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The Transylvanian Art Centre in Sepsiszentgyörgy

The Transylvanian Art Centre is the youngest unit of our museum, opened in September 2012, with the intention to map, collect, arrange and make available for research the representative – primordially Hungarian – art (life) works created in Transylvania after 1945. Its activity is analyzed and coordinated by a professional board. The final goal of the initiators is the Transylvanian Art Centre to evolve into an independent museum.

The idea of this institution has been present in the Transylvanian artistic life since the system change in 1989. As antecedents we have to mention the activity of the Barabás Miklós Céh from Kolozsvár, KOKEM from Csíkszereda, Cultural and Art Centre from Gyergyószárhegy, and the Etna Foundation from Sepsiszentgyörgy. Most of these institutions – having a general Transylvanian concept – are still active in our days; they are focusing most of all on modern and contemporary art.

The question arises: what happens with the oeuvres from Transylvania or related to Transylvania, created after World War II? Or what about the artists who had a great impact on the Transylvanian artistic life, but left the country during socialism or afterwards? The oeuvre of our great artists such as Miklós Barabás, Jenő Gyárfás, János Mattis-Teutsch, Imre Nagy, Albert Nagy, Károly Kós are already part of the basic museum material, but what about their disciples, trying to think in a modern way and to do art on a European level under the harsh circumstances of communist dictatorship? Who has shaped the present image of Transylvanian fine art? If we do not try to discover and classify our values, who will? We might often hear about dispersed, wasted works, forgotten legacies. Who will deal with these, who will take responsibility for them?

To the initiative of the Székely National Museum, we have tried to answer these urgent questions within a “delegate meeting” in the autumn of 2011, with the help of specialists from all important art centres from Transylvania. We all agreed upon the necessity of founding a basic institution. It was clear for everyone that such an art centre can be supported only by a strong Hungarian local government, so the Székelyföld must undertake the role of the initiator.

The delegates voted for Sepsiszentgyörgy, and this decision was backed by several factors: the rich modern and contemporary material of the “Gyárfás Jenő” Art Gallery, the outstanding role of the gallery within the art life of the region during the 1980s and 1990s (see the Medium exhibitions), the AnnArt performance festival, the lively art life of the city, respectively the programmes of the “Magma” Contemporary Art Centre and of the “Lábas Ház”. There is also a great advantage in the fact that near the museum the local authority purchased a half hectare plot for the development of the museum.

The initiators, mentors and organizers agreed that a new museum needs a serious financial source, a lot of time, but the professional work has to begin at once within the 140 years old Székely National Museum. So the main objective of the newly founded Transylvanian Art Centre is the research of the modern and contemporary Transylvanian fine art after WWII. It also has the task of offering professional assistance with concern to the legacy of the artists, and the preservation of these for future generations. It has to take into consideration and to react to the multiethnic qualities of the region, to receive the non-Hungarian artists as well; the language of art permits it, furthermore, it is also a necessity for the research of a tendency or of the history of an atelier.

The collection of this new institution consists of the basic material of the “Gyárfás Jenő” Art Gallery and of the donations. We received significant donations from Stuttgart, Budapest, Marosvásárhely, Kolozsvár, Nagyvárad; the funds for functioning were assured by the Hungarian Ministry of Public Administration and Justice. In 2013 we started the restoration of the temporary centre building, and our objective is to present the more and more expanding collection to the specialists and to the public as soon as possible.

It is clear to us, that we cannot develop such an important institution from donations only, that we must also find the way to purchasing art. Thinking in networks, our aim is to show the following programmes and exhibitions in the other major cities of Transylvania as well. We wish for the Transylvanian Art Centre to attract the interest of artists, patrons of art, art lovers by its functioning, by the professional level of its exhibitions and publications, and with their help to grow stronger for the benefit and education of the Transylvanian Hungarian community.


2015.04.28
On 1 April 2015 MAGMA Contemporary Art Space from Sfântu Gheorghe celebrated its 5 years anniversary. During these five years we have collaborated with around 250 artists, art theorists, philosophers, etc. and together we contributed to what MAGMA is today.[ details ]
2015.03.18
MAGMA Contemporary Art Space from Sfântu Gheorghe cordially invites you to the opening of the group exhibition Examples for Non-universal Chair on March 18, 2015 at 18:00. [ details ]
2015.02.12
MAGMA Contemporary Art Space from Sf. Gheorghe kindly invites you to the opening of the exhibition 'DREAMHUNTING' by Igor BUHAROV (Kornél SZILÁGYI), Ivan BUHAROV (Nándor HEVESI) and Vasile CROAT (László HORVÁTH). [ details ]
2015.01.15
On January 15, 2015 at 19:00 MAGMA Contemporary Art Space from Sfântu Gheorghe cordially invites you to the opening of the exhibition entitled The geometry of water by Hungarian artist Ágnes PÉTER winner of the first prize at the second edition of the International Graphic Art Biennial in Szeklerland.[ details ]
2014.12.17
SALON VIDEO and MAGMA Contemporary Art Space cordially invite you to the opening of the archive-exhibition salonvideo_SUBmissions.[ details ]
2014.09.11
Magda CSUTAK // Solo Exhibition[ details ]
2014.06.28
LÖRICZ Ágnes, Dan MIHĂLŢIANU, SZATHMÁRY Lóránt, PITTMANN Zsófia, Doris SCHMID, Christoph SCHLESSMANN[ details ]
2014.04.28
Ivan Ladislav GALETA solo exhibition[ details ]
2014.02.14
Opening: 14. February, 2014., 19:00[ details ]
2013.11.16
Group exhibition[ details ]
2013.04.23
Zoltán Szegedy-Maszák & Márton Fernezelyi [ details ]
2013.02.12
The 35-year anniversary exhibition of MAMŰ[ details ]
2013.01.19
Prints, Drawings and Photos from the Ethnological Archives[ details ]
2012.03.16
MAGMA Contemporary Art Space invites you to the opening of the exhibition entitled Master and disciple 4 of the artists Ilona NÉMETH and Jaro VARGA [ details ]
2011.07.15
Joint temporary exhibition of the Hungarian Museum of Trade and Tourism, the Hungarian Museum for Science, Technology and Transport and the Fazakas & Kimmel Collection [ details ]
2011.07.12
The commune Árkos and the Covasna County Capital, Sepsiszentgyörgy will host an extraordinary event: the ‘Spiral’ International Contemporary Art Symposium takes place here at the Training Center and the garden of the Szentkereszty Castle. [ details ]
2010.01.22
Our exhibition attempts to give an overview of the main events, effects and consequences of the greatest plague epidemic of European history, the Black Death, which first devastated Europe in 1347-1349. [ details ]
2009.09.19
Holidays and Encounters II. – Ethnographic exhibition and Europe in Miniature cultural program in the Székely National Museum[ details ]
Executive editor: Vargha Mihály.
© Copyright: The Székely National Museum, 2014.