Welcome to Hungarian Art Masters Journal, my weekly blog dedicated to Hungarian fine art of the classical and modern period (late 19th to mid 20th century)!  Every week I hope to provide you with analysis and advice targeted to this unique segment of the art world.  I'll be exploring topics ranging from Hungarian art history, theory and appreciation, to current developments in the art market, including sensitive and intriguing issues such as art theft, plunder, restitution and cultural protection.  Each week I'll post my honest opinions and straightforward assessments on these issues in articles and news items, and trust you'll find them informative, thought provoking, entertaining and relevant to this rapidly advancing niche in European fine art.
But first, a little background on me (the abridged version...):  I had an against-the-odds start and it's been a pretty exciting adventure ever since - up from the ashes of post-WWII Czechoslovakia (actually it's Slovakia today and was part of Hungary before WWI), where I was born to parents who remarkably survived the Holocaust, on to the United States as an infant, and eventually, a successful international law practice in Miami as General Counsel of the Miami Free Zone (Miami's U.S. Customs duty free foreign-trade zone), then to L.A. where I've consulted on art law and advised independent filmmakers on financing, production/co-production, and distribution/foreign sales of feature films and television programming. 
 
So that's the setting, except to add one more compelling element, my Godmother, Margaret Schik.  Margaret's been a family friend since I can remember and my mentor, best pal and benefactor.  For nearly 70 years she's also been a serious collector and leading private dealer of Hungarian fine art.  She began collecting in Hungary in the 1940s and after the 1956 Revolution there, continued her mission in freedom-loving America.  Now I've joined her in Hungarian Art Masters Gallery, an innovative online gallery experience at www.hungarianartmastersgallery.com.  Together we share a dedicated passion for fine art, offering international collectors the finest Hungarian oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and prints available on the Internet.

The gallery's artworks come from Hungary's classical and modern era and include pieces from the Realistic, Academic, Art Nouveau, Impressionist and Secessionist movements.  They represent a highly skilled and integral part of the history of European art, embodying innovative art tendencies and traditional methodologies (dating back to the Old Masters), yet uniquely mirror the strong and distinctive character and experience of the Hungarian people.  Hungarian fine art has fully emerged from the shadow of the Iron Curtain, which fell in 1989 when Hungary became a democracy. Surging in value due to the inexorable drying up of inventory in the pre-contemporary sectors, and considered Europe's "hidden treasure," these works reflect the rediscovery of 19th and 20th Century classical and modern Central European oil paintings, and are the latest phenomenon in the art world.

Astute collectors are now rightly focusing on the skill, technique and high quality of the fine art in this recognized asset class.  They esteem the truly affordable, accessible prices and potential for high long-term appreciation of these works, as compared to the huge prices and volatility of Western European modern and contemporary art.  Though highly regarded by collectors throughout Europe, Hungary's masterworks are, for the most part, unjustly underrated in the United States.  I'll explore this phenomena as well, which I believe has much to do with Hungary's geo-political past (especially during the 20th century), its lack of an effective Champion among U.S. art opinion makers, its ineffective (i.e. non-existent) marketing and promotion, but also, lamentably, the specter of cultural and ethnocentric elitism.  I want to write about these obstacles to deserved recognition, and how the Internet now provides a new pathway and an opportunity to overcome them by providing a powerful resource to communicate, educate and raise awareness in America and around the world.  I want to encourage you to subscribe to my blog, and I'd like to ask for your comments, feedback and opinions - whatever you believe will make it better.  

Thank you for stopping by and spreading the word!  Please share this post with other like-minded readers and spread the information contained in this article.
-TS

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