“The museum wasmy childhood dream”

Interview with Zoltán Kallós, Transylvanian ethnographer

MúzeumCafé 49.

The ZoltánKallós Foundation is based in Răscruci near Cluj-Napoca in Romania. It operates a Transylvanian Plain diaspora educational centre and folk art camps, as well as a regional museum. The centre, which has turned into a place of pilgrimage, hosts camps for different age groups throughout the summer. Of those, the International Folk Music and Folk Dance Camp for adults is the most prominent. In the autumn the educational centre starts functioning. Children from villages of the North Transylvanian Plain have studied in Hungarian and boarded at the centre since 1999. The museum is based on ZoltánKallós’s private collection. The ZoltánKallós Museum and Folk Art Centre opened in 2010 with the aim of professionally caring for the collection. The cultural centre contributes to introducing the Transylvanian Plain, an adversely treated region in ethnographic literature, as well as promoting its cultural events in Hungarian. ZoltánKallós, who was born in 1926, was awarded the title the Artist of the Nation in 2014. Since 2005 he has been a member of the Section of Folk Art and Ethnography of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. He studied in Cluj and Sfântu Gheorghe. Kallós was imprisoned for his political views. He was one of the advisers of the youth folk dance house movement. He has been collecting in all the genres of folk art in the Transylvanian Plain, ȚaraCălatei, Moldova and Ghimeş. His most important works are Balladákkönyve (Book of Ballads, 1970) and Újguzsalyammellett (By my New Distaff, 1973), which as a recording of a single singer’s repertoire is an important achievement from a methodological perspective. He set up the ZoltánKallós Foundation in Răscruci in 1992 and is still involved with developing the collection of the museum operating there.