The Hungarian National Fine Arts Commission and Exhibitionary Politics: 1920-1940

Friday, October 28, 2022

12:30 pm — 2:00 pm


Internal Event

Samuel D. Albert joins the CUNY REEES Kruzhok to share new research on the politics of art exhibitions in Hungary during the interwar period.

Sepia toned image of a wood storefront within a large exhibition hall
Hungarian Exhibition, St. Louis 1904
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Register online to participate via Zoom

In the interwar period, the Hungarian government aggressively pursued a policy of cultural diplomacy, of which one significant element was “representative” art exhibitions.  These exhibitions were hosted in a variety of European cities.  They sought, through art, to present Hungary as a thriving, modern state, even as the government itself continually decried the terrible inequities of Trianon, which they said rendered Hungary untenable as a country.

These art exhibitions, organized by the Országos képzőművészeti tanács (the National Fine Arts Council), a department within the Ministry of Religion and Education, reflect changes in Ministry policy, especially during  the tenure of Kuno Klebelsberg as well as general changes in the conception of “Hungarian” art.  In this paper, Dr. Albert will examine several of these exhibitions, relating them to earlier exhibitions, which occurred during the Habsburg Monarchy and showing how, in the 1930s, a competing narrative of Hungarian art emerged.

Dr. Samuel D. Albert teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Fordham University.  His research focus is Art and Architecture in the late Habsburg Monarchy and successor states, especially Hungary and Romania.  Currently, he is engaged in a multi-year project focusing on art exhibitions from 1890-1940, which has been supported by the Frick Collection’s Center for the History of Collecting, the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and a Fulbright grant to Hungary.

Register online

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting via Zoom. A week before the session, you will receive a paper to review.

About the CUNY REES Workshop

The CUNY REEES Workshop is a space for faculty in the social sciences and humanities to share research in progress for feedback, with a wider aim of connecting CUNY and New York City specialists focused on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. It is coordinated by Mark Lewis (College of Staten Island/CUNY Graduate Center) and Merrill Sovner (EU Studies Center, CUNY Graduate Center). It meets on selected Fridays at 12:30 p.m. ET during the semester.

RSVP for the Fall 2022 schedule. Email to join the mailing list or express interest in presenting.