A place for you! Chair-Exhibition 
          21st may – 26th september 1999
Occupying a place
Ethnographical research of furniture had an impact on society between the two World Wars – though rather unpronounced than pronounced. However, this only became a regular requirement after 1945. In the hall we exhibit the so-called „gondolkodószék” („armchairs for thinking”), that were used in a certain period and region (18–19 century, southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain) by wealthy families of a certain social situation and reserved for the householder. Social impact of these objects was so great that poor people eventually having obtained one of them didn’t generally use them. The name of the owner is often written on them.

„It seems that we should consider it an exceptional occurrence that our object had taken root in the villages of the southern part of the region beyond the Tisza – but from here we have a piece from a peasant house in Békéscsaba dating from as early as 1774. I think what I have experienced during my fieldwork in the neighbourhood of Dunapataj is a more characteristic feature of other regions of the Great Hungarian Plain. In particular: we could find board-backed chairs only – apart from other forms, dating from later periods – in the villages situated in the outskirts of the former market-town, and there was not the slightest evidence for the existence of armchairs in the likewise Calvinistic Ordas, a village bearing close resemblance to Dunapataj, occasionally even merging with it, neither at the catholic dwellers around Kalocsa, or in Harta, where German – otherwise protestant – inhabitants lived, settled down there in the 18th century.”

K. Csilléry Klára: A lakáskultúra társadalmi rétegek szerinti differenciálódása. [The Differentation of Home-furnishing Based on Strata of Society.] Ethnographia XCVI(2–3). 1985, 198–199. p.

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Museum of Ethnography 1999