A Brief History of MMA

The Aesthetics Subsection of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), founded in 1825, was terminated by the Communist dictatorship in 1949 and the artistic sphere was drawn under the direct control of the Communist Party. After the end of communism in Hungary (1989), the artistic sphere moved to set back the academic acknowledgement of Hungarian art. In 1994, the parliament established the academic law, but the decision concerning the acamedies functioning as public bodies for the other areas of literature and arts was put under the effect of a different law, to be established later.

On 31 January 1992, twenty-two major Hungarian artists established the Hungarian Academy of Arts as a social organization. The founding members were: Imre Bak (painter), Sándor Balassa (composer), Bulcsu Bertha (writer), Csaba Bodonyi (architect), Attila Bozay (composer), László Csaba (architect), Pál Deim (painter), József Finta (architect), Pál Gerzson (painter), Tihamér Gyarmathy (painter), Tibor Gyurkovics (writer), József Kerényi (architect), Ignác Kokas (painter), Imre Makovecz (architect), Miklós Melocco (sculptor), Géza Páskándi (writer), Mihály Schéner (painter), Imre Schrammel (ceraminst), József Somogyi (sculptor), Sándor Szokolay (composer), József Tornai (poet), Tamás Vigh (sculptor). From the beginning until his death on 27 September 2011, the president of MMA was Imre Makovecz. He was assisted by Dr. Flórián Kovács, secretary of the organization.

The aim was to achieve appreciation for Hungarian art as well as to become a public body. In two decades, MMA found a home for itself in its projects and on its meetings there were substantial discussions, debates and deep analyses of nation-wide artistic questions. In nearly twenty years, MMA organized almost one thousand public meetings, inside events, concerts, conferences, travelling sessions and exhibitions, published books, founded awards and carried out applications. HAA made official contacts with most of the major artistic associations and made defining steps for the union with the Hungarian intellectual forces over the border. HAA became a forum where Hungarian artists from the mother country and over the border could cooperate, a place where nation-oriented thinking, individual creativity and mutual care were natural and exemplary.
Three are three albums on the activity of MMA as a social organization.
In autumn 2010 the Hungarian government decided that it declares the legal framework of MMA in the new fundamental law. According to the law on MMA: "Legal regulation is justified by the expectation that the representatives of culture, especially of the arts should play an increasingly important role in the forming of society and with their active role should contribute to the effective vindication of cultural interests. The protection of cultural values, the preservation, transmissin and presentation of the artistic traditions of the nation, the stimulation of creating new works of art, the reinforcement of the communal conditions of high-level creative work and the increased need for artistic cooperation have become such great tasks that require the establishment of a public body similar in its role and significance to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences."
The Hungarian parliament passed the CIX. law of 2011 on the establishment of MMA as a public body on 11 July 2011. According to the law only those members could take part in the establishment of MMA who were full members of the society on 1 January 2011.
In accordance with the above MMA was established as an autonomous public body with 157 members in the House of Hungarianism on 5 November 2011.
Following the decree concerning the establishment of the public body, the academicians approved the fundamental rules of MMA, then they elected the chief officers of MMA (President: György Fekete, Vice-President: Attila Csáji and József Zelnik, Secretary General: Dr Tamás Gergely Kucsera, Members of the Board: Marcell Jankovics and Sándor Sára – from 2012 by the election of Margit Ács and Sándor Dévényi the Board is complete, Supervising Members: László Haris, Dr András Jávor, Dr Viktor Kazai, Dr Mariann Vízkelety, Rudolf Zalán Erdélyi). The general assembly decided on the honorary, the supporting and the honorary posthumous members and they commemorated the founding and honorary life president Imre Makovecz in the Fundamental Rules as well as the founding and honorary life secretary general Dr Flórián Kovács.
MMA paid tribute to its 61 late members with a commemorating exhibition in the Museum of Applied Arts on 1 December 2011. This was the first official event of MMA as a public body.
MMA held its first ordinary general assembly in the Crystal House at Vörösmarty Square, Budapest on 28 January 2012.
In 2013 on the initiative of MMA the Hungarian Parliament established the Artist of the Nation Awards for the appreciation and for the providing of worthy living conditions of personalities with high artistic accomplishment and acclaim and the Artist of the Nations Awards were first assigned in July 2014 by the Artist of the Nation Committee. The Artist of the Nation Awards are assigned by the president of MMA on the anniversary of HAA becoming a public body by law on 5 November, the anniversary of the establishment of MMA. The Artist of the Nation Awards are to be handed over by the president of HAA and the prime minister or two persons designated by them. MMA has its own awards as well (Life Achievement Award, Grand Award, Golden Medal etc.) together with the awards of the various sections of MMA.
MMA presents and documents all its events in year books. It has published its own official periodical entitled Hungarian Art on a quarterly basis from the end of 2013.
In October 2013 the Hungarian Parliament passed the Kunshalle and the Vigado in Budapest as well as the Hild villa in the 12th district into the ownership of MMA. The Hild villa after its complete renewal functions as the Reseach Institute of Art Theory and Methodology from 2016. Kunsthalle organizes so-called National Salons, thus presenting the works of various outstanding artists from various artistic fields from 2014. HAA lead by György Fekete, the President of HAA after the death of Imre Makovecz in 2011 can function with a state donation of 10 billion HUF in 2017. The regular and corresponding members of MMA receive life annuities on a monthy basis. The 25-year-old HAA is one of the most influential organizations in the cultural life of Hungary.