It is a long-standing tradition in Hungary's major art museums to celebrate on St. Nicholas's day: it is the name day of Miklós Mojzer, the doyen of Hungarian museologists, retired director of the Museum of Fine Arts. Yesterday a special celebration was held in his honor at the Hungarian National Gallery - the 80 year old Mojzer was honored by a special issue of Hungary's prestigious art history journal, Művészettörténeti Értesítő. Miklós Mojzer worked in all of Hungary's museum with major holdings of Old Masters: he started his career at the Christian Museum of Esztergom, and then worked at the Old Hungarian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts. When in 1974, this collection joined the rest of the Hungarian National Gallery in its new building - the former royal palace in Buda castle - Mojzer went with the collection, and became its head from 1977 to 1989. In this period this collection - encompassing works of Hungarian and Central European art from the 11th century to the Late Baroque - became one of the most significant such ensembles of the region. To get a glimpse of the relevant artwork, you can browse the website of the museum - the first four groups on this page of collection highlights belong to the Old Hungarian Collection. In this period, Mojzer was also the editor of Művészettörténeti Értesítő, the journal of the Association of Hungarian Archaeology and Art History.
From 1989 until 2004, Miklós Mojzer was the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, leading this institution into the 21st century by starting the reconstruction and underground expansion of the museum, and organizing a series of highly important exhibitions. The collections of the museum were also greatly expanded during his tenure. Miklós Mojzer remained active after his retirement, publishing a number of important articles - including ones dedicated to his lifelong research-interest, Master MS. His findings will be the topic of another blog post - it is enough to say now that Mojzer proposed a solution to this enigmatic master of late Gothic paintings, whose chief works are at the Christian Museum and at the Hungarian National Gallery (the latter providing the sole illustration to today's post). A selection of his publications is listed in the Kubikat catalogue.
The new issue of Művészettörténeti Értesítő contains studies from the general field of research of Mojzer: studies on late medieval altarpieces, on Hungarian medieval painting and sculpture, on Renaissance and Baroque painting and similar subjects. Edited by Anna Jávor and Árpád Mikó, the studies in this special issue were written by the best Hungarian researchers in these fields, many of whom had worked together with Miklós Mojzer for many years. I would like to wish him many more productive years and a long life!
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