The Archive and Documentation Center (ADK) is the department of the Central European Research Institute for Art History (KEMKI), with the most extended history and nearly 3,4 million unique documents of art-historical value. The predecessor of the ADK, the Hungarian Art Archive, was established by Elek Petrovics in 1920 based on the documents previously possessed by the library and the archives of the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. The collection consisted of documents – connected to the most influential Hungarian and European artists – that are not artworks in the strict sense, but rather manuscripts, photographs, inventories, lists of artworks, artist's catalogues and relics. The earliest material includes documents and relics from the estates of Miklós Izsó, Károly Markó, Mihály Munkácsy, István Ferenczy and Károly Ferenczy. After the establishment of the Hungarian National Gallery in 1957, this collection became the basis of the institution's Archive. Other bequests were later added to the Archive during this period, including documents from Sándor Bortnyik, Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, Gyula Derkovits, Lajos Tihanyi, János Tornyai, István Farkas and Lili Ország. The ADK looks after the complete Archive of the Lectorate for Fine- and Applied Arts, which operated between 1963 and 2013, and contains the documentation concerning industrial design projects, public art pieces and exhibitions from the second half of the 20th century, providing thus an unparalleled insight into the state-supported art of the era. Today, the photo archive of the ADK holds nearly 230,000 photographs realised with a wide range of techniques, many of which were created in order to document the various artworks from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Gallery. The large number of reproductions is complemented with the archives of famous photographers. The most significant of these is the Péter Korniss Archive, which was donated to the ADK in 2020 as a gift from the artist. The negatives, contact copies and press clippings of the archive cover the entire oeuvre of the Kossuth Prize-winning photographer.
Artpool Art Research Center is an avant-garde and contemporary art project and archive, founded in 1979 by György Galántai and Júlia Klaniczay in Budapest.
Artpool's mission is to document, archive, research, share, and present local and international art practices related to conceptual art, Fluxus, as well as to experimental tendencies and mediums.
Artpool was founded upon the legacy of György Galántai’s Chapel Studio in Balatonboglár (1970-1973) and his "active archive" concept. Active archives do not only “collect material already existing ‘out there’, but the way it operates also generates the very material to be archived. An active archive is a living institution that can be interpreted as an organic and open artwork or as an activist artistic practice.”
After ten years of underground operation and functioning for 25 years as an NGO, Artpool became a department of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2015. In 2020, it moved into the campus of the National Museum Restoration and Storage Center (OMRRK) and now continues its mission as part of the Central European Research Institute for Art History (KEMKI).
The unparalleled collection of the Artpool Art Research Center documents the history of art movements, trends and aspirations that emerged from the 1960s, including what is termed as unofficial artistic trends (underground, samizdat). The archives’ 650 running metres and 2,300 hours of digitalised material allows research into some 7,500 artists, art groups and institutes. Thanks to the documents and works it preserves, Artpool is an ideal place of research providing an insight into the intellectual developments of an era. The Artpool archives is a treasure trove of letters, descriptions of artworks, notes, sketches, concepts, interviews, various writings and works, as well as photo-documentation, catalogues, invitations, posters, bibliographies, chronologies, monographs, periodicals, diagrams, portfolios, video- and audio documents.
Compared to the other two departments of the Central European Research Institute for Art History (KEMKI), the Research Department was established at the inception of the institution in 2021 and represents a programme that is in line with the current academic discourse and unfolds in close cooperation with the – historical and collection-related – work conducted at ADK and Artpool. The Research Department, which operates on a project basis and initiates multiannual research projects, focuses primarily on the art of the second half of the 20th century. The interdisciplinary research, which considers the shortcomings of the Hungarian art-historical literature, showcases a local focus and a transregional and international historical-theoretical framework. Accordingly, our researchers involved in the projects – who are themselves promising or well-established academic actors in the realm of international discourses – initiate internationally relevant research projects capable of addressing the public and providing new perspectives.
The major projects to be launched in 2022 will focus on the complex reconceptualisation of art in the 1980s, the politics embedded into the domain of exhibitions and culture during the Cold War era, and the investigation of artistic phenomena related to the Holocaust. The Research Department will seek close cooperation with local and international research institutions and museums, both at the working group and institutional levels, including small-scale collaborations and a multi-year historical research project on the topic of the Avant-Garde launched in collaboration with Kassák Museum. The partial results of the long-term research programmes will be presented in workshops, as well as national and international conferences. At the same time, the conclusions will become integrated into large-scale exhibitions and research paper anthologies that will significantly contribute to the region's art-historical literature.