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sights & culture


Where Munkácsy and lavender meet – KOGART Tihany


  • Bagi László

04/09/2014 2.00am

As much as we love Tihany, some days you simply get tired of eating lavender ice cream while floating on a lavender beach air bed and admiring a lavender sunset. If you find yourself in a similar frame of mind, or you are looking for options to pass time on exceptionally hot or extremely rainy days, check out the permanent and temporary exhibitions Tihany-based KOGART has to offer.

Inspired by popular demand

Art collector Gábor Kovács has already proved with his museum in Pest that the smartly selected location on Andrássy Avenue is capable of drawing hosts of visitors with a combination of an outstanding collection and excellent programmes. It was probably no easy task to transport a more condensed version of all this to the Balaton, and to find a suitable venue and a receptive audience.

The latter aspect, that is grabbing the attention of visitors, is of the utmost importance here, too. The Balaton is a place for relaxation, bathing, lying in the sun, catching fish and drinking fröccs, but after a couple of days it must occur to even the staunchest advocates of idleness that it is time to do something educational.

Photo: László Bagi

With the establishment of KOGART Tihany a high-quality cultural space was created, which plays an equally significant role for the local community and for Hungarian and foreign tourists. For example, we met a group of Belgian doctors during our visit who were exploring Hungarian culture, but not only through paprika wreaths and the traditional Hungarian folk dance of the csárdás.

A refined building

Stepping inside KOGART Tihany, you immediately notice the architectural refinement: located next to the municipal government building, the one-time chemist’s has been restored in line with the plans of architect István Bársony. The modern building has a simple and clean design, and blends perfectly into the undulating landscape of the Tihany streets with desirable proportions and natural building materials.

Photo: László Bagi

At the back of the building you’ll find a well-groomed garden, which can serve as a venue for various events and more low-key concerts. In the past they have organized book launches and ARTPlacc has also taken over the place for a few days, but “we have only just started planning the conscious utilization of the outdoor space”, director of KOGART Tihany László Dióssy tells us about past events and future plans.

Photo: László Bagi

An outstanding collection

The permanent collection has been designed to fill a long-standing void by paying homage to sculptor Miklós Borsos, who spent a great deal of his time in Tihany. Art patron Gábor Kovács had a collection including roughly four hundred pieces by Borsos when he decided it was time to set up a highly deserved exhibition space for the artist. The Tihany museum has a separate room where Borsos’ sculptures and other works of art are on display.

Photo: László Bagi

Across the hall you’ll find the rooms reserved for temporary exhibitions: top-quality displays organized in the past showcased the emergence of modern Hungarian painting and the artwork of Zsuzsa Péreli, with an expo featuring Hungarian realist painting and pieces by Mihály Munkácsy coming up.

Photo: László Bagi

You should definitely check out the art shows of KOGART Tihany if you find yourself in need of more culture after finishing all the bulky summer reads you’ve brought with you on holiday, but those looking for a calm milieu and a space that is easy on the eyes will also have a good time here. The same level of standards and dedication to art patronage as on Andrássy Avenue and in the Ybl Villa, but with a sunlit garden and a smaller, more casual exhibition space. Don’t worry: you won’t have to do without lavender bushes either.

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