The often overlooked Emmanuel Gallery (Auraria campus, 303-556-8337) is currently hosting an important show called Treasures Revealed: The Art of Hungary, 1890-1955. To give you an idea of the significance of this particular exhibit, not only did the Hungarian ambassador come out from Washington, D.C., for the preview, but so did Denver Art Museum director Lewis Sharp, who was right in the midst of opening the brand-new Frederic C. Hamilton Building. (I'm sure Sharp would like nothing better than to have the museum acquire the entire show when it closes -- but that's not in the offing. Well, not yet, anyway.)
In his remarks, Sharp saluted Denver collectors Jill Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown, the chief lenders to the show, for the discipline they had shown by zeroing in on Hungarian art exclusively, and for putting together such a solid collection in a relatively short amount of time. In 1997, Wiltse and Brown had found themselves in Budapest, where they had gone to take in the Vance Kirkland exhibit being presented there. Checking out the galleries, they fell in love with Hungarian modernism and began to enthusiastically acquire it.
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Treasures Revealed, which highlights their collection, examines the rise of modernism in Hungary in the early-twentieth century. Hungarian artists became part of the European avant-garde in 1909 with the founding of a group called The Eight. These artists produced work in a variety of styles, including fauvism, expressionism and cubism.
The show is worthy of a museum because it features creations by some of Hungary's most significant artists, such as Dezsa Czigány, Károly Kernstok, Ödön Márffy, Bertalan Pór and Armand Schönberger, whose "In the Café" is pictured. There are more than sixty paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics and pieces of furniture on display. Curated by Shanna Shelby, the exhibit is accompanied by a proper catalogue written by art historian Steven Mansbach.
Treasures Revealed: The Art of Hungary, 1890-1955
A reception will be held on Saturday, October 21, from 1 to 5 p.m.; on Sunday, October 22, the gallery will honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet Union.
Treasures Revealed runs through November 2 at Emmanuel Gallery.