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Research into the work of Ödön Lechner

Ödön Lechner's Museum of Applied Arts building is an outstanding example of Hungarian art nouveau, specifically designed as a museum and also accommodating a school and library. Today, it is a unique historic building, and maintaining and researching it is an important task for the people who work in it. The history of the building is bound up with the history of the institution.

A major task for the whole Museum is comprehensive research into Ödön Lechner's work, extending beyond his purely architectural work. One key consideration is preparation for a full reconstruction of the building. Nearly every member of the Museum's staff is taking part in this work.

Funding by the National Scientific Research Fund (OTKA)

In 2009, the Museum of Applied Arts, as part of a consortium that also includes the Hungarian National Museum and the Geochemical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, submitted an application to OTKA to research Haban ceramics.

The project involved the art history and archeometry of Haban ceramics in public and private collections in Hungary, and the production of a computer database and a catalogue.

The project aims to extend beyond the Haban items in the two great public collections - those in the Museum of Applied Arts and the Hungarian National Museum - and cover work in public and private collections throughout Hungary and abroad, and to produce a database which contains more thorough data, based on wider criteria, than any existing descriptions.

The novel aspect of the research is the conjoining of scientific and art-historical approaches.

The research started in 2010 and will finish in 2014.

Museum of Applied Arts rapporteur: Gabriella Balla, Head of the Ceramics and Glass Collection.

Grants awarded to the Museum of Applied Arts 2009

Art work acquisition: Gusztáv Jancsurák copper works; NKA
Acquisitions for the Textile Collection; NKA
Work by Levente Thury; funded by the Summa Artium Foundation and the Krisztina Polgár Memorial Fund
Purchase from the former collection of Emil Delmár; NKA
Foundation of RUBIK collection; MADOK
Contemporary purchase; grant from the Advisory Office for Fine and Applied Arts
Items from the Craft and Design exhibition; NKA
Preservation and restoration
Metal cabinets for archive photographs; OKM
Restoration of Arabian Room; NKA
Restoration of Gyula Jungfer drawings, NKA
Restoration of Gyula Jungfer metalwork; NKA
Restoration of Esterházy saddle
Library: restoration of a rarity; NKA (supplemented by private donation + own funds)
Esterházy textiles catalogue; NKA
Ars Decorativa vol. 27; NKA
Furniture of Hungarian art nouveau; NKA invited grant
Haydn exhibition
Exhibition for Sacred Week; Ars Sacra Foundation



The Museum's grant applications for acquiring works of art were particularly successful in 2009,  enabling purchase of some true rarities of irreplaceable value (18th century Viennese porcelain vessel) and additions to the 20th and particularly the 21st century collections.

Many exhibits from the 2008 Craft and Design exhibition, which presented a broad cross-section of recent art, were selected by the Museum's departments to fill gaps in their collections. This brought the work of many artists into the Museum for the first time; for others, the selections represented different phases of their work. These acquisitions were made possible by the generous support of the NKA, and some artists donated their work.

Work by artists representing the latest trends was also acquired from the highly successful Applied Art Prize 2010 exhibition.

MADOK support has enabled acquisitions in the past, and this year it made possible the foundation of a Rubik collection.

Preservation and restoration:
The Museum applied for a grant for metal cabinets for storing art works; these provide space for the entire photographic holdings, so that the more than twenty thousand archive photographs are now stored in proper conditions.

Restoration of Gyula Jungfer's drawings and ironware - in preparation for the 2010 Jungfer Dynasty exhibition - has been going on for several years. Preservation of the old books in the library is also an ongoing task. This year we embarked on the restoration of the unique Damascus Room, which will be set up in the Nagytétény Castle Museum.

Restoration of the Esterházy Treasures goes back several decades: work on metalware and textiles is currently in progress.

NKA grants have been provided to publish the Esterházy textiles catalogue and to translate articles in Ars Decorativa, the Museum's long-established yearbook.

Last modified 2013. November 5. 17:54:43

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