Fitton Hill, Oldham. George Mayer-Marton died in Liverpool, England on 8 August 1960 and a memorial exhibition was held at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool the same year. His work was also exhibited posthumously at the Crane Kalman Gallery, London (1964) and the Leicester Galleries, London (1971), and at galleries in Vienna including a retrospective at the Belvedere in 1986. His work was also included in the 'Art in Exile' show (Berlin, Vienna, London, 1985-86) and in Ben Uri Gallery's touring exhibition 'Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain c. 1933-45' (2009-10). His work is held in UK collections including the Ashmolean, the British Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in Edinburgh, and the National Museum of Wales, as well as in European galleries including in Vienna.