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Elizabeth Brunner







Fairy Tales around

2nd June 1997

Elizabeth's visit to Hungary in 1988



Monday 2nd June 1997

Elizabeth with Geza Bethlenfalvy

Professor Bethlenfalvy told me the story about Elizabeth's one and only return visit to Hungary in 1988. When her body was already arthritis ridden, but she could still move around on her own and look after herself. She was accompanied by the Indian journalist, Ms. Sabina Sehgal. The duration of their stay was rather short.

            Elizabeth was invited to inaugurate an exhibition of her father's, her mother's and her own paintings at the Thury Georgy Museum at Nagykanizsa. The museum, renamed in-between ’The New Painting Gallery’, had been specially renovated to show the Brunner paintings in 1988. Now they are permanently placed together with the paintings of another Hungarian artist, Z. Soós István, in the new Painting Gallery of Nagykanizsa. Elizabeth is very happy to share the Gallery facilities with this gentleman, who is a very fine artist and still older than her.

            Professor Bethlenfalvy had been requested to arrange the entire exhibition. Ten of her father's paintings were already in Nagykanizsa. Fifteen of her mother's and fifteen of her own paintings were shipped from India to Nagykanizsa. They are a present for museum from Elizabeth. The rest of the seventy paintings, which were exhibited, came from private sources and other galleries.

            Elizabeth was received in Hungary with all honours. The Hungarian President himself, Professor Bruno F. Straub, presented her with one the highest Medal "Order of the Banner of the Republic of Hungary" in September 1988 at a function in the Presidential Palace at Budapest.

The Thury Georgy Museum at Nagykanizsa

            She was accompanied by the Indian Ambassador to Hungary to Nagykanizsa. The exhibition was inaugurated together with her by the most renowned living artist of Hungary, Mr. Ernö Marosi, academician and Director of the Institute of Art History Budapest. Many people approached her and she met people who had known her father or other members of her family. Elizabeth was thrilled. The town of Nagykanizsa elected Elizabeth as a Honorary Citizen. After the exhibition she stayed on in Nagykanizsa for a while. The loveliest event that happened to Elizabeth in Nagykanizsa was to meet an old school-mate. The two old ladies could hardly believe their good fortune and had much to remember and talk about. They had met last in 1922.

            Elizabeth also went to Sümeg. Where she had last met with her father in 1938. She visited the cemetary where her Mishi Batshi' (father's younger brother), her 'Lala Neni' (mother's sister) and her father lay buried.

            It was a happy nostalgic journey for Elizabeth and she was greatly pleased by the honour the Hungarian Government bestowed on her.




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Copyright © Dagmar Barua 1997 Sass Brunner East West Trust, 75, Rabindra Nagar, New Delhi - 110 003