These folk art museums and open-air ethnographic museums serve to conserve traditional architecture, costumes and motifs, as well as the countryside traditions of the different regions of Hungary. These museums present folk artwork in their original environment. Our open-air ethnographic museums play the most important role in this conservation work, for they are repositories of traditional houses conserved in their original condition together with their furniture, and with this they can transport us back to the times when city life was not as widespread as it is today.
Treasures of motifs kept in museums
There are several Hungarian regions that have specialised museums dedicated to folk art in order to conserve traditional motif treasures. A large part of the collections kept at the Matyó Museum in Mezőkövesd and the Palóc Museum in Balassagyarmat present the costumes, textiles, furniture and pots, and also the artefacts of folk religion and customs and traditions typical for the two regions and ethnic groups. Matyó folk art was listed as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2012. The collection of the Reguly Antal Museum and House of Arts and Crafts in Zirc focuses on presenting traditional small folk trades and their tools: its warehouse is home to many tools that were once used by traditional blacksmiths, wheelwrights, coppersmiths and shoemakers.
The collection at the Túri Fazekas Museum in Mezőtúr consists of 8,000 items of pottery, which make it the largest such collection in Hungary, and it focuses on presenting pottery and folk art pots and other items of pottery. The 1,000 items of the Museum of Hungarian Applied Folk Art – which operates as part of the House of Traditions in Budapest – exhibits the history, the artists and trends of applied folk art. Museums in both Budapest and the countryside organise events to promote folk art, and museum educational activities for kids.