A donation by Peter and Irene Ludwig laid the foundation for the institution's significant international and Hungarian fine art collection in 1989. Today, LUMU, as Hungarians call it, is one of the most progressive-themed exhibition spaces in Budapest, with a major fan base among art connoisseurs. The interiors of the Müpa wing facing the Danube offer an excellent terrain for a museum that is 21st century to its core. LUMU organises an average of 8-10 temporary exhibitions a year, and from time to time presents items from the collection to the general public in a changing context, with a notably Central and Eastern European character.
The way in which the artistic performance of a region has developed in a specific historical, cultural context from the last half century is emphasised within its walls. The progressive Hungarian art of the sixties to eighties is introduced primarily in parallel to international tendencies, through selected works. The list of works on display is constantly growing, year after year, through purchases, gifts and artefacts on permanent loan. As well as Eastern European and Balkan artists, João Penalva, Katharina Sieverding, Simon Starling, Keith Haring, Anton Corbijn, Glenn Brown, Allan Sekula, Martin Munkácsi, Yona Friedman, Robert Mapplethorpe, John Cage, Pieter Hugo, Fabrizio Plessi, Bosch & Fjord, Michael Elmgreen, Ingar Dragset, Tue Greenfort, Jens Haaning, Ann Lislegaard, Tanja Nellemann Poulsen, Katya Sander, Superflex, Josef Bernhardt, Volker Morawe, Tilman Reiff, Susan Swartz, Gilbert & George, Erwin Wurm and Sam Havadtoy have all had exhibitions held here. Moreover, the museum regularly presents the works of the Leopold Bloom Award finalists, as well as the creations that have entered the Hungarian pavilion of the Venice Biennale of Fine Arts or international projects that are currently running. Independent visits of the exhibitions are possible, but the museum also offers guided tours in several languages. Make sure you let them know in advance online if you’d like one of these. The experience will still be complete without this, and the ‘worst’ that can happen is that you have to uncover the layers of meaning that can be linked to each work on your own. In addition to the exhibitions, the museum also tries to increase awareness of the works exhibited here and their creators through special publications and various co-art and art training programmes. In addition to books and catalogues, the Museum Shop also offers exclusive gift items designed specifically for the Shop by Hungarian designers. Pick your favourites.