Corvinus Art Collection

Corvinus Art Collection

Corvinus Art Collection

A glimpse of treasures of Hungarian art

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest has been associated with culture since its opening. It is proud to house the Corvinus Art Collection, featuring more than 1,500 pieces in the rooms, suites and public areas. 

A true passion and genuine interest have driven us to embrace contemporary Hungarian art: to discover, to show and to promote its best on our premises. Our guests can catch a glimpse of treasures of Hungarian art as they walk by and stop to appreciate the works. They are drawn in, captivated and would like to find out about the artist and see more of their work.

The building of the Corvinus Art Collection started in 1992, when the hotel itself opened, and it has evolved in parallel with the interior design of the structure. The design’s elegance derived as much from the quality of the materials used as from the harmonic details, including the use of artworks. To appreciate the significance of the hotel’s art collection, it is necessary to outline the context: art collection in a period when Hungary’s intellectual milieu and society were undergoing reforms.
The seed of the Corvinus Art Collection was the 1% of the building project funds that were to be dedicated to the purchase of artworks, with 99% being works of Hungarian artists. During the 1990s, classical, traditional works formed the bulk of acquisitions, and then the new millennium saw a decisive opening towards contemporary art, which now accounts for the main part of the collection.

The Corvinus Collection has emphatic ties with the art historical tradition; its very name refers to the Renaissance king, Matthias Corvinus. The commitment to permanent classical values and quality facilitates the coexistence of state-of-the-art luxury and refined tradition.

The hotel remains an avid collector and continues managing its gallery on the ground floor to show cutting-edge talent in regular temporary exhibitions.

As is to be expected, most paintings in the hotel tend to be landscapes or still lifes. Both are rewarding as regards interior design, because while a landscape broadens the space, conceptually and visually, opening a window on a different environment, a still life enriches the room itself with virtual objects, flowers or fruits. 

A special feature of the collection is that the best pieces are integrated into their permanent exhibition facility, the building of the hotel. Some of these works are site-specific, like László Hajdú’s (1938-) relief, Danube, in the reception area. The chart-like view of the river that connects people and countries offers both the experience of an abstract form and a symbolic exposure to a natural scenery.

Internationally renowned painter MSL (1981-) draws his themes mostly from today’s culture and visual universe, the imagery of cartoons and posters. His monumental pictures dominate the hotel’s Living Room and the public spaces of floor 1. 

One of the 1%, the work of a non-Hungarian artist, is a monumental eye-catching paper collage of Sachin George Sebastian (1985-): Untitled from the series Metropolis and City Planners, which decorates the lift area on the ground floor. He made this artwork over three weeks during his stay in 2014 at Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest in the frame of the Kempinski Young Artists programme. This piece of art reflects the way he sees metropolises, such as the ever-evolving city of Budapest and the migration associated with it. 

All sculptures inside the hotel have the ability to organise space, and have become integral parts of their environment.

Levente Molnár (1979-) created a good example of sculptures that live and cooperate with the space around them; Odysseus, the figure of the eternal traveller in The Living Room, is suggestive of past ages, distant worlds and future adventures. The viewer can rest their gaze on the girl of Soap Bubble in the filigree alcove, and the airy, floating structure of its hoops. 

Pál Kő (1941–2020) presents Matthias, the eponym of the hotel, with the family crest and arms crossed, and the sculpture on floor 1 brings to mind the just Matthias of folk tales. 

The niches of the guest floors hold the slender double figures of Péter Szabolcs (1942-) invested with a sacred solemnity, and several of the bronze sculptures reference antique mythology. 

The Herend Suite is a jewel box in its own right, a time capsule in an essentially modern environment. This is because, in addition to the Herend porcelainware, it features a few 19th-century portraits, among which notable is that of Katalin Zetk, by Miklós Barabás (1810–1898), the most important portraitist of the Reform Period.

Should you want to learn more about our art collection, please contact Ildikó Dudás, Director of PR, at [email protected].