"Since it is not nature's task to produce finished images for us, the mere copying of what is provided by nature cannot produce an artefact"
For long centuries in the centre of the European art tradition there was the human body and the depiction of the human: by this the artist formulated his questions and made his statements. As a result, body representation had a central role in the educational programs of the first art academies, moreover only art institutions had the privilege of adjusting models.
It is well illustrated by the fact that in French the word academie does not only mean not academy but also nude. The institutional drawing education and the spread of figure drawing books were resulted in the democratization of the way of drawing as it was no longer the only privilege of workers of the great masters' studios, but learning and practicing various drawing techniques became available also for wider masses.
In academic art education - as Thierry de Duve, the Belgian art theorist, explained in his writing about art educational models - careful study and faithful copying meant the basis of the training as structure was determining from Renaissance until the spread of Realism. The significance of the imaging based on model adjustment was decreased by the West-European and American distancing from the academic heritage and the strengthening of the abstract tendencies during the 20th century. Although in the East-European higher art educational institutions, including our university, this classical approach remained on agenda during the 20th century.
Starting from the methodology of teaching drawing/modelling the exhibition presents the representation of the human body in the context of various social discourses related to the body through case studies. The original artefacts and archive documents point out the continuity of certain educational principles within the institution, at the same time they visualize how the teaching of the structure of the human body took on an individual, specific tone in different eras sourcing from views of certain teachers.
The exhibition is built on the materials of the Library, Archives and Art Collection of the University. The anatomy drawings, illustrating figures made by Bertalan Székely remained in the Collection and the artefacts of Department of Artistic Anatomy, Geometry, and Projection give a comprehensive picture about the pedagogy which gave the basis of the teaching of the subject for long centuries.
Featured artists: Balló Ede, Barcsay Jeno, Charles Bargue, Birkás Ákos, Bortnyik Sándor, Czene Márta, Dallos Ádám, Drozdik Orshi, Gadányi György, Gebauer Erno, Giffing Ida, Guttmann Mária, Gyorffy László, Harmati Kitti, Dr. Hermann Heid, Holzmann Friderika, Hoóz Anna, Huszár László, Jakab Borbála, Kacz Endre, Keresztes Zsófia, Knapp Eugénia, Kondor Béla, Ko Pál, Konig Frigyes, Kristóf Krisztián, Lakner László, Lábay János, Major János, Medveczky Jeno, Mézes Attila, Mosdóssy Imre, Nagy Gyula, Gustav Olofson, Phillip István, Piri Kálmán, Rakssányi Dezso, Somogyi József, Sváby Lajos, Szabó Vladimir, Szlovicsák Dömötör, Szende Dezso, Szentistványi Gyula, Székely Bertalan, Tóth Ilona, Tóth Nándor, Vaszary János, Visnyai Zoltán, Vörös Erzsi, Weinwurm Antal
Exhibition concept: Ádám Albert