BALATON + RETRO EXHIBITION – ADVERTISING AND PROPAGANDA FOR THE IDEAL HOLIDAY Lake Balaton is our national treasure, our most popular holiday destination and until the turn of the millennium the Hungarian retro skanzen. With the help of paper antiques and special objects everyone can get a taste of feeling what attracted people to Lake Balaton between 1930 and 1988.
The high quality of Hungarian poster art in the 1960s is demonstrated by the posters from private collections that attracted visitors to Lake Balaton, including the now classic IBUSZ (state travel agency), MAHART (domestic cruise line) and MALÉV (national airlines) series. It is a special sensation to see the advertising banners with English, French and German subtitles inviting international tourists of the time to Lake Balaton. Many of the large posters will be remembered by older people. The smaller ones, the so-called tram posters, are nostalgic for those living in the capital.
Walking through the rooms of the Castle Gallery, you can learn how persistent overtime work and a savings book can make your holiday dreams come true, from prints from the 1950s with socialist slogans. A photo shows Fidel Castro sailing with János Kádár on the Hungarian Sea, and a nostalgic look may be taken at the prices of accommodation in those days.
The advertisements for new Hungarian soft drinks in the 1970s already hint at "westernisation". The style of the souvenirs in the display cases has not changed much in the past decades, at best bordering on kitsch, but often crossing it. What is now a fridge magnet used to be a suitcase tag: is now also presented on a real vulcanised fibreboard suitcase. However, we must wonder why the German tourist would buy a tin of Balaton water! Many of the postcards date from an earlier period, evoking the elegant Art Nouveau world of the 1930s.
The poster with the words "a swimming costume for the summer" is reminiscent of the legendary slogan "Shoes from the shoe shop". The ground floor of the Granary has been transformed into a beach, with camping chairs, a beach mattress, a metal lunch box and a sandpit, still used by many. Walking among the posters of films set on the shores of Lake Balaton - on the first floor of the Granary - today's 60-somethings can look back with nostalgia at the signed copies of the advertisement for the Technicolour musical film 'The Kangaroo'. The posters advertising the films of István Bujtor, who was the chief marketer of Lake Balaton, are as familiar to younger generations as the films themselves.
Exhibition curator: Viktória Herth