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Programs & Events 2011

Psychedelic Rock Posters Rock in Budapest

September 23, 2011
Ambassador Kounalakis with former Hungarian Ambassador to the USA, András Simonyi (Embassy photo by Attila Németh)

Ambassador Kounalakis with former Hungarian Ambassador to the USA, András Simonyi (Embassy photo by Attila Németh)

On September 23, 2011 Ambassador Kounalakis opened an exhibition titled “From San Francisco to Woodstock – The Golden Age of the American Rock Poster 1965-1971” at the KOGART House.  The show’s unique mission is to introduce this particular segment of modern American art history to the Hungarian public as well as to highlight the cultural links between the two countries.

Ambassador Kounalakis explained in her remarks that “During the Cold War, rock music gained a following around the globe and was even able to break through the Iron Curtain. In the United States and in Hungary, we shared in the messages of the music, in the desire to question authority and to change the status quo.” She added that “it had, and still has, the power to bring nationalities and generations together.  It has the power to move people, and it serves as a window into understanding western and American culture.”

During the opening ceremony Mr. Simonyi, and columnist of San Francisco Chronicle, Ms. Leah Garchik explained what rock music and this era meant to them. Ms. Garchik also shared memories of Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead and Country Joe McDonald whom she interviewed.

The U.S. Embassy supported the organization of the exhibit with a grant that provided help for transportation of the works, printing of information materials and publicity. The chief curator of the exhibit is former Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. and enthusiast rock fan, András Simonyi. The show was created in cooperation with generous American private collectors from Denver, the Denver Arts Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

The exhibit showcases 150 rock posters and about 50 cultural relics (instruments, costumes, etc.) from the 1960s and 1970s, reflecting the rock and roll legacy of that era in the San Francisco Bay Area. The posters are engaging reflections of the musical events and the musicians they once promoted, and also are unique works of visual art reflecting pop culture of that era.

Representatives from the Hungarian business and art community as well as members of the diplomatic community were present at the opening ceremony and at the uniquely American reception following it.

The exhibit will be open to the general public until December 31, 2011.  (hours: Monday thru Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; address: 112 Andrássy út)