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.