Bozsó János

Life in the charm of antiquities

The founder of the Collection, János Bozsó, artist was born in Kecskemét on 27th December, 1922. His childhood was formed by poverty that effected all his life. As an everlasting send off from the difficult years he took with him the love and respect of the nature and folk art. In the second half of the 1940s hidden in the outskirt of Kecskemét he started to deal with painting as a self educated artist. By the middle of the 50s he developed his artistic language; in his art he considered the emotional replenishment as one of the most decisive features. He never wanted to give up being picturesque. He was at home in and he was characterized by imbued colours, the use of wide, quick freely flying strokes of the brush, the contrast of the light and the shadow. He became an outstanding personality of Hungarian expressive painting.


His first exhibition, which was a real surprise, was organised at the József Katona Museum in Kecskemét in 1975. It was around that time that he could move to his first atelier, which he had long desired for, into a corner of the Klapka House. He devoted his life to painting and to the passion of collecting art objects and the two became inseparable in his life. At the beginning he only looked for beautiful old objects to his still lives in dusty atticks and flea markets. He untiringly strolled the approach roads of the neighbouring farms, so that he could draw artistic inspiration from the experiences he got here. He discovered the forgotten tokens of remembrance of Hungarian ethnography. He tried to save always more old objects from destruction. At first he was led by only his sense of quality but during the years he acquired unerring knowledge of an art collector in Hungarian ethnography and on several areas of European applied arts. He participated in numerous individual and group exhibitions both in Hungary and abroad. He increased his art collection for decades from his income deriving from his paintings. He founded the biggest private collection which is open to visitors in the region, in which outstanding objects of Hungarian ethnography and the European applied arts can be found from 15th century to the beginning of the 20th century. János Bozsó donated his art collection to his native town in 1975. From 1979 the collection has been open to the public. The permanent exhibition has been enlarged several times during his life due to the rapidly growing quantity of objects. In 1993 the town of Kecskemét together with the artist called a foundation into existence to maintain and to take care of the collection.

In his declining years he was honoured with awards for his unique creative activity, and for his efforts as an art collector and patron of art, but still he could stay shy and adorable. He took farewell from life on 14th December, 1998 before his 76th birthday. Besides his collection he left all his plans to be realised to the Foundation of the Town of Kecskemét and the Bozsó Collection. The foundation has kept and exhibited the Bozsó Collection on 600 m2in the original arrangement of the collector. The paintings of the artist are exhibited in periodical exhibitions.

When walking among the rich material the visitors can grasp the rare moments of the birth of a museum. The collection is the face of the collector: what he considered beautiful, valuable and worthy of preservation.