English
Magyar

Szentendre: Mediterranean artists' promenades a stone's throw from the Danube bank


Szentendre
Greater Budapest

Szentendre is famous not only for its promenade along the Danube and cobblestone streets with their Mediterranean atmosphere, but also for the fact that nowhere else in the country is the number of museums and small galleries per capita so high. This is why the town is perfect for intellectual recharging or even a cultural stroll to inspire a meditative immersion.

But why is there so much creative power embedded in the walls of Szentendre? The history of the small town on the Danube bank was intertwined with modern art in 1890, when the young Károly Ferenczy moved here. A decade and a half later, professional opinion already viewed Ferenczy as the best Hungarian painter. By this time, he had won the great gold medal of the 6th Venice Biennale. His twin children were born in the year he moved here: Noémi Ferenczy later became the founder of modern Hungarian tapestry art, and Béni Ferenczy the grandmaster of Hungarian sculpture and medal art. An artists' colony was established in Szentendre at the end of the 1920s, which motivated three artists of international significance, Béla Iványi Grünwald, Jenő Barcsay and János Kmetty, to move here. From the 1930s to present day, there has been a constant influx of outstanding contemporary artists. Beyond the pioneering Ferenczy Museum, the current system of small museums and exhibition spaces was established in the 1970s. Here are details about some of them.

Ferenczy Museum

The Ferenczy Museum, which currently houses temporary exhibits, organises exhibitions of 20th century and contemporary Szentendre artists, as well as Hungarian and international art projects in what used to be the old Pajor Manor.

Szentendre Picture Gallery

One of the main exhibition spaces in the Ferenczy Museum Centre is the monument building of the former trading house on Fő tér. It hosts individual and collective temporary exhibitions in the centre of the small town.

Szentendre

ArtMill

The former sawmill building is today a key hub of contemporary art. The atmosphere of the building and its varied, exciting spaces make it particularly suitable for organising exhibitions of an international standard. Thanks to these features and the temporary exhibitions that attract large numbers of visitors, it is deemed the third most prominent exhibition place in the country.

Sacred Weaving Workshop

The workshop is located in a small street in the old town, next to the ArtMill. As you enter, you’ll be greeted by three types of looms where you can study and learn every step of the weaving process and, of course, buy the end result.

Kovács Margit Ceramics Museum

One of Szentendre’s most popular museums is the collection presenting the work of ceramic artist Margit Kovács. Get to know her extremely versatile, technically brilliant and truly varied oeuvre, with her consistently successful career presented in a new approach. A special feature of the exhibition is that authentic copies of the artist’s ceramics are on display for the blind and visually impaired to touch. Finally, a place where you don’t have to heed the warning ‘do not touch’.

Czóbel Museum

A seminal figure of Hungarian painting with a prestigious international reputation, Béla Czóbel was the first painter in Hungary to have a museum dedicated to him in his own lifetime. Get to know the oeuvre of the painter, whose work is viewed as French in inspiration, as part of an exhibition that is updated every year.

Barcsay Museum

Jenő Barcsay is a key figure in 20th-century Hungarian painting and graphic art. A representative of figurative constructivism, a creator of mosaics and tapestries and the author of Anatomy for the Artist, Barcsay lived and worked in Szentendre throughout his long life. Unfortunately, the collection showcasing his work will only be returned here after the building has been completely renovated, but the museum does host temporary exhibitions during the Art Capital Fine Arts Festival.

Szentendre

Kmetty Museum

János Kmetty is one of the key representatives of Hungarian modernism and also worked in Szentendre. He developed an individually interpreted version of Cubism, adapted to his own picturesque world. The museum houses an exhibition spanning his life’s work.

Ámos Imre – Anna Margit Memorial Museum

A memorial museum dedicated to the life’s work of this tragically fated couple and major 20th century Hungarian painters, which currently houses temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists.

Vajda Museum

The museum’s Lajos Vajda collection provides a complete overview of the development of an oeuvre that unfolded in just 15 years. Despite passing away at a young age, the art of Vajda spanned from constructivism through surrealism to transparent drawings in a completely individual tone, until it finally settled into creating abstract works. The bourgeois house that serves as the museum building is now also home to the temporary exhibitions of the Art Capital Fine Arts Festival.

MANK Gallery

The gallery is a venue where the young, emerging generation is introduced through monthly exhibitions. In addition, you can see works by several Hungarian and international creator and artist groups.

Erdész Gallery & Design

Works by Kassák, Moholy-Nagy and Bortnyik are on display and for sale at the gallery, as well as artwork by artists with a connection to Szentendre, such as Bálint, Korniss, Barcsay or Vajda. Beyond this, of course, it also deals with artists of the contemporary generation, so much so that it dedicates six exhibitions a year to them.

Vén Kecske Art Gallery

In addition to the paintings of Eszter Győry and Osiris O’Connor's exclusive silver objects, the gallery also displays unique small sculptures.

Szentendre

Local Open Studio Gallery

This space combines a gallery with an open studio, which also serves as a community space of sorts. Accordingly, the works produced by the artists who create here are exhibited in Szentendre's newest art-workshop centre.

Új Műhely Gallery

A contemporary art gallery and exhibition space in the heart of Szentendre offering exhibitions as well as workshops and facade screenings.

Kutas P'Art Gallery

The gallery was created by a group of contemporary artists to present and sell their own works. To this day, they consider their main task to be maintaining direct contact with their audience.

In spite of its smaller size, the town is home to countless events, but one that is worth a special mention is the Art Capital Fine Arts Festival and event series, which in recent years has hosted exhibitions by international stars such as Bill Viola (USA), Marina Abramović (Serbia), Mohau Modisakeng (South Africa), Daniel Richter (Germany), Yoko Ono (Japan-USA), Oleg Kulik (Ukraine), Žarko Bašeski (Macedonia), Wilhelm Sasnal (Poland), Chiharu Shiota (Japan) or Dmitry Kavarga (Russia). The series is worth exploring since it often uses the city's public spaces, the Danube bank, and even the Danube itself as a venue.

MOVE AROUND LIKE A HUNGARIAN