Association of Hungarian Country House Museums
At the 13th Folk Architecture Conference held in Békés on 17-18 September 2002, after the joyful moments of the reopening of the Békés Country House Museum, the participants adopted a recommendation for the establishment of a professional stakeholder representation association, which would serve the renewal of the decades-long Hungarian country house movement.
This proposition was not without precedent. The Hungarian country house museum movement has been pushed to the periphery of the public collection-museum sphere in the last decade. The changes of ownership following the change of the political regime, the polarisation of scarce financial resources, and the lack of professional integration led to the fact that the Hungarian country house museum complex of more than 300 collections with a rather dilapidated – partly listed – complex of buildings, in many cases entered in the 21st century with an uninventoried collection of hundreds of thousands of artefacts.
The decision was followed by deeds. The organising committee elected in Békés drafted the statutes of the Association and convened the inaugural general meeting of the Association for 26 November 2002, where 67 participants founded the association, which is based in the centre of Aggtelek National Park, in Jósvafő with 380 inhabitants.
The Association has established regional organisations to achieve its goals. Each of the members of the board belongs to a different region, or it organises the professional advocacy tasks of the areas over the border (Uplands, Partium, Vojvodina) and those of the ethnic country house museums (Slovak, German, Croatian).
Scope of activity of the Association:
Every year, the Association organises a regional meeting in each region and organises a National Meeting at different locations each year, at the site of the previous winner of Country House Museum of the Year, e.g. in Budaörs in 2020.
Four times a year, the Association publishes an information booklet entitled ‘Country House Museum Newsletter’ (an electronic version of which can also be accessed on the website tajhazszovetseg.hu/tajhazi_hirlevel), in which it offers a wide range of topics from the introduction of a high-quality country house museum through project monitoring to informative articles.
In order to increase the recognition of the country house museum movement, it has announced a competition for the title of ‘Country House of the Year’, with which it wants to set the level of professional standards and focus on a truly high-quality country house. Also an important recognition is the title of ‘Country House Museum Manager of the Year’, which is presented each year at the annual General Assembly in recognition of the work done for a particular country house museum. The ‘Szablyár Péter commemorative plaque’ is a professional recognition given every second year in honour of the founding and managing director of the Country House Museum Association, with which the Country House Museum Association recognises the dedicated work for the cause of country house museums.
Members of the board of the Country House Museum Association by region:
dr. Ibolya Bereczki, director
Márta Hegedűsné Majnár, managing director
Edina Bajnóczy-Kovács (Pest County, Komárom-Esztergom County, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok County)
Ádám Bihari (Vas County, Zala County, Győr-Moson-Sopron County)
Orsolya Kapitány (Baranya County, Somogy County, Tolna County)
Marianna Korompainé Mocsnik (Hajdú-Bihar county, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County)
Melinda Kulik (Csongrád County, Békés County, Bács-Kiskun County)
Zsolt Miszlai (Veszprém County, Fejér County)
Anett Urbán (Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Heves County, Nógrád County)
Enikő Kicsindi (Hungarian country house museums in Slovakia)
Katalin Király (Slovak country houses in Hungary)
Gabriella Jaszmann (German country house museums in Hungary)
Emese Kővári (Hungarian country houses in Transylvania)