Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts

Mission Statement

The Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts embodies the idea that the intellectual independence of the artist and the freedom of creative imagination are intrinsic values. It is the main responsibility of the Academy to represent and to promote the versatility of Hungarian literature and arts which is the safeguard of their richness and high potentials. The Academy seeks to promote a wider appreciation of high quality in art and encourages achievements of the highest possible standards. It aims to expand international relationships with fellow academies and also among individual members. The Academy endeavours to promote a better understanding of the diversity of arts while defies all forms of insularity and exclusion. It also aims at promoting co-operation between science, literature and arts. The variety of activities to achieve these aims includes inaugural and public lectures, readings, recitals, and exhibitions, conferences, and also book-publishing. The Széchenyi Academy annually advertises over twenty programmes with free public access.


Brief History and Structure (detailed History)

The Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts was established in 1992 by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), as an associated but autonomous body with statutes of its own, to include the eminent representatives of literature and arts. The members and the activity of the associated Széchenyi Academy are independent from the organisation of HAS. At the same time, financially it is dependent upon the budget of HAS. The members of the Széchenyi Academy pay no membership fee and receive no revenue.

The foundation of the Széchenyi Academy was part of a rehabilitation process which was initiated by Domokos Kosáry, then President of HAS. It aimed at the inclusion of eminent representatives of literary and artistic life as these fields had been excluded from HAS in 1949.

The members of the Széchenyi Academy are professionals who have excelled at creative arts and literature. Membership is by invitation after peer group nomination and confirmation as to the eminence of the individual nominees in their chosen field of art. There are two types of membership, full and honorary. Only citizens of the Hungarian Republic can be elected full members, while non-citizens can become honorary members. At any one time, the number of full members under the age of 70 must not exceed 60.

The Széchenyi Academy has five departments: (1) Literature, (2) Fine Arts, (3) Musical Arts, (4) Cinematic and Theatre Arts, and (5) Architecture. Each department has an elected head.

The General Assembly is the supreme body of the Széchenyi Academy. It is constituted by all the full and honorary members. The General Assembly elects the leading officials such as the president, the executive president, and the heads of the departments, for a three-year term.

The two Academies keep up contact with each other through delegations, counting two members from each side.


Domokos KOSÁRY, member of the HAS, honorary president (deceased, 2007)
Károly MAKK president
Győző FERENCZ executive president
Károly KLIMÓ member of the presidium
Csaba MENGYÁN head of the secretariat 


László BARTHA, painter (deceased, 1998)
Tibor CSERES, writer (deceased, 1993)
Mátyás DOMOKOS, writer (deceased, 2006)
András FODOR, writer (deceased, 1997)
Gábor GÖRGEY, writer
György HAIMAN, typographer (deceased, 1996)
Miklós HUBAY, writer (deceased, 2011)
György JOVÁNOVICS, sculptor
Anna JÓKAI, writer
Ferenc JUHÁSZ, poet
György KONRÁD, writer
István LAKATOS, writer (deceased, 2002)
László LATOR, writer
Balázs LENGYEL, writer (deceased, 2007)
Tamás LOSSONCZY, painter (deceased, 2009)
Iván MÁNDY, writer (deceased, 1995)
Miklós MÉSZÖLY, writer (deceased, 2001)
Ágnes NEMES NAGY, poet (deceased, 1991)
Rózsa POLGÁR, textile artist (deceased, 2014)
György SOMLYÓ, poet (deceased, 2006)
József SOPRONI, composer
István SZABÓ, film director
Magda SZABÓ, writer (deceased, 2007)
Gyula TAKÁTS, writer (deceased, 2008)
István VAS, writer (deceased, 1991)


Architecture Department

Zsófia CSOMAY architect, interior decorator
Tamás DÉVÉNYI architect
Tamás GETTO architect
Tamás KARÁCSONY architect
Péter MAGYAR architect, USA
Éva MAGYARI architect
Tamás MEGGYESI architect
Bálint NAGY architect
Gábor U. NAGY architect
Tamás PERÉNYI architect
Antal PUHL architect
János RÓTH architect
György SKARDELLI architect
Péter SUGÁR architect
Tamás TOMAY architect
Gábor TURÁNYI architect
Csaba VIRÁG architect (deceased, 2015)
Barnabás WINKLER architect
László ZSIGMOND architect

Fine Arts Department

Tamás ASSZONYI, sculptor
Imre BAK, painter
István BALOGH, graphic artist;
András BARANYAY, graphic artist
László BARTHA, painter (deceased, 1998)
Júlia BÁTHORY, glass artist (deceased, 2000)
Ákos BIRKÁS, painter
Irén BÓDY, textile artist (deceased, 2011)
Alpár BUJDOSÓ intermedia artist
Orsolya DROZDIK intermedia artist
János FAJÓ painter
Tibor GÁYOR, painter;
Arnold GROSS, graphic artist (deceased, 2015)
Tihamér GYARMATHY, painter (deceased, 2005)
István HAÁSZ, sculptor
Gabriella HAJNAL, painter and tapestry artist
Ritta HAGER, textile artist
György HAIMAN, typographer (deceased, 1996)
István HARASZTΫ, sculptor
Tamás HENCZE, painter
Károly HOPP-HALÁSZ painter
Márton HORVÁTH, glass artist (deceased, 2013)
Ilona KESERÜ ILONA, painter
József JAKOVITS, sculptor (deceased, 1994)
György JOVÁNOVICS, sculptor
János KASS, graphic artist
Ágnes KECSKÉS, tapestry artist
Károly KLIMÓ, painter
Tamás KONOK, painter
László KONTRASZTY, painter (deceased,1994)
Tamás KOVÁCS, graphic artist (deceased, 1999)
Tamás KÖRÖSÉNYI, sculptor
Erika LIGETI sculptor (deceased, 2004)
Tamás LOSSONCZY, painter (deceased, 2009)
Ilona LOVAS, video and installation artist
Mária LUGOSSY, sculptor (deceased, 2012.)
Dóra MAURER, painter
János MEGYIK, sculptor
András MENGYÁN, fine artist and designer
Sándor MOLNÁR, painter
István NÁDLER, painter
István OROSZ, graphic artist;
Gyula PAUER, sculptor (deceased, 2012)
Gábor PÁSZTOR, painter
Zsuzsa PÉRELI, tapestry artist
Vladimir PÉTER, metalsmith designer
Rózsa POLGÁR, textile artist (deceased, 2014)
Mihály SCHÉNER, painter (deceased, 2009)
Gizella SOLTI, tapestry artist (deceased, 2015)
Imre SZEMETHY, graphic artis
Zsuzsa SZENES, textile artist (deceased, 2001)
Pál VERESS, painter (deceased, 1999)
Tamás VIGH, sculptor  (deceased, 2010)
Gábor ZÁBORSZKY, painter 

Literature Department

László BERTÓK, writer
Ádám BODOR, writer
Tibor CSERES, writer (deceased, 1993)
Győző CSORBA, writer (deceased, 1995)
Mátyás DOMOKOS, writer (deceased, 2006)
Péter ESTERHÁZY, writer
Győző FERENCZ, writer
András FODOR, writer (deceased, 1997)
Ágnes GERGELY, writer
Gábor GÖRGEY, writer
Miklós HUBAY, writer (deceased, 2011)
Flóra IMRE, poet
Anna JÓKAI, writer
Ferenc JUHÁSZ, poet
Imre KERTÉSZ, writer (Nobel price of literature 2002)
György KONRÁD, writer
László KRASZNAHORKAI, writer
István LAKATOS, writer (deceased, 2002)
László LATOR, writer
Balázs LENGYEL, writer (deceased, 2007)
Iván MÁNDY, writer (deceased, 1995)
Mónika MESTERHÁZI, poet, translator
Miklós MÉSZÖLY, writer (deceased, 2001)
Péter NÁDAS, writer
Ádám NÁDASDY, poet, linguist
Ágnes NEMES NAGY, poet (deceased, 1991)
Ottó ORBÁN, poet (deceased, 2002)
Lajos PARTI NAGY, writer
Gergely PÉTERFY writer
Zsuzsa RAKOVSZKY, writer
György SOMLYÓ, poet (deceased, 2006)
György SPIRÓ, writer
Anna SZABÓ T. writer, poet
Magda SZABÓ, writer (deceased, 2007)
Magda SZÉKELY, poet (deceased, 2007)
Zsuzsa TAKÁCS, poet
Gyula TAKÁTS, writer (deceased, 2008)
Dezső TANDORI, writer
Krisztina TÓTH, poet
Szabolcs VÁRADY, writer
István VAS, writer (deceased, 1991)
László VILLÁNYI writer
Pál ZÁVADA, writer

Musical Arts Department

Gyula CSAPÓ composer
László DOBSZAY, musicologist (deceased, 2011)
Zsolt DURKÓ, composer (deceased, 1997)
Iván ERŐD, composer
Ferenc FARKAS, composer (deceased, 2000)
Zoltán JENEY, composer
Zoltán KOCSIS, composer, pianist
György KURTÁG, composer
István MATUZ flutist
Emil PETROVICS, composer (deceased, 2011)
József SÁRI, composer
Bálint SÁROSI, folk musicologist
László SÁRY, composer
József SOPRONI, composer
András SZÖLLŐSY, composer (deceased, 2007)
László TIHANYI, composer
László VIDOVSZKY, composer

Motion Picture and Theatre Department

Tamás ASCHER, theatre director
Zoltán FÁBRI, film director (deceased, 2000)
Miklós GÁBOR, actor, theatre director (deceased, 1998)
Ferenc GRUNWALSKY, film director
Péter HUSZTI, actor, theatre director
Miklós JANCSÓ, film director (deceased, 2014)
Attila JANISCH film director
Tamás KOLTAI theatre director (deceased, 2015)
György LENGYEL, theatre director
Károly MAKK, film director
Márta MÉSZÁROS, film director
László SEREGI, choreographer (deceased, 2012)
István SZABÓ, film director
Gábor SZÉKELY, theatre director
István SZŐTS , film director (deceased, 1998)
Béla TARR film director
András VISKY theatre director
Gábor ZSÁMBÉKI, theatre director


Umberto ALBINI, translator, Italy (deceased, 2011)
János BÁNYAI, writer, Serbia
Tibor CSERNUS, painter, France (deceased, 2007)
Péter EÖTVÖS, composer, Germany–Hungary
Pascal GILEVSKI, poet, Macedonia
Eugène GUILLEVIC, poet, France (deceased, 1997)
Lajos GRENDEL, writer, Slovakia
Éva HALDIMANN, critic, Switzerland
Győző HATÁR, writer, England (deceased, 2006)
Lucien HERVÉ (László ELKÁN), photographer, France (deceased, 2007)
Joze HRADIL, translator, Slovenia
Tom HUBBARD poet, Scotland
Ted HUGHES, poet, England (deceased, 1998)
Ferenc András KOVÁCS poet, Romania
László LAKNER, painter, Germany
György LIGETI, composer, Austria (deceased, 2006)
Péter MAGYAR architect
William J. McCORMACK poet, Ireland
Vera MOLNÁR, painter, France
Zsigmond SZATHMÁRY, composer, organist, Germany
Ottó TOLNAI, writer, Serbia
Wolfgang WAGNER, director, Germany (deceased, 2010)