Ferenczy Museum


Established as the local history collection of the town in 1951 and named after artist Károly Ferenczy, the museum was relocated to a historic monument building, the 18th-century Pajor Mansion in Kossuth Lajos Street in 2013. In 2016 the museum changed its name to Ferenczy Museum Centre, and today it owns a uniquely rich collection of Szentendre’s painting, graphic art, sculpture, and numismatic art.
On the second floor of the building’s old wing one may get a taste of the works of The Eight, founders of the old artists’ settlement in 1926. The exhibition is currently being rearranged. There are two temporary exhibition halls on the first floor. The works of contemporary Szentendre artists are exhibited in Szentendre Hall, whereas in Barcsay Hall projects of national and international artists can be viewed.

The museum, established as the city’s local history collection, was named after painter Károly Ferenczy. It is hosted in the former Orthodox Serbian school building. When the county museum directorates were created and the Pest County museum center moved to Szentendre from the capital the museum building was expanded with a further wing. The permanent exhibition featuring the artistic legacy of the Ferenczy family occupies both wings of the building. It was opened in 1973 when the name of the museum changed to Ferenczy Museum.

The Serbian Orthodox Church reclaimed the building through the ecclesiastical compensation in 2000. The handover happened in 2010. That was when reconstruction and expansion works started in the historic monument building in Kossuth Lajos Street, in the 19th-century Pajor Mansion and the new Ferenczy Museum opened on 18 June 2013.

The building’s façade regained its original beauty and The Modern Masters of a Golden Era, the permanent exhibition of the Ferenczy family, is rearranged on the second floor of the museum, modified to meet up-to-date museological requirements and expanded with new spaces. The exhibition can currently be visited in the Fisherman’s Castle in Kápolnásnyék.

Head of family Károly Ferenczy (1862–1917) is a master of modern Hungarian painting, creating a new school of art. The exhibition presenting his various periods shows how the artist left his French-type “delicate naturalism” in Szentendre, passing through a particular Hungarian impressionism, the effect of plein air painting in Nagybánya, finally arriving at nude studies, still lifes, and portraits in Budapest in his last years. Two paintings of his wife, Olga Fialka (1848–1930), indicate how all three Ferenczy children have also inherited the artistic talent on their mother’s side. Valér Ferenczy (1885–1954) is represented by a few sensitive portraits painted of family members and a large-scale oil painting of a part of Nagybánya. Noémi Ferenczy (1890–1957) is considered to be one of the innovators of European Gobelin Art. Her oeuvre is represented here by early, rich plant-ornamented works as well as later, more consolidated monumental art, large-size cardboards and gobelins woven by her. The entire legacy of her twin brother, the sculptor Béni Ferenczy (1890–1967) was donated by his widow, thus this is the richest collection. Besides the significant works of his oeuvre—large-size wooden and bronze sculptures, coins—there are several bronze figurines as well as the gypsum prepared for the final shape exhibited in the display case.

Several decisive artworks of a strain of 20th-century art also knows as “Szentendre Art” can also be found in the Ferenczy Museum. On the second floor of the building wing one may get a taste of the work of The Eight, the founders of the old artist’s colony in 1926. The exhibition is currently being rearranged. The works of contemporary Szentendre artists are exhibited in the Szentendre Hall, whereas in the Barcsay Hall projects of national and international artist may be viewed.

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ArtMill


The 19th-century building of the former sawmill is one of the most interesting and special exhibition venues in Hungary. Based on a idea of painters Dezső Korniss and Pál Deim, the gallery was opened to the general public on the initiative of For Szentendre’s Art Foundation in cooperation with the Szentendre Architects’ Club in June 1999. The aim of the founders was to establish a modern artists’ center. The museum currently hosts temporary exhibitions.

It is the atmosphere, the diverse, special spaces, and the over one and a half decades of professional history of the ArtMill that makes it a definitive center for contemporary art not only on a local, but also on an international scale. It is the third most important exhibition space in Hungary thanks to its features and its temporary exhibitions visited by a large number of people.

The 19th-century building of the former sawmill is one of the most interesting and special exhibition venues Hungary. Based on an idea of painters Dezső Korniss and Pál Deim, the gallery was opened to the general public on the initiative of For Szentendre’s Art Foundation in cooperation with the Szentendre Architects’ Club in June 1999 after its inauguration in 1998. The aim of the founders was to establish a modern artists’ center as well as present Szentendre art in temporary exhibitions. The ArtMill was expanded with new wings as part of an EU tender and continued to function in accordance with the founders’ plans under the professional direction of the Ferenczy Museum, a city museum covering the county in 2012. Since 2016 it has belonged to the Ferenczy Museum Center.
It is the four units (northern wing, middle wing, southern wing, closed courtyard), the location within Szentendre, the atmosphere of the ArtMill, its uniqueness, and the over one and a half decades of professional history that makes it a definitive center for contemporary art not only on a local, but also on a Central European scale.

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Szentendre Gallery


Szentendre Gallery, hosting temporary exhibitions, is situated on the first floor of Trade House’s historic monument building on Szentendre’s impressive Main Square. Due to its traditional role and central situation it is one of the most significant exhibition spaces of the Ferenczy Museum Center. A bookstore selling the museum’s publications and a restaurant are situated in its direct vicinity, and the local history exhibition is located in its basement.

Szentendre Gallery, hosting temporary exhibitions, is situated on the first floor of Trade House’s historic monument building on Szentendre’s impressive Main Square. An interesting feature of the building, which almost entirely dominates the square, is that it consists of 6 different houses that were all built separately in the 18th century, but were furnished with joint roofing in the following century. The original layout of the building complex can still be identified today: the owners’ stores were on the first floor, behind these the storerooms and the flats on the second floor. In 1977, during the reconstruction of the building as a allery, mural analysis revealed amazing Baroque frescoes.

The Szentendre Gallery was opened on 27 January 1978, almost exactly on the 50th anniversary of the registration of the Szentendre’s Painters Association. For a long time it was the only representative exhibition hall of the county that was suitable for hosting temporary exhibitions.

The founders defined the hall’s mission thus: “The basic idea was that the Gallery belonging to the Directorate of Pest County Museums would host exhibitions from the county and Szentendre, present the new acquisitions of the museum, organize exhibitions of significant masters within the museum’s scope of collections, and also house foreign collections.”

Szentendre Gallery hosts temporary exhibitions today, too. Due to its traditional role and central situation it is one of the most significant exhibition spaces of the Ferenczy Museum Center. A bookstore selling the museum’s publications and a restaurant are in its direct vicinity, and the local history exhibition is located in its basement.

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Czóbel Museum


Béla Czóbel, considered to be the most French of the Hungarian painters, is an internationally recognized representative of modern Hungarian fine arts. He was the first artist in Hungary to have a museum dedicated to him in his own lifetime—here in Szentendre, where he was also nominated as honorary citizen and where he probably spent most of his time besides Paris. The exhibition Czóbel Reconsidered in the freshly renovated museum on Church Hill presents the painter’s rich career in chronological order.

Béla Czóbel (1883–1976), considered to be the most French of the Hungarian painters is a prominent representative of modern Hungarian fine arts, also recognised internationally. He lived and worked in the most significant locales of European Modernism—after his start in Nagybánya and a short stay in München he went to Paris. There he exhibited in the Salon des Indépendants, but was a founding member of The Eight, and later joined the Brücke group in Berlin. In 1940 he married the painter Mária Modok and they settled down in Szentendre. In 1966 he received an apartment with a studio in Budapest in the Artist House on Kelenhegyi Road, but he continued to spend his summers in Szentendre. His works can be found not only in the most significant Hungarian public and private collections, but also in large museums around the world.

Already in his life, Béla Czóbel had a museum in Szentendre dedicated to his work, and he was also nominated as honorary citizen here. Czóbel Museum, featuring the majority of his oeuvre, was opened in 1975 in a 19th-century single-storey building originally built to be a Roman Catholic boys’ school on Church Hill. It was the first time in Hungary that an the artist himself could open his own exhibition.
Czobel Reconsidered is featured in this building, which was renovated inside and outside just before the opening. Gergely Barki, the exhibition’s curator aimed at presenting the painter’s life chronologically. The exhibition follows Czóbel’s art from his career start in Nagybánya, through his Fauvist period in Paris, the time when he joined The Eight, his years in the Netherlands, the Berlin period, until he moved back to Paris. The exhibition ends with his commuting years between Paris and Szentendre, the acme of his career.

Apart from the paintings, Czóbel’s less-known drawings are also well emphasized in the “reconsidered” exhibition. The Museum has launched a separate program to promote the academic processing of this part of his lifework. Besides the paintings and graphic art visitors also have a chance to see the lost Czóbel works with the help of an interactive stand, and they may also view works that have been retrieved from storage and are shown at a permanent exhibition for the first time.

A recently discovered and freshly restored double-sided painting, Vase on the Chair, and Male Portrait are a novelty. Documentary films and interactive information devices contribute to a deeper understanding of the artist’s oeuvre.

The exhibition is based on the Czóbel Collection of the Ferenczy Museum Center, which includes several hundreds of pieces on loan from the Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, the József Katona Museum, Kecskemét, and the Académie Julian, Paris.

According to the plans, part of the permanent exhibition will be renewed periodically.

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Kovács Margit Ceramics Museum


One of Szentendre’s most popular museums, opened in 1973, presents the lifework of Kossuth Prize-laureate ceramic artist Margit Kovács (1902–1977). The collection was donated in 1972 by the artist, who is considered to be the innovator of Hungarian ceramic art. The over 300 works, embracing the entire lifework of Kovács, are figural compositions. The second-floor gallery of the new wing presents the reconstruction of Margit Kovács’s home on Pozsonyi Road with her potter’s wheel.

The official copies of her most well-known ceramics are on display in the last room. The blind and visually impaired can also touch these.

The collection presenting the oeuvre of the Kossuth-prize laureate master of Hungarian ceramic art Margit Kovács was opened in 1973. Originally built as a salt office, the 17th-century Baroque building of the museum later functioned as a post station, then as a trading house before it became the home of the Vastaghs. The Görög Street facade is adorned by a row of trellised windows. In 2008, as a result a of a successful grant, the building was expanded with a new 110-square meter multifunctional wing based on the plans of Szentendre architect József Kocsis. The motifs in the ceramic cladding of the Greek Street facade—the work of Szentendre artists Tamás Asszonyi, Róbert Csíkszentmihályi, Tamás Szabó, and Zoltán Szentirmai—hint at Kovács’s work and the Renaissance corner ornament of the neighbouring historic monument building.

The collection consists of works donated to the Directorate of Pest County Museum by the artist in 1972. The over 300 works, embracing the entire lifework of the artist, are figural compositions.
Margit Kovács started her studies in the private school of János Jaschik and went on to the School of Applied Arts. She practiced her ceramic skills in the ceramic workshop of Herta Bucher in Vienna from 1926. In 1928 and 1929 she was a student at the Munich-based Staatsschule für Angewande Kunst. She went on study trips to Copenhagen and Sèvres in the early 1930s.

Roll Girl (1933–1934), which is related to the figure ideal of medieval sculpture, is a typical example of the expressive treatment of surfaces that marked her work in the early 1930s. Alongside a geometricizing trend (Kugelhopf Madonna, 1938), her figures became more and more slender, pillar-like in the 1940s (The Good Shepherd, 1942). By this time her Biblical, moralizing, or folk poetry-inspired works featured matte, colored engobe (clay coating) besides the colour glazes. Some of her Biblical works made in the ’30s and ’40s are wall panels in a Byzantine mood (Annunciation, 1938; Last Supper, 1935), the rest are statutes made on the potter’s wheel (Corpus, 1948, King with Lamb, 1944).

She modeled her functional objects (jugs, bowls, vases) with unique ingenuity. Her Wedding Day Stove (1953) fuses figurative scenes with the folk ornamental heritage. In the 1950s peasant genre scenes dominate her work. Adjusting to the cultural political expectations of the era, in addition to the tile compositions and genre scene reliefs (Apple Harvest, 1952; Peasants’ Wedding, 1955), in this period she also made large-scale realist figures made on a potter’s wheel (Spinner, 1953).

The rustic statues and reliefs she created in the 1960s and 1970s from coarser clay evoke Greek mythology, archaic stories, and folk legends (Cantata Profana, 1969).

The first and second rooms of the museum present smaller sketches and the early years of Kovács’s work. The third room features pieces the 1950s, while the fourth has art from her mature period. The vaulted basement of the old building with its pseudosacred space (which, following the artist’s wish, evokes the atmosphere of chapels), has been supplied with work of art inspired by the Christian iconographic tradition. The second-floor gallery of the new wing presents the reconstruction of Margit Kovács’s home on Pozsonyi Road with her potter’s wheel. The room overlooking Görög Street offers an overview of the last period of Margit Kovács’s art. The official copies of her most well-known ceramics are on display in the last room. The blind and visually impaired can also touch these.

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Local History Exhibition Hall


Dear Visitors!

The Local History exhibition is currently closed due to technical reasons. Thank you for your understanding!

The exhibition that presents the history of the town opened in the Fall of 2015, in the building of the Ferenczy Museum Center on Main Square, the former Trading House, in the basement that is accessible from Vastagh György Street. The spectacular display called Past in the Deep – Mosaics from the History of Szentendre is a time travel through the rich past of the town, through archival material, documents, archaeological finds, images, objects of use, and ornaments, as well as smartly arranged interiors.

The different periods of the town are displayed in separate exhibits: the settlement, already inhabited in the prehistoric era, was first possessed by the Celts, then by the Romans, and it was an important defensive town along the limes. Szentendre’s first written report is also displayed. The exhibition offers an overview of the Settlement of Serbians, who brought along prosperity in trade and industry gearing up from the living conditions of the Middle Ages, the appearance of suburban railways, causing the dynamic development that came with modernity. The time travel closes with the Kádár era, a period of cultural upswing in the 20th century, when the “town of museums” emerged.

In addition to the documents, images, archaeological finds, objects and photos, which were all found in Szentendre or are related to the town, visitors can also access interactive means here to learn about local history of industry and commerce in the town, the distinctive agricultural methods, the most important local professions, and the best-known families of Szentendre.

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Ámos Imre – Anna Margit Memorial Museum


The Museum presents the lifework of tragic Imre Ámos and his wife, Margit Anna, and was opened in 1984. This permanent chronological exhibition, consisting of a significant number of artworks held in a downtown historic monument civil apartment, graphically presents the life and painting of these significant artists in a comparative fashion. The remains of Margit Anna were laid to eternal rest in the garden of the museum upon the request of the artist (1991).

The museum presenting the oeuvre of the artist couple Imre Ámos and Margit Anna opened its doors in 1984 in a 18th-century historic monument building downtown. The artworks featured here were donated by Margit Anna to the Directorate of Pest County Museums (today the Ferenczy Museum Center) in order to preserve the memory of Imre Ámos, disappeared during the Second World War in a forced labor camp, and to present the lifework of the couple. The remains of Margit Anna were laid to eternal rest in the garden of the museum following the request of the artist (1991).

The museum was renovated according to current demands for the 100th anniversary of Imre Ámos’s birth. The Ferenczy Museum Center created a chronological permanent exhibition of the numerous works of Imre Ámos and Margit Anna, which graphically presents the lifework of these two prominent painters of the 20th century in a comparative fashion. The collection cannot be visited temporarily as the museum hosts periodic exhibitions.

At the beginning of his career Imre Ámos (1907–1944) painted idyllic, multiple-figure compositions placed in a timeless space: the paintings are populated by melancholy women going to the well and male figures with meditative serenity. In 1936-37, partially due to Chagall’s influence, his attention turned visualizing “subjective fantasy and visions.” Ámos uses several symbols in his paintings: the rooster, the ladder, the angel, and the fire are all metaphors waiting to be deciphered. The tragic historical events of the 1940s, his sour experience in the labor camp, recalibrate his painting. The colors darken, the outlines of his objects and figures become restricting shackles. His painting shows the shocking experience of the war to dramatic effect. The Szolnok Sketchbook, including the artist’s last drawing, records the period just before his death similarly to Miklós Radnóti’s Bori’s Notebook. The drawings in the sketchbook are shocking documents of hopelessness, pain, and vulnerability presented in an artistic way.

The early works of Margit Anna (1913–1991) include sensitive ink drawings, self-portraits with contemplative countenances composed in interiors. His master, János Vaszary, considered her a promising talent,which is proven by his oft-quoted sentence referring to the dedication of the painter: “…you, madame, have paint flowing in your veins.” Her artistic language becomes more characteristic by the end of the ’30s, her self-portraits display different roles: she appears as a ballet dancer, a circus acrobat, or a woman of high society in her paintings. Margit Anna’s art changes completely as the result of the trauma caused by the Second World War and the loss of his husband. Her colors become sharp, the staring self-portraits are changed to vulnerable puppets exposed to the drift of history. Irony, sarcasm, a grotesque tone, and surprisingly surreal associations characterize her work. Her late period is defined by internalizing the motifs of “servants’ folklore” in her paintings.

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Barcsay Museum


Jenő Barcsay is a decisive artist of 20th-century Hungarian painting and graphic art. A representative of figurative constructivism, creator of mosaics and tapestries, and author of Anatomy for the Artist, Barcsay lived and worked in Szentendre throughout his long life.

In addition to the smaller-sized color compositions of intimate tone—including paintings inspired by Szentendre motifs—there are delicately drawn studies, two mosaics, and three monumental pieces of woven upholstery displayed in the Greek Revival bourgeois apartment located in Jenő Dumtsa Street which hosts the collection.

In 1977 Jenő Barcsay donated approximately two hundred paintings and drawings to the Hungarian state and for a future exhibition of his works he himself chose his paintings to be loaned from other public collections. That is how this exhibition became a live collection, which is also reflected in the master’s confession: “This is me, this is my lifework.” The exhibition covering the lifework presents his entire career through 12 halls in a chronological order.
Barcsay also selected the civil building hosting his collection, which was built in Greek Revival style in the early 19th century. The famous Schartner family inhabited the house for one and a half century. The Stéger family rented a sublet from them, whose famous child, Xavér Ferenc Stéger was also born here. The exhibition was opened in 1978 based on Miklós Hofer’s plans following reconstruction and expansion. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of the artist, the Bethlen Gábor College of Nagyenyed, where Barcsay studied, donated a funerary headboard to the museum, which may be found in the garden through the main gate.

Jenő Barcsay was born in Katona (Catina), Transylvania in 1900. Following elementary school he went to the Reformed College of Kolozsvár (Cluj Napoca), then a year later to Szamosújvár (Gherla). He studied in Bethlen College during the war in Nagyenyed. Following his closing exams the military conscripted him, but he left the army soon after due to bad health.He got accepted to the College of Fine Arts in 1920, where he studied until 1924. His first master was Janos Vaszary, then he became Gyula Rudnay’s student. Between 1926-27 and 1929-30 he travelled to Paris on a state scholarship and also spent some months in Italy.

His tight bond with to Szentendre started in 1928, the first time he visited this little town known for its cultural diversity, hidden alleys, and baroque buildings. Yet it was not Szentendre’s romantic atmosphere that captured him, but the landscape surrounding the city. The shape of the hills, the harmony of the colors, the structure of the landscape reminded him of his birthplace in Transylvania, he therefore remained closely attached to Szentendre. Barcsay became a member of the Association of Szentendre Painters in 1929, after which he spent his summers working in the town. He turned his attention from the landscape to the town itself after 1935. Similarly to his landscapes, he based the colors and shapes of his compositions on the structures of visual elements such as the baroque gateways, the typical windows, and the narrow alleys. In 1945 he joined European School, a group representing Hungarian artistic ambitions.

After the war, already as an acknowledged artist, he was asked to be a teacher at the College of Fine Arts. He headed the Faculty of Anatomy and Visual Studies, where he lectured for over 30 years. It is from all these drawings that he edited his book Anatomy for the Artist, which is still of outstanding importance and has been translated to several languages. He died in 1988 in Budapest. He had not once let go of the brush until his death.

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Kmetty Museum


The permanent exhibition featuring János Kmetty’s lifework was opened in 1981 in a former 18th-century Dalmatian trading house on the southern part of quare. The artist’s widow donated his husband’s legacy to the museum. It holds primarily graphics, atelier sketches, oil paintings from the ’60s, glass window designs and stained glass windows as well as some exceptionally valuable contemporary paintings.

The sculptures of Jenő Kerényi, one of the most formidable representatives of contemporary Hungarian sculpture, were placed in the medieval vaulted cellar of the Kmetty Museum.

The permanent exhibition featuring the lifework of János Kmetty (Miskolc, 1889–Budapest, 1975) was opened in 1981 in an 18th-century building in the southern part of Main quare, a once Dalmatian trading house reconstructed in 1850. After the death of the artist his widow passed his husband’s 275-piece legacy with the request of founding a Kmetty Museum dedicated to him, which, in addition to some exceptionally valuable contemporary paintings, primarily holds drawings, atelier sketches, oil paintings from the 1960s, glass window designs and stained glass windows, as well as some exceptionally valuable contemporary paintings. The greater part of the collection consists of the paintings that had been brought forth from the painter’s atelier since the 1950s, and a smaller part of them became the property of the Museum through acquisitions in auctions.

Kmetty started his fine arts studies in Kassa (Kosice) at Hollósy student Elemér Halász-Hradil, then continued in Ferenc Szablya-Frischauf’s painting school in Budapest. In the early 1910s he also attended the night courses of Károly Ferenczy in Epreskert. He travelled to Paris for the first time in 1911 where he studied Cézanne and Picasso besides the museums’ classics. At the beginning of the 1910s he also made it to the art colony of Kecskemét, where the Neos leaving Nagybánya were in operation, such as, among others, Csaba Vilmos Perlrott, who earlier studied in Matisse’s school. The two became friends for a lifetime. His drawings were published in the most prestigious journal of the Hungarian avant garde, MA, before the end of the First World War, and he also participated in its demonstrative exhibition in 1918. After the defeat of the Hungarian Soviet Republic Kmetty retired, having been forced to carry out intellectual emigration. From 1924 he was a founding member and later vice chair of the left-wing KUT (Képzőművészek Új Társasága or Artists’ New Association) collecting progressive artists. János Kmetty, together with Csaba Vilmos Perlrott and his wife, Margit Gráber, discovered Szentendre and its surroundings in the early 1920s during an excursion. After 1945 Kmetty lived an active public life as a member of the Hungarian Council of Art. He was selected to be a member of Szentendre Painters’s Society and the Artists’ Colony. He worked as teacher at the College of Fine Arts and was appointed head of Faculty of Painting, which he remained until he retired in 1969.

In the outskirts of Szentendre’s protected downtown a memorial museum and sculpture park was opened in 1978 in a newly built, modern pavilion and the surrounding park, showing a selection of 40 works representing the oeuvre of sculptor Jenő Kerényi (Budapest, 1908–Budapest, 1975). As the building did not meet certain security standards, the collection that was purchased from the sculptor’s widow, who was very much attached to the town, was finally placed in the vaulted medieval cellar of Kmetty Museum in 2008.

Jenő Kerényi, a prominent figure of post-1945 Hungarian sculpture, was Jenő Bory’s student at the College of Fine Arts. The young sculptor’s burgeoning talent was fostered by the capital’s scholarship, after which he could spend a year in Italy in 1937. Kerényi was a successful sculptor in the ’50s, he was also a Munkácsy- and Kossuth-prize laureate. Several of his works were displayed on public squares throughout the country. His sculpture Dancers, created together with József Somogyi for the Hungarian Pavilion of the 1958 Brussels World Expo, won Grand Prix. Temporarily the Kmetty and Kerényi collections cannot be visited, but the museum has temporary exhibitions.

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Vajda Museum


The memorial museum presents Lajos Vajda’s surreal, expressive self-portraits, paintings, drawings, photomontages, and last works, the large-scale charcoal and ink drawings on wrapping paper. The Hungarian state purchased a significant part of the lifework from the artist’s widow, Júlia Vajda, in 1979 and donated one hundred pieces to the Ferenczy Museum.
The museum opened on 22 December 1986 in a porticoed bourgeois apartment built at the beginning of the last century offering a nice view of the Danube. It is a venue with a permanent exhibition of works by 20th-century Hungarian classics. he garden of the museum features works of contemporary Szentendre-based artists.

Lajos Vajda (Zalaegerszeg, 1908–Budakeszi, 1941) is still on of the most influential artists of Hungarian painting. The years spent in Serbia with his family during the First World War, the drawing school of the National Hungarian Hebrew Cultural Association (OMIKE), the College of Fine Arts between 1927-1929—almost simultaneously with Lajos Kassák’s Munka (Work) Circle—the stay in Paris between 1930-1934, and eventually Szentendre determined his tragically short life and art.

He returned to work here in 1935 upon the call of Dezső Korniss. The Szentendre townscape and Serbian church altar screens both had an influence on his art. The artistic views of Korniss and Vajda were very similar. Taking the work of Bartók and Kodály as an example, the “Szentendre Program” was born. The main idea behind the program is creating a synthesis between the culture of past and present, between eastern and western thought. On their tours collecting motifs they researched the ancient cosmology that lived on in a fragmented form in some folk cultures. The last works of Vajda, especially the charcoal and ink drawings on cheap wrapping paper, yield a terrifying vision.

In 1940 he was recruited for labor service but eventually exempted due to his advanced lung disease. One year later it was this disease that caused his death.

The exceptionally important intellectual legacy of Lajos Vajda was carried on and further developed by his friends and colleagues after his death. They also became founding members, besides Béla Czóbel and Jenő Barcsay, of a group called the European School, which was established in 1945, then “voluntarily” disbanded in the year of Stalin’s coming to power, 1948. The school collected artists who identified with the most pressing problems of the times. The group was not characterized by a bowing before doctrinary, stylistic principles, but—to quote Endre Bálint—“identifying with a penchant for internal freedom that excludes any foreign content from painting.”

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