Lajos Vajda Studio Archive
The Lajos Vajda Studio was officially established in 1972 as a circle of visual artists interested in experimental practices. The origins of the cohesiveness of the group lie in the spirit of the place and the group’s attachment to Szentendre and its artistic traditions. At the end of the 1960s, a vital, informal counterculture-cell came into existence in Szentendre in part because of the activities of young artists who inspired one another. The archive documents the history and the activities of the studio and its members.
Szentendre Péter Pál utca 6, Hungary 2000
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Name of collection
- The Archive of the Vajda Lajos Studio
Provenance and cultural activities
The Lajos Vajda Studio was officially established in 1972 as a circle of visual artsits interested in experimental practices. The origins of the cohesiveness of the group lie in the spirit of the place and the group’s attachment to Szentendre and its artistic traditions. At the end of the 1960s, a vital, informal counterculture-cell came into existence in Szentendre in part because of the activities of young artists who inspired one another.
The antecedent to the studio was the Outdoor Exhibition, which was held unofficially in a public space once a year beginning in 1968. The characteristic radical openness of the groups was already visible: anybody could join the show by bringing a work of art to the spot on a given day.
The founding members of the studio were autodidacts, and they held a strong belief in the importance of the relationship between art and life. After early atrocities involving the police and concluding in legal prosecution of some of the members of the group, the authorities wanted to control their activities, so they urged them to become a studio officially, and they provided them a cellar for exhibitions.
The exhibitions, concerts, actions, performances, and other events which were held regularly in the cellar-gallery by the 1970s and 1980s demonstrated that there was a viable alternative to official artistic education. After the change of regimes, the studio became an association, and it still exists in this form, bringing to together several generations of artists tied to Szentendre and involved in experimentalism.The archive documents the history and the activities of the studio and its members. These documents are still in the possession of the people who have collected them, and there are plans to create an organized collection.
Description of content
The archive consists of photos, slides, videos, written documents (including an “Information Bank,” which is a complete timetable of events from 1966 to 2002), a large collection of texts (manifestos, poems, scripts of events, manuscripts, letters, interviews, essays, opening speeches, transcripts of articles published in newspapers and magazines), and a selected bibliography (from 1968 to 1999). Notable items include the press interpretations and reflections of the notorious event that was misinterpreted by the police and led to legal prosecution of several members (the Nalaja happening).
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 100-499
- other: 100-499
- photos: 1000-
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
- video recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Important events in the history of the collection
- all closed to the public
"SZAFT" DOKUMENTUM ’86-’88. 1989.
Novotny, Tihamér, and Wehner, Tibor, editors. A Szentendrei Vajda Lajos Stúdió (Anthology). Szentendre: Vajda Lajos Stúdiót Támogató Alapítvány, 2000. 472 p.
Novotny, Tihamér, editor. A Szentendrei Vajda Lajos Stúdió 1972-2002. Szentendre: Vajda Lajos Kulturális Egyesület, 2002, 336 p.
Novotny, Tihamér. Szétguruló üveggolyókban. Szentendre: Vajda Lajos Kulturális Egyesület, 2004.
Author(s) of this page
- Beöthy, Balázs
Novotny, Tihamér, interview by Beöthy, Balázs, October 06, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection
ef Zámbó, István, interview by Beöthy, Balázs, October 09, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection