Three "must-see" museums and exhibitions, 2013

Museums are everywhere in Hungary, and especially Budapest, offering a range of historical and cultural attractions, as both temporary and permanent exhibitions. Here we highlight 3 unique settings and 3 unusual collections that you really must see!

1. "Caravaggio to Canaletto" exhibition: Two Centuries of Italian Masterpieces at the Budapest Fine Arts Museum

26 October 2013 - 16 February 2014

Following the success of this museum's Botticelli to Titian exhibition, in 2009–2010, the story of 15th-18th Century Italian painting is continued here. This rare collection of paintings of the great Italian Masters, has been gathered from several countries. They will be on display from the end of October 2013 to mid-February 2014. Tickets for a previous similar exhibition, Botticelli to Titian, in 2009/10, sold out very fast, due to the rarity of the event. though the BFAM has a strong Baroque and rococo collection, it will now be reinforced and supported by more than a hundred classic works on loan from such august institutions as the National Gallery in London, the Musée du Louvre in Paris and the Museo Nacional del Prado, to name but a few.

 

2. Art Nouveau exhibition in the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest.

24 May 2013 - 28 February 2014.

Here, the building itself is an amazing attraction; There are wonderful examples of Hungarian Secession design, with Moorish elements (especially the courtyard inside.) On top of all that, literally, are the distinctive roof tiles from the great Vilmos Zsolnay. Here is a rare chance to see items of this important style, such as incomparable Tiffany glassware, works of German Jugendstil, the tapestries of the Scherrebek weaving school, as well as a wealth of porcelain from Denmark, Sweden and of course, Hungary.

 

3. Szentendre Open air museum (Skanzen)

Permanent exhibition.

 Our third suggestion is an unusual venue, a real window on history and village life in different parts of Hungary. The open air museum near  Szentendre, known as the Skanzen (from the original and most famous Swedish Skansen in Stockholm) is an outdoor museum of folk life, spread across 150 acres, just 23 km North of Budapest.  You can explore nearly 250 houses and village life from 8 distinct regions of Hungary, often observing or even participating in folk crafts such as leatherwork. Events such as traditional cookery classes are held regularly through the summer. There is now a railway track on which you can ride a 1930s handcar past some of the villages back to the car park.

If this has piqued your curiosity, do pay a visit to these three amazing venues. While there will always be high quality exhibitions on offer, two of the items mentioned are on offer for a limited time only, so seize the moment!