The roaring 20s come alive in the National Gallery’s latest offering.
Over 250 posters, outfits, furniture and wonders of industrial designs bring alive the 1920s and 1930s in
the National Gallery (Magyar Nemzeti Galéria – MNG). The latest exhibit called Art Deco Budapest –
Plakátok, tárgyak, terek (1925-1938) opened on the 12th of April.
MNG’s latest exhibition is special as it does not focus on the body of work by a single artist or a school of
creators, rather a lifestyle and a source of design inspiration going strong ever since. The Art Deco style
is quite typical of Budapest, with many prime examples of it still visible in the shape of building sas well
as a few vintage signs hanging over the Hungarian capital’s streets.
The core of the exhibition is part of the extensive collection of MNG: the graphical collection of the
gallery is so substantial, it could’ve produced the exhibits alone, however, the Széchenyi National Library
(Országos Széchenyi Könyvtár – OSZK) as well as the Museum of Applied Arts (Iparművészeti Múzeum)
also contributed with a few special works of art.
Seven years of research preceded the exhibition, that enabled the curators to feature a few rare, never
before seen pieces. The range of the exhibit has a wide spectrum from china tea sets through books and
dresses as well as the most popular part, a wide array of art deco posters used for advertising. Visitors of
the gallery will be able to get a taste of everyday life almost a century ago, with paper bags and various
packaging materials from department stores.
Probably the most valuable exhibit is a special poster by József Bottlik: a poster for Fritz Lang’s
Metropolis, of which only a single one remains intact – the piece was lent to the MNG by the OSZK.
The exhibition is open until the 28th of August.