Gödöllõ Colony of Artists
Aladár Körösfõi-Kriesch and his family settled down in Gödöllõ in 1901. The date also stands for the birth of the Gödöllõ Colony of Artists, which became attractive for artists and Hungarian Art Nouveau in the first two decades of the 20th century, as a rival of the Nagybánya Colony of Artists and later the Kecskemét Colony of Artists. The colony's Golden Age was ended with Körösfõi's death in 1920, although Sándor Nagy and the Remsey family mantained it.
Ede Thoroczkai-Wigand and István Medgyaszay designed the atelier houses for Körösfõi and his friend and brother-in-law Sándor Nagy. Their homes were Gesamtkunstwerke, just like their exhibitions of interiors. Körösfõi, with the mediation of his friend at the Ministry of Culture and Religion, Elek Koronghi-Lippich, built up the colony's weaving workshop as a sign of the discovered significance of Folk Art tradition. It became a place of practice for the students of the Academy of Applied Arts's premise Institution in 1907 (Mariska Undi arrived to Gödöllõ in 1905 as a scholar as well as Jenõ Remsey in 1909). Körösfõi got the looms from Sarolta Kovalovszky's workshop.
Körösfõi invited Nagy and friends they met during their studies in Paris and Italy, those who often visited Diód in the previous years too. Leo Belmonte arrived at Gödöllõ in 1905, after studying gobelin techniques in Paris and he supported the building of the atelier houses too. Endre Frecskay landscape painter and Viktor Erdei graphic artist came form the Szolnok Colony of Artists in 1907. Árpád Juhász arrived in 1905, his nieces the Frey-sisters in 1907, Ferenc Sidló, Ödön Moiret sculptors in 1907 and 1908. The son of the French Cultural attache, Charles de Fontanay arrived in 1908 together with Carla Undi and Rezsõ (Rudolf) Mihály (Müller). Ervin Raáb came in 1909 and István Zichy in 1907. (He became the director of the Historical Museum in 1934-1944, after destroying all of his pieces while coming back from the World War I. His fresco accompany Körösfõi's at the Academy of Sciences.)
The Gödöllõ colony's spirit was composed of Tolstoyan and Christian-Anarchist ideas, those that the old members had already been familiarized with via Henrik Jenõ Schmitt in Diód. The members realised the importance of archaic traditional art, folk art (just like their friends, Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály) and they considered Applied Arts the most progressive approach. They also collected and studied original and old handicraft methods and they are considered the reformers of children's literature. Some of them took part in Dezsõ Malonyai's enterprise of collecting the motifs of decoration within the Hungarian territories.
Körösfõi decided to open a weaving workshop and it became the symbol of Gödöllõ later on. Their ideas were familiar with the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts&Crafts style and thoughts ' Percyval Tudor-Hart, Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Walter Crane transmitted the new ideas to the members. The Studio review's representative, A.S. Levetus visited Gödöllõ in 1911 and wrote about the colony in the yearbook.
The ideal community and the main premise for Gödöllõ members was the Darmstadt Colony. Valéria Dienes brought the news from the French colonies. However, their main idea was the Ancient Greek lifestyle, and the unity of life and art.
The Gödöllõ colony was a real secessionist community, deeply pacifist and humanist. They followed the ideas of Nietzsche and contemporary mystical schools concerning the image of the ideal man. They supported each other and payed attention on developing themselves in all meanings. They lived according to a strict daily schedule, woke up early, did sports together (including naked bath at the near lake, which many artist perpetuated in their landscapes and the new sky), did excursions together with the students of the weaving workshop, worked together, and had reading up sessions, long discussions, music workshops and concerts in the evenings. They went to theater together and often invited scientists and artists to the colony. Each year they had a masquerade. Their cult of simplicity led them to extend their Reforms to lifestyle, sports, equallity of women and men, clothing and pedagogic methods ' t.e. in the education of their own children. Their clothing was based on Folk clothes, light and simple, decorated with embroidery.
The members shared the monumental commissions, and collaborated with the most important glass-workshop at the turn of the century: Miksa Róth's. The monumetal commissions were the Hungarian pavilon of Venice (1908), the House of Culture in Marosvásárhely (today Tįrgu Mureõ, Romania, 1912-13), the National Salon in Budapest (1906-7), the chapel in Lipótmezõ Psychiatric Clinic (1913-14). Their first great exhibition was held at the National Salon in 1909, but according to the critics it was already overdue. The modernism that the Gödöllõ colony had represented in the first decade of the 20th century, was not considered progressive anymore ' the Avant-garde appeared.
The sources of the Art Nouveau represented by the Gödöllõ Colony are going back to Bertalan Székely's and late Romantic style especially in mural commissions. The other Art Nouveau approach in Hungarian Art is based on the French traditions, like the oeuvre of József Rippl-Rónai, János Vaszary and Vilmos Perlrott-Csaba.