Treasures from the Danube

As a result of the lack of summer precipitation, for these past weeks, the levels of the Danube have been the lowest in seven decades. These record lows have revealed never before seen boulders and rocks in the riverbed – as well as some other unexpected surprises.

Our archaeologists have discovered a special and valuable find on the Danube bank at Érd. The diverse collection of mostly 18th-century artefacts – consisting of a large number of coins, as well as weapons and objects of everyday use – were found near Molnár Street, in the southern part of the city, near the nature reserve of Kakukk Mountain. The treasure probably originated from a boat that sunk in the Danube in the 18th century. Museum staff are currently searching for the assumed boat wreck with the aid of drones.

To view the video shot at the scene, click here.


The Lost Astronaut in Vienna

The sculpture entitled Lost Astronaut by Ottó Szabó (artist name: Robotto) is on view in Vienna for a month. The Hungarian audience had a chance to meet the tin man, carrying a suitcase and a map, at last year’s Art Capital, which centred on the themes of home and homelessness; it was on display at the underpass of the Szentendre HÉV (commuter rail) station, in the green area that has since been officially named Bizottság Park.
The works of this Kogart Prize- and Semmelweis Art Award-winning artist, which are regularly exhibited in venues both in Hungary and abroad – in spite of being created from iron and chromium steel structures, bearings, and rusty or polished metal sheets – always radiate something personal, something human. The idea for the path-seeking figure came to the Ottó Szabó while he was staying in London after having earned his degree: it embodies the initial stage of – and awakening awareness associated with – coming to a sudden halt, asking questions and seeking one’s place, as well as longing for, and finding, home.
The artwork is displayed in Sigmund Freud Park, on the square in front of Vienna’s Votive Church, from 20 October to 20 November. The official opening will take place on 28 October, at 3:00 pm.
Lost Astronaut, 2017, recycled material, iron, plexiglass, iron, sheet metal
Courtesy of the artist and Everybody Needs Art

Photo: Balázs Deim


Autumn Festival of Museums at the Ferenczy Museum Center

This year, the Ferenczy Museum once again has many exciting programs in store for the Autumn Festival of Museums. We invite enthusiasts of Béla Czóbel’s painting to two exhibition tours: Gergely Barki, curator of the yearly renewing exhibition speaks about curiosities and recently uncovered mysteries with reference to the paintings.
At the Kovács Margit Ceramic Museum, we invite visitors on family day to try our clay modelling workshop and a special tour of the exhibition led by Enikő Szabó and her band of musicians. We will also hold our usual Senior Wednesday on the third Wednesday of October.

For those with an interest in history, we recommend a presentation by museologist Katalin Ottományi on the Roman military camp of Ulcisia Castra, as well as a presentation by archaeologist Balázs Nagy on coin and treasure finds from the time of Hungary’s Turkish occupation. Festivalgoers will also have the opportunity to visit with museum conservators – the revivers of old times – on two occasions: curator Noémi Szabó and conservator Katalin Lukács uncover the secrets of Lajos Vajda paintings from FMC’s Art Collection; the family morning program of Katalin Lukács and her colleague, László Schrett, allows guests a peek into the secrets of the profession.

As the crowning events of the autumn programs, two integrally related exhibitions will open at the same time: at the Ferenczy Museum, Between Worlds presents the oeuvre of Lajos Vajda, the individualistic genius of the avantgarde of the thirties, while the exhibition entitled There Should Be an Exhibition After All showcases Júlia Vajda’s similarly fascinating art, within the spaces of Szentendre Gallery.

For more information:, FMC events


Museum all through the year!

You can revisit your favourite exhibitions as many times as you wish with the annual passes!
By purchasing the passes, you can also become an FMC Friends’ Circle member thus entitled to participate at special programs.
Passes are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Make your choice and look for the passes in our ticket offices.

Vajda Lajos pass: with name registration, 9000 Ft

Korniss Dezső pass: transferable, 20 000 Ft

Barcsay Jenő pass: with name registration, for residents of Szentendre, 5000 Ft

Ferenczy Noémi bérlet: with name registration, for students and retired persons, 4500 Ft




The Weight of 21 Grams

Katalin Rényi’s exhibition entitled 21 Grams opens at the ArtMill on 13 October. The show, which features nearly a hundred works from the artist’s oeuvre, encompasses several decades. In addition to viewing large-size aquarelle rolls, gesture paintings, and delicate, crystal clear freehand drawings, visitors can also read Rényi’s free verse. Her image spaces, saturated with blacks, reds and ochres, are interlaced with subtle touches of gold and silver – just as life’s difficulties can be peppered with moments of unconstrained, ethereal joy. Katalin Rényi, a member of the Szentendre Artist Colony and Graphic Workshop, embarks on an undertaking which requires her to take on no less than the full weight of things – of the soul – and invites anyone unafraid of being overwhelmed by such dense and sublime content to have a look around.
Photo: Katalin Rényi: Golden Spine (detail), 2011, oil on canvas, 160 × 136 cm. ©Katalin Rényi, the artist’s property ©photo: Deim Balázs



A seminal figure of Hungarian painting with an international prestige, Béla Czóbel influenced the development of his native country’s art almost from the beginning of his career, in a manner already recognized by his own contemporaries. Along the way, he also left his impression in several of the centres of European modernism. He was only twenty-three years old when he had an exhibition in Paris, and he went on to be regularly featured in the Fauve section of the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants. He was one of the reformers of the Nagybánya artist colony, and a founding member of the Budapest group, The Eight. Later he joined the modern artists of the Netherlands, and made his home in Bergen, only to become involved soon in the work of the German Die Brücke group as well. He had important solo exhibitions in Paris, Berlin and New York. In 1940 he moved to Szentendre. In addition to the largest Hungarian public collections, his works can be found in several of the world’s leading museums.
Czóbel was the first painter to have a museum dedicated to him in Hungary in his own lifetime. Many have contributed to the collection – including his own daughter, Lisa Czóbel – since the Museum was opened on Szentendre’s Templomdomb in 1975, but the permanent exhibition changed little over the decades. Nonetheless, when it came to creating the concept of the new permanent exhibition after the 2016 renovation of the museum, the emphasis was not on permanence. The core material itself, which selects from the holdings of the museum, will be renewed year after year, and a room will now be dedicated to Czóbel’s graphic works, allowing them more attention than formerly. Additionally, and in a break with the former practice, works from private and public collections will be on deposit and will be integrated into the structure of the permanent exhibition, adding nuances and new insights to what is an exceptional and formidably rich œuvre.
The new exhibition presents the stages of the painter’s career in a chronological order, with sections dedicated to the different locales. We are introduced to his start in Nagybánya, his Fauvist period in Paris, his output at the time of joining The Eight, his time in the Netherlands, and the Berlin years of his association with the German Expressionists. His subsequent return to Paris was followed by a long period, the acme of his career, when he moved back and forth between the French capital and Szentendre.
Several works have been retrieved from storage and are shown at a permanent exhibition for the first time, just as it is now also possible to take a look at the verso of certain major exhibits, where images formerly hidden, covered or painted over have been revealed. Viewers can now walk around these “double-sided” works and examine both their sides.
Czóbel’s works have been dispersed in the world, indicating that his art was popular through almost his entire career, and still is. On the other hand, it is a sore loss that major works from his strongest periods have gone missing over the past century. Both the Museum’s homepage and the media section at the exhibition introduce those works whose current whereabouts are unknown, and which we tend to know thanks to black-and-white archival photos. It is our hope that at least the most significant ones will come to light one day, and may even enrich the Museum’s collection so that the already colourful image of Czóbel may become even richer at our display.
This year the focus of the restaging is Czóbel’s expressionist output in Germany. Most of the paintings that are shown this season alongside the works from the Museum’s core collection were made during the artist’s Berlin period, between 1919–1925, parallel with the endeavours of the Die Brücke group, partly in collaboration with them. Most of these pictures came from abroad – Germany, Austria, France, and even overseas – and include rarities that have not been presented at a Hungarian exhibition for generations. The most helpful institution was the Buchheim Museum by Lake Starnberg, which lent us three, formerly unknown works by Czóbel.
New information emerges almost every year about Czóbel’s early, post-Impressionist and Fauvist period, and we are again pleased to complement the core collection with excellent, major works. Especially notable among these is a landscape he painted in Nyergesújfalu, and which is the first to represent the related period in the Museum—a period closely associated with the propagation of Fauvism in Hungary.



“There should be an exhibition after all”

The career of Júlia Vajda (1913–1981) started in the middle of the 1930s, when she was closely associated with Lajos Vajda, Dezső Korniss and Endre Bálint, and finished in the 1970s, when she was an enthusiastic and acknowledged fellow traveller of the young artists of the neo-avant-garde. History was not easy on those who lived during this period of over four decades: the precariousness of life during the war and the Holocaust was followed by the professional marginalization or suppression that was the lot of modernist artists in “the fifties.” To varying degrees, the artistic milieu had alwaysbeen, and continued to be inauspicious. The setbacks of the scene were followed by new starts, revivals: the war was followed by the wonderful period of the European School (1945–1948), and the atmosphere and intellectual effervescence of the West in the 1960s would also filter through to Hungary. As was the case with her contemporaries, Júlia Vajda’s career was fitful, a succession of halts and new advances. What made her different from other members of her generation was an almost unparalleled vibrancy that was powered by an abiding youthfulness and that kept her in sync with the times.
While the sudden and frequent changes gave the peculiarity of her art, the persistent desire to keep abreast of contemporary developments is what gives her work art historical significance. Consider, for instance, the end of the 1950s, when she did not choose to resume the free adventure of the European School that had been interrupted in 1948, but explored new directions no one in her vicinity had tried. At the end of the day, she was a bridge between the artists of the European School and the then appearing future great generation of the 1960s. Her art was probing the same problems and ideas that her Western contemporaries were. This work always remained somewhat obscure, and this is particularly true of its special function of connecting old and new art, and seeking new directions. It is indeed a conundrum: despite working in isolation, in a Hungarian milieu that was generally unsophisticated, Júlia Vajda managed to keep up to date with developments in Western art.


Found Pixels – exhibition catalogue

At the finissage of the show on 31 August, the catalogue was presented within the framework of a tour of the exhibition, in the presence of the two exhibiting artists, György Bp. Szabó and Gábor Palotai.

Found Pixels is a joint exhibition by two graphic artist who studied at the same academy during the eighties: György Bp. Szabó (1953), who reached his full artistic potential in Los Angeles, and Gábor Palotai (1956), who lives and works in Sweden. It focuses on the themes of separation and coming together. Through analogue and digital renditions of the vibrations of present metropolitan life, it explores the boundaries of two distinct image eras.

The two artists met one another in the Graphics Program of the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts. György Bp. Szabó initially became known for designing posters for alternative bands, with music becoming a defining aspect of his later work as well. He continued his career in graphic art in Los Angeles. In 2005, he moved back to Budapest, where he has since been living and working as a visual artist. Gábor Palotai, after graduating from the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts, continued his studies at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts. He was quickly recognized on the Swedish scene, where is known as a prominent representative of Scandinavian graphic art, with his own unique voice. In addition to his achievements as a graphic designer, he teaches as a guest professor in a number of design schools in Sweden, and also works in several areas of design and art direction. His work has earned him numerous accolades, including 18 Red Dot Design Awards.

Found Pixels was curated by Fruzsina Kigyós. The photos shows her holding the exhibition catalogue, which can be purchased at a price of HUF 1660 at the Ferenczy Museum (Szentendre, Kossuth L. u. 5.).