Lectorate for Fine and Applied Arts
Founded by edict, the Lectorate of Fine and Applied Arts, empowered with censorial and permitting power, it functioned between 1963 and 1990 as an administrative authority on almost all fields of autonomous and applied arts in Hungary.
One of its primary fields of activity was the process of issuing permits and providing funding for public sculptures, but the listing and judging of the prominent figures of all art exhibitions (up until 1974, later only large-scale national shows) and the jurying of all visual and applied art competitions were also among its responsibilities.
The apparatus took its supervisory role quite seriously. For example, the director himself answered a critique published in a daily newspaper in which the author made witty jibes concerning the (juried) exhibition of Sándor Altorjay in 1971. In his response, the director admitted that he and his colleagues had made a mistake when they had approved the exhibition, and he also accused the painter of having changed some of the works and promised to make the jurying process more strict in the future.
The institute expanded its judging authority to the fields of design and industrial aesthetics in 1976, and as of 1981, it managed the so-called “two million commissions” (in this framework, the state purchased artworks from national exhibitions and later from studios following the advice of experts, assigned officers, and museums).
The activities of the Lectorate underwent a transformation in 1990. Under the direction of Katalin Keszthelyi, the former censorial authority became a professional provider institution. In 2007, it lost its independent budgetary organization status in accordance with a ministerial decree, and its tasks and responsibilities were taken over by a new institution, the Hungarian Cultural Institute and Visual Art Lectorate.
After an open application process for the position, László Kertész became the new director of the institution, which lost its legal and economic independence but maintained its professional autonomy. In 2012, in accordance with a new ministerial decree, the Visual Art Lectorate was merged into the Hungarian Art Nonprofit Ltd. (MANK). During this process, László Kertész resigned, as he “did not see any guarantee of maintaining the quality of professional work within the new framework.”MANK still fulfils some of the earlier tasks of the Visual Art Lectorate. The documents of the earlier activities of the organization were incorporated into the Archive of the Hungarian National Gallery.
Budapest Úri utca 54, Hungary 1014
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Date of founding
Type of organisation
- Government/State organisation
Author(s) of this page
- Beöthy, Balázs