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János Géczi: Reformed living and its symbol: The elements of the Weltanschauung and art pedagogy of Sándor Nagy

For a long time the work and theoretical stance of the members of the Gödöllő Artists’ Colony (1901–1920) remained unexplored. This Hungarian art nouveau collective, attracting international artists and fashioned after the English model and established around a textile studio, has recently received research attention in art and intellectual history. Szabó (1999) discussed the mentality of the colony, imbued with modern and traditional mysticism and science and emphasizing folk culture, while keeping an eye on contemporary developments in Europe. The group’s ethical resolve in its artistic programs has both national and international features; however, the fin-de-siécle artistic experiment which it successfully represented and which its community accomplished by emphasizing the principles of new life reform, is also of importance in the history of education and culture. A neo-romantic world view served as the foundation for all this, which did not separate the methods, forms and subjects of art and science inquiry – the artists themselves thought this to provide the means for obtaining a "complete life". It is noteworthy that the two leaders of the group, Sándor Nagy and Aladár Kőrösfői-Kriesch, developed similar art education methods, widely published, and elaborated their reflections on contemporary education policy. For a small circle of experts it has been obvious that the theoretical elaboration and practical application of an ethically and philosophically defined yet eclectic life reform program took place in the last two decades of the nineteenth century and first two of the twentieth, with values both similar, and contrastive to international efforts. Unfortunately, though, the unfavorable evaluation of the art nouveau and the neo-Catholicism of the Gödöllő colony has prevented social science researchers from detecting these features.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 104. Number 1. 19-37. (2004)

Address for correspondence: Géczi János, Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Nevelés- és Művelődéstörténet Tanszék. H–7624 Pécs, Ifjúság útja 6.

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Magyar Tudományos Akadémia