Hungarian Rock Museum and Hall of Fame
The Rock Museum was established in 2014 as a grassroots initiative by former musicians, experts, and collectors. The museum is the first collection in Hungary that presents documents and items of importance to the Hungarian rock and popular music scene (with an international and primarily regional focus) from the late 1950s to the present. Generally, the phenomenon of rock music under state socialism is considered a form of cultural resistance.
1133 Budapest Kárpát utca 23 , Hungary
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Name of collection
- Rockmúzeum, Magyarock Hírességek Csarnoka
Provenance and cultural activities
Despite its name, Rock Museum is not officially recognised as a museum. The collection is managed by former musicians, experts, and fans, all of whom are volunteers. As a consequence, the Rock Museum does not follow any particular museological method to define either the main focus of the collection or the policy of acquisitions or methods of display. It represents an antiquarian approach, with the intention of collecting and preserving materials which are donated or available for the institution simply to ensure that they do not deteriorate or disappear.
The main exhibition displays musical instruments, photos, portraits, and various types of objects (e. g. radios) without any explanations concerning the importance of the political, social, or institutional context of pop and rock music in the 1960s and 1970s. The collection has no specific focus on counterculture or cultural non-conformism. On the contrary, the exhibition aims to represent a balanced narrative of the Hungarian music scene, showing popular and alternative genres of rock music. In this narrative the history of rock music is entirely depoliticized, and this may lead to an ambivalent normalisation of the memory of the communist regime. As a social and cultural phenomenon, rock music in the 1960s and 1980s represented for many contemporary participants a form of cultural resistance, and it s also understood in this way in scholarly or lay retrospectives. If one does not address the roles of state institutions or censorship, the history of rock music resembles a neutral, non-political genre of culture. Such modalities of representation reflect a desire on the part of East Europeans to retrieve their “normal” past and forget the ideological constraints that were placed on everyday life at the time.
Description of content
- The collection consists of musical instruments (guitars, Hammond organs), dresses, manuscripts, document, photos, oral-history interviews. The collection does not focus on cultural resistance. Rock music is displayed in a normalising manner. Still, oral-history interviews or contemporary documents (e.g. event permits) are interesting sources on forms and perceptions of cultural dissent.
- photos: 1000-
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 0-9
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Budapest Kárpát utca 23, Hungary
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
- Kelemen, András, and Árpád Oláh, editors. A magyar rock bölcsője : budapesti tánczenekarok és beatzenekarok almanachja. Budapest: MagyaRock Hírességek Csarnoka Egyesület, 2013.
Part of network
Author(s) of this page
- Bódi, Lóránt
Kelemen, András , interview by Bódi, Lóránt, October 14, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection
Bálint, Csaba , interview by Bódi, Lóránt, October 04, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection