Walks in the Museum Garden

Art Pedagogy Sessions

Leisurely in the garden, under hundred-year-old trees: recreational exercises in the museum

After his first trip around the world, in 1885, Ferenc Hopp bought the villa building located at 103 Andrássy Avenue in Budapest. The garden belonging to the villa with an asymmetrical arrangement was created by combining the land adjacent to Délibáb Street. The world traveler not only decorated the residential building with the memories of his first trip, but the garden also reflected his interest in oriental arts.
Zoltán Felvinczi Takács (1880-1964), who is credited with organizing the collection into a museum, wrote among other things about the garden in his manuscript memoirs: "There was once a playful labyrinth, imitating Japan with a small pond and a bridge connecting its hilly shores... The thatched arbor was sometimes filled with guests, among whom the host imagined himself back to the farthest east..."
Ferenc Hopp's recreation - as he called it - took place in his "Garden of the Carefree", since recreation is all cultural and physical activities carried out in free time, for the sake of active rest, which a person performs in order to relax and refresh himself from the fatigue of the main occupation of the day.
The garden is still used for this today. Our museum pedagogic exercises are based on visuality and accompanied by the video installation running in the background. These tried and tested exercises ensure movement, walking and contemplation in the garden. After the reopening in summer 2021, we announced and conducted these garden sessions with great success. For this purpose, we set up a summer creative workshop under a tent in the garden.
These good practices were:
  • "Objects that put down roots":  We imagined roots as small objects for use or play, thereby bringing them to life. The roots were drawn and painted - fixed and started from the objects. The uprooted objects were placed in the vegetation of the garden. When evaluating the works, we jointly figured out what kind of plants the objects were transformed into (e.g. what kind of fruit they will have, how big they will grow, what they need, will they feel good where we placed them...). We included the garden in the creation-thinking process.
  • "Hold gate, the big frame": The circular Chinese garden construction element involuntarily captures a detail from the space behind it. We made circular frames, which we used to walk around the garden and find the part of the garden that we like the most. We took photos of the view defined by our circle, and then realized it in a drawing or painting. In this task, we directed attention and focused on the details of the garden. What also happened was that the garden as a whole became part of the creative process.
  • "I wonder what the statues in the garden might be thinking?": First we took a look at the statues. We made a word cloud and collected thoughts near the statue we chose. We then wrote the most apt thought in the word cloud and attached it to the head of the given statue, recording the action on a photo.
  • "Eastern cycle": we drew mandala motifs on CD discs, and enriched their metallic-looking surface with a collage technique. We hung the vibrating decoration rotating in the light on the trees in the garden.
  • "Mixed Creatures": Eastern culture is full of so-called hybrid creatures (a creature made up of parts of various animals). We transformed the garden into a kingdom of mixed creatures. During evaluation, just like in the case of rooting items, we talked about the properties of the finished mixed creatures. We made the new creatures using the montage technique.
  • "Moving museum": We imagined the case when the Hopp Museum grows arms and legs... and starts... Together we wove a tale about how a day of the moving museum passes. We not only captured it visually, but acted it out and displayed this particular "hands and feet" day of the museum.
  • "Dragon Planet": We made the balancing game and chased the dragon following the paths of the garden, and the dragon is trying to reach the flame-pearl that sustains him. The dragon's life force is in the flame pearl, and for us in movement.
  • "Framed planes of time": For the contents of the glass box, we collected fallen fruits and stones from the garden. The background of the three-dimensional image was solved using a montage technique. Finally, we arranged the box in layers from the present and past of the garden.

The sessions were made up in connection with the exhibition Made in Asia, 100 years of the Hopp Museum. On the occasion of the museum’s 100th birthday, an exhibition was set up, where visitors could meet a slice of almost all Asian cultures. 

We are waiting for your application!



Katalin Szeivolt, museum pedagogue
+36 30 294 9000
Facebook: Kati Keleten