Institute sponsors special exhibit of Hungarian artwork

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The exhibit, “Art as Ambassador: Hungarian Masterpieces from the Nancy G. Brinker and Christian L. Sauska Collections," opened Sept. 27 at the Southport Galleries.

Oct. 19, 2013 - The Central European Institute sponsored the exhibit, "Art as Ambassador: Hungarian Masterpieces from the Nancy G. Brinker and Christian L. Sauska Collections," at the Southport Galleries, from Sept. 27-Oct. 19, 2013.

"Art as Ambassador," the largest collection of Hungarian masterworks ever exhibited in the United States, showcases 15 of Hungary's most important artists from the late 19th century to the present. These artists worked alongside their French and other European counterparts and exhibited at the great exhibitions of the 20th century.  A highlight of the collection is József Rippl-Rónai [1861 - 1927], the father of his country's modernist art movement and whose work headlined this summer's Impressionist exhibit at the Hungary National Museum in Budapest. The 26 masterpieces of "Art as Ambassador" also represent other dominant and Avant Garde styles such as Bauhaus, Cubism, Expressionism and Fauvism.

In addition to several large-scale scenes, portraits, nudes and still life works in oil, the exhibit includes sketches, pencil drawings, ink, watercolor and pastels. Another highlight of these prestigious private collections is the opportunity to appreciate the breadth of several individual artists in mini-collections of their work.

"Art as Ambassador" is a new initiative by the Central European Institute designed to share the cultures and histories of the region through their art. This collection is being installed for the first time at the prestigious Southport Galleries, providing a venue and a focal point for the public to explore the Hungarian culture through art and additional events, including an evening of Hungarian wine, a lecture on Hungarian art history and a Hungarian-language closing reception.

"The idea behind the 'Art as Ambassador' project comes from Nancy G. Brinker, whose collection of Hungarian art was born soon after she arrived in Hungary as United States ambassador," said Honorary Hungarian Consul in Connecticut Christopher Ball, who also is director of the Central European Institute at Quinnipiac. "It is through their art that she first came to know and began to understand the Hungarian people. For decades, Christian L. Sauska has been the leader in sharing Hungary's cultural patrimony through his stellar collection shown around the world."

Sissy Biggers, owner of Southport Galleries, said, "Southport Galleries is honored that Quinnipiac University chose our venue to exhibit these treasures of Hungarian art. We look forward to hosting this special entrée into a culture and the exceptional and unique opportunity to see the paintings of such outstanding artists at our very special gallery."

The Central European Institute at Quinnipiac University builds bridges between the United States and the nations of Central Europe by fostering relationships in three main areas: academic, business and culture. Within the university, the institute is an umbrella organization under which country-specific endowed chairs are established to develop relations between the United States and their respective countries. The first chair is the István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics, established in 2008, which oversees relations with Hungary.

View photos from the opening event held on Sept. 27.