Thanks to the financial support of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank the conference table from the former furnishings of the New York office of the world-famous architect and furniture designer of Hungarian origin, Marcell Breuer, arrived at the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts in autumn 2016. Although Breuer is considered to belong to the most outstanding figures of design history, only few of his works are owned by Hungarian public collections. That is why it is of special importance that facing its reconstruction, the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts intends to make the public acquainted with this new acquisition and its designer with this large-scale exhibition and a series of accompanying events.
Several interesting circumstances related to the conference table and to pieces of the famous tubular furniture, inspired by the designer’s first bicycle, have been revealed and can now be learned of by the public. In addition, the exhibition shows office furnishings of seven contemporaneous architects and designers who Breuer might have had connections to as an architect or alert participant in the life of the community of Hungarian architects. The pieces of furniture by Farkas Molnár, József Fischer, Lajos Kozma, Virgil Bierbauer, Gyula Kaesz, Zsuzsa Kovács, and László Wágner and archival documents of their career all prove Breuer’s influence on modern Hungarian interior and furniture design.
Photos of office interiors, plans and maquettes help the public to get an inside view of the process of planning, the everyday life of designers and – last but not least – of the milieu of architects. The exhibition is competed by expert and subjective guided tours, round-table discussions, workshops and interesting museum educational programs.
Asset Depository Program
In January of 2014, the Hungarian National Bank initiated its Asset Depository Program for the repurchase of artworks. The aim of this program is to reacquire for Hungary as great a percentage as possible of the works with significant artistic value produced by Hungarian or foreign artists that have for one reason or another in previous historic periods ended up abroad or in foreign ownership, as well as to purchase the most important works of art found in Hungarian estates, to prevent their dispersion. Ferenc Gerhardt, the Vice-President of the Hungarian National Bank directs the Asset Depository Program, and an Advisory Body made up of the directors of Hungarian national public collections and other renowned experts as well as the vice-president of the central bank has been formed to coordinate the program and determine the authenticity, art historical significance and value of the works of art. The purchases made within the context of the Asset Depository Program are in all cases preceded by a full assessment of value. The Board of Directors of the Hungarian National Bank has set aside a budget of 100 million Euros, about 30 billion Hungarian forints, for the implementation of the Asset Depository Program until the end of 2018. Through the Asset Depository Program the Hungarian National Bank has joined the ranks of those central banks throughout the world that through their collections and artwork repurchase programs have contributed to the preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage.
8 December 2016 – 11 June 2017
Curators of the exhibition: Éva Horányi, Tamás Dévényi, Pál Ritoók
Assistant curators: Eszter Baldavári, Ágnes Anna Sebestyén
Installation: Tamás Dévényi
Graphics: Andrea Parák
Sponsors: Ministry of Human Capacities, Hungarian National Bank
Partners: Forster Centre, Hungarian Museum of Architecture