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With Their Backs to the Mountains
How They Lived
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Search the full text of our books:


In Search of the Budapest Secession
The Artist Proletariat and the Modernism’s rise in the Hungarian Art Market, 1800-1914


Jeffrey Taylor is Assistant Professor of Arts Management, Purchase College, State University of New York

This important work by American historian Jeffrey Taylor, who spent the last two decades in Hungary and earned his PhD at Central European University in Budapest, serves to detail the nineteenth-century origin of the art market in a Central European nation as its economy was shifting from total dependence on agriculture to a mixed industrial/agricultural model during the Industrial Revolution. The creation of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867 provided Hungary with a measure of equality with Austria, initiating a period when the social and cultural development of Hungary and its newly emerging professional and merchant classes provided a new marketplace, which while bourgeois in nature nevertheless brought “art” to a greater portion of the population. Taylor provides us with a fascinating history, beginning in eighteen hundred, of the art market of Hungary, of the rise of modernism and its conflict with traditional elements.

Contents: List of Figures AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: The Art Market and Its Models “Secession” in a Hungarian context? A Working Definition of Modernism Chapter 1: An Art Market Develops in a Provincial Capital of the Habsburg Empire and Becomes the Center of the Hungarian Art World Artaria as the Model for the Central European Art Dealer The Early Art Market in Pest The Establishment of the Pesti Műegylet The First Exhibitions of the Műegylet Jacopo Marastoni’s Reign over the Art Market in the 1840s and 50s Struggles within the Pesti Műegylet over Hungarian-ness Chapter 2: The QuickRise and Sudden Irrelevance of the Salon System The Struggle of the Hungarian Artist The Formation of the OMKT The First OMKT exhibition The OMKT’s Structure The First Műcsarnok The OMKT Catalogues The Economics of Painting during the OMKT’s Monopoly The Independent Jury and Kézdi-Kovács’ Consolidation of Power The Increasing Irrelevance OMKT Chapter 3: The Nemzeti Szalon Shatters the OMKT's Monopoly The Crisis Years of the 1890s The Establishment of the Nemzeti Szalon First Exhibitions in Budapest and the Countryside Other Revolts: Hollósy School/Nagybánya, Thorma’s Martyrs of Arad, the 1900 Salon des Refusés How the Hock Affair Defined the Future of the Art Market The Golden Age of the Nemzeti Szalon under Ernst The New Building on Erzsébet tér The Revolt of the Artist Proletariat under Kézdi-Kovács The M.I.É.N.K. The Consolidation of Power by Kézdi-Kovács Chapter 4: Galleries Arise as the New Model of Commerce Galleries in the Late Nineteenth Century The Uránia The Eggenberger Self-Staged Exhibitions The KÉVE The Salon des Refusés of 1908 Printing in the Later Nineteenth Century The Könyves Kálmán Szalon and Rippl-Rónai’s Auction The Művészház and the Role of Miklós Rózsa The Ernst Múzeum Conclusion: Returning to the Question of the Hungarian “Secession” Bibliography Appendix: Analysis of Producers, and Market Capacity Total Number of Works Exhibited in a YearNumber of Works Exhibited at Each Exhibition Index of Names, Places, Movements, and Institutions Endnotes

Published by Helena History Press, Saint Helena, CA, USA

ISBN 978-0-9859433-3-2

$50.00 / €38.00 / £32.00

"With the publication of Jeff Taylor's 2014 book that delineates the emergence and development of the art market in Hungary from 1800 to 1914, the last missing piece to complete a new narrative of the Hungarian art scene fell into place.
Taylor's theoretical focus is the 'conflict between an artist proletariat and the Secession’s elites' (Jensen), a conflict that led to the formation and later the break of several artists movements fighting relentlessly for recognition in the form of available wall space; Letting go at some point in his book of the idea of an artist proletariat, Taylor proceeds to tell an easy-to-follow, linear story of the emergence of the art market 'in an essentially German-speaking provincial capital in a German-speaking empire'.
Very valuable contribution to a new history of the fine arts in Hungary, the book by Jeff Taylor isnot only meritorious and capturing in themselves but also serves as a solid base to future researches of Hungarian art and culture in the Long Nineteenth Century and, more specifically, in the Dualistic Era." - Hungarian Cultural Studies