Enthusiastic young cat lovers, elegant dog walkers and four-legged members of the household proudly (if blurrily) posing on family photographs – looking at the Fortepan open archive, people were just as keen to show off their pets years ago as they are to share them on social media now.
The Fortepan collection is an online repository of some 110,000 Hungarian photos from 1900-1990, a selection of which is now showing at the Hungarian National Gallery, at an exhibition that has just been extended until the end of this month.
Named after a brand of photo negative once produced in Hungary, Fortepan’s digital collection was started by schoolmates Miklós Tamási and Ákos Szepessy, who began scooping up old photos at junk sales in the 1980s. They asked Hungarians to contribute images, which were then scanned and returned. The result is a fascinating scrapbook of daily life in Budapest through three generations.
While a big city may often not be the most ideal setting for any pet, families and owners would not part with theirs for all the tea in China.
Browsing the Fortepan archive, we’ve picked out a trove of photos that also show how Budapest has changed over the decades, from the elegance of the early 1900s, to the communal housing of the post-war era, to the relative comforts of the 1970s.
To investigate further, check out the Fortepan archive or visit the exhibition, due to close on 29 September.
Every Past Is My Past #twentiethcentury #photography #Fortepan
Hungarian National Gallery, Building A
District I. Szent György tér 2
Open: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. Exhibition runs until 29 September.