Artworks from the Miklós Jankovich collection in the Museum of Applied Arts

Miklós Jankovich (1772–1846) is an outstanding figure in the history of art collecting in Hungary. He was a passionate collector in the classic sense, as interested in documents and artefacts from Hungarian and general history, relating to great persons and their times, as he was in fine artworks produced by many different techniques. He offered much of his collection to the Hungarian National Museum (established in 1802), which purchased them in 1836. For various reasons, they did not come into the museum’s possession until 1839. They were divided into groups, and descriptive catalogues were produced. The National Museum purchased another portion of the collection in 1852. Among many items the National Museum provided the new Museum of Applied Arts upon its foundation in 1877 were 46 from the Jankovich collection. In 1936, two years after the Museum of Applied Arts lost its independence by becoming a department of the National Museum, reorganisation resulted in another fifty or so objects from the Jankovich collection being transferred to this “department”. When the Museum of Applied Arts regained its independence in 1948, the objects stayed where they were. Today, we can trace about a hundred items to the collection of Miklós Jankovich, and ongoing research may cause this number to change.