“We are also captives of our resources”

Collections of art colleges and universities in Hungary

MúzeumCafé 35.

In Hungary higher education in the arts can be traced back to 1871. At that time Hungary still lacked a museum where students could view an art collection relevant to their studies. Thus after the Hungarian Royal Model Drawing School (today the Hungarian University of Fine Arts) was established it was keen to develop its own art collection. In the very year of its foundation a start was made on collecting the institution’s own works of art in the library. The library furnishings were specially adapted for that purpose, thus cabinets suitable for storing graphic art sheets can be found in its rooms. The situation is different with the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, which is barely ten years younger than the University of Fine Arts. It was established within the Model Drawing School under the name of Hungarian Royal Institute of Arts and Crafts. More than 2,000 designs, art objects and other works are created each year as a result of students’ submissions during their design, media, architecture and theory studies, but the university does not have the capacity to store them in large quantities. The means of visual language Hungarian universities of art have been using are contemporary, thus Hungarian culture can always be translated easily with their help. Works of art created in these institutes transmit values that would be more difficult to understand if presented in a different way. Hence the education of artists in the applied fields of arts is both a challenge and a great opportunity. The Art Faculties of the Kaposvár and Pécs Universities, with their far shorter histories, advocate this principle. The development of new locations for education of artists in Hungary is reflected in the launching of their courses dealing with painting, graphic art, sculpture, ceramics and visual design, as well as photography and picture editing.