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7 great exhibitions in Budapest this summer

Writers

  • We Love Budapest

08/07/2022 1.35pm

To beat the heat and take in some culture, dive into one of Budapest’s many museums and galleries for classic photography, unique historic artefacts and 150 works by Matisse.

Photo: Hieronymus Bosch: Az Utolsó Ítélet (középső Tábla), 1515 Körül, Olaj, Tölgyfa, 99,2 × 60,5 Cm, Bruges, Groeningemuseum © 2020. Album/Scala, Florence

Between Heaven and Hell - The Enigmatic World of Hieronymus Bosch

1/7

Between Heaven and Hell – the Enigmatic World of Hieronymus Bosch presents nearly 90 works of art. Only ten are by the Dutch master himself, almost half his total oeuvre, in fact, but they still leave you mesmerised as you step out of the  doors of the Museum of Fine Arts. Laid out in seven sections, the exhibition opens with darkness right from the start, not necessarily in its subject matter, but the dark-blue wall and dim lighting bring out the insights of a devilish and angelic medieval world and the new age that infiltrates it. The aim is to bring Bosch's world to life, to evoke the spiritual and visual culture of the late Middle Ages by presenting ideas about human existence: interpreting human life as an earthly pilgrimage, with all its crossroads, sinful mazes and sensual detours. Until 17 July. More details

Photo: Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum

From Sisi’s Glove to Stalin’s Ear

2/7

Hungarian National Museum

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Celebrating the 220th anniversary of the Hungarian National Museum, this summer exhibition focuses on key moments in Hungarian history. On display will be two historical relics in particular. One is the glove of the Empress Elisabeth, known and revered here as Sisi. The wife of Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph was wearing the garment when she was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist by Lake Geneva on 10 September 1898. The other unusual artefact is a fragment of the left ear from the statue of Stalin that was toppled over and broken up during the 1956 Uprising. In addition to these, the holdings of the museum's storehouse were expanded to include the royal seal of Ferdinand V in Hungarian and the farewell letter of General József Nagysándor, one of the 13 executed by the Austrians at Arad in 1849. For a deeper look at the exhibition, see our longer feature here. Until 21 August. More details

Photo: Magyar Nemzeti Galéria - Facebook

Art Deco Budapest – Posters, Lifestyle & the City (1925-1938)

3/7

Hungarian National Gallery

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Art Deco Budapest – Posters, Lifestyle & the City (1925-1938) gives a comprehensive picture of the characteristic visual culture between the wars. Furnitureclothingfilms and urban spaces all feature, with the focus on Hungarian poster art and modern metropolitan life. Most of the more than 250 works of art are very rarely put on display, or even seen by the public before. Exhibits reflect everything that played a role in shaping public taste: the emergence of the new female ideal, the cult of modern fashionsport and health, novelties such as carsradio and talking films, and new forms of entertainment such as jazz concerts and revues. For a more detailed look at the exhibition, see our longer feature article here. Until 28 August. More details

Photo: Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center

Nicolás Muller

4/7

1065 Budapest, Nagymező utca 8

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Born Miklós Müller in Orosháza in 1913, Nicolás Muller takes his place among the pantheon of great Hungarian photographers who worked mainly in black and white, and who spent most of their lives in exile. Like Capa, Brassaï and Kertész, Muller worked in Paris, but the bulk of the images presented in this retrospective, The Committed Gaze, were taken around Spain – hence the involvement of the local Cervantes Institute and Spanish Ministry of Culture. Settling in Madrid, Muller captured daily life in the capital, from street vendors to distinguished members of society. Taken between 1930 and 1967, 126 mainly unpublished photos follow Muller’s travels and show how the photographer, equally recognised in Spain, developed his art. At the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center. Until 4 September. More details

Photo: Anna Mark

Anna Mark

5/7

1053 Budapest, Képíró utca 5

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Anna Mark, a painter in her nineties, has lived in Paris since 1958. Early on, locations and architecture became important in her work but at About All Places at the Kisterem, you shouldn’t expect any specific references to particular venues. The images rather capture the psychological process of remembering a place that was important to the viewer. Contrast is key here, between exterior and interior spaces, the works occupying two rooms of the gallery. In one are monochrome reliefs made between 1980 and 2000 while oil-on-paper pieces are presented in the other room, created around 1970. These reflect a more intimate tone, with strong shades of red, black and pink. The gallery is in a lovely spot in the tangle of streets of historic Pest, surrounded by cafés. In tandem, a comprehensive solo exhibition will also be on display at the Ferenczy Museum in Szentendre from the end of July. Until 9 September. More details

Photo: Szépművészeti Múzeum

Henri Matisse – The Colour of Ideas

6/7

Held in collaboration with the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Henri Matisse – The Colour of Ideas features more than 150 artefacts, presenting his work in eight chronological and themed sections, from the early days to pieces created in the 1950s. The exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts also sheds light on the genre diversity of Matisse's oeuvre, as in addition to around 30 paintings, unique and duplicated graphic works (with special regard to art books and cover designs) and 17 sculptures are also on display. In a separate section, you can see the monumental glass window designs created for the artist's late main work, the Dominican chapel in Vence. See our full feature about the exhibition here. Until 16 October. More details

Photo: Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum

Buzz in the Museum

7/7

1083 Budapest, Ludovika tér 2-6

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One to take the kids to, although the younger ones might be a bit scared of the huge bees. At this extremely visual show running until the end of the year, the Natural History Museum draws attention to the importance of our black-and-yellow friends. Jointly organised with the National Hungarian Beekeeping Association. Buzz in the Museum presents the work of these pollinators, including the honeybee, their role in the service of nature and the survival of mankind, and the development of beekeeping and apiterotherapy. Until 31 December. More details 

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