March 15 marked not only Hungarian Independence Day, a national holiday commemorating the 1848-49 war against Austrian-Habsburg rule, but also a unique opportunity to enter Hungary’s national museums for free. Some of McDaniel Budapest’s professors talked about their favorites; they all urge students to seek out any opportunities to see these and other cultural site in Budapest.
Márta Siklós, Literature:
A favorite museum of mine is the Kiscelli Muzeum – Museum Kiscelli alias Municipal Picture Gallery. It is a real gem in Buda, not too far from Arpad bridge, on a hillside above Bécsi ut. A former aristocratic mansion, the Baroque building is really lovely, and the permanent collection holds beautiful works of late 19th/20th century Hungarian artists. Also, it should be fun just to take a walk in the neighborhood, probably unfamiliar to most students, who live their lives on the Pest side.
On a similar note, there is a temporary exhibition in the National Gallery up in the Castle area, of one of the finest Hungarian (post-) impressionist painters, Karoly Ferenczy – it`s surely worth seeing, and a stroll in the Castle neighborhood is always relaxing, anyway.
Melinda Harlov, Art and Communication:
On these special days I prefer to visit those museums that are otherwise out of my reach (mainly due to the costs). The temporary exhibitions at the Fine Art Museum and at Ludwig Museum are good examples. They have also great locations for a walk before or after the museum visit to enjoy the first really sunny days of Spring.
Museum of Fine Arts : http://www.szepmuveszeti.hu/
Ludwig Museum : http://www.ludwigmuseum.hu/
Peter Bokody, Art History:
A fine collection displaying the Western pictorial canon from Giotto to Toulouse-Lautrec. Additional highlights include the Egyptian and the Classical collection. If you like painting, you will like this museum – not necessarily the most well-known works, but definitely a source of visual pleasure. If you are there, dedicate also some of your time to the bittersweet story of the Magyars at Heroes Square!
Museum of Fine Arts (Dózsa György út 41, Budapest 1146 – Heroes Square)
In 1957 for the collection and display of Hungarian art alone, a new museum is created named the Hungarian National Gallery. Fascinating Late-Gothic winged altarpieces and a rich collection of 19th century historical painting (again, highlights from the bittersweet story of
the Magyars). There is also a comprehensive exhibition on modern Hungarian painting – an important chapter of Western modernity. As the Gallery is about to be closed for good and the collection to be shipped to Heroes Square, it is perhaps a one-time opportunity to check these works in the Castle!
Hungarian National Gallery (Buda Palace, Buildings A, B, C, D, H-1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2) http://www.mng.hu/en/hng
Robert Smyth, Communication:
I’d recommend the National Gallery for the unique expressionistic paintings of Tivadar Csontváry, who Picasso is believed to have referred to as the other great painter of the twentieth century, as well as the dark and brooding works by Mihaly Munkácsy, such as “The Last Day of a Condemned Man”.
Matthew Adamson, History of Science:
I’ve always enjoyed Natural History Museum. It’s a bit old-fashioned. There’s not a great deal of interpretation—just stuffed specimens, and skeletons, and pictorial displays. But that’s part of the fun, as you try to make sense of it all. And they have an impressive Carpathian basin mineral collection.