Béla Tamás KÓNYA


Béla KÓNYACollection care conservation professional, development and execution of the collection care strategy with a focus on contemporary art at the Ludwig Museum since 2008. Media art preservation in theory and practice is currently one of his PhD areas under the supervision of Miklós Peternák at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts Doctoral School.

Graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts with a master’s degree (MA) in stone sculpture conservation in 2006. Started his career at the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest and gained experience in conservation and preventive conservation of the Egyptian Art Collection.

In 2008, started working at the Ludwig Museum, since then he has been responsible for collection care supervision, conservation of contemporary art objects for exhibitions and international shipping of artworks. Manages the Collection Care and Conservation section of Ludwig Museum. Designs and develops projects, involving close cooperation with national and international partners. Develops and implements a long-term Collection Care Strategy. Talent management and HR-related responsibilities connected to the Conservation and Collection Care department. Develops and prepares the future Institute of Collection Care Methodology.

Contributed to loan management, exhibition installation and uninstallation activities in several European museums. (Kunsthal Rotterdam, Museum Ludwig Cologne, Tate Liverpool, LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz, Museo Cantonale d’Arte Lugano, Kunsthaus Zug, Museo Serralves Porto, Albertina Vienna, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Belvedere Vienna, Museum Kampa Prague, Musea Brugge etc.).




Collection Care in Progress

Compared to artworks preserved in museums, the obsolescence of technical devices is considerably faster, however, media artworks belong to our cultural heritage as well. The most vulnerable works in the collection of Ludwig Museum are photographs, prints, and media works. In Hungary, media art does not only mean software-based or digital art. Before the regime change in 1989, photography was the only available media. An early documentation of a performance is an artwork today, as the exclusive evidence of an artistic action. Therefore, in most cases, not showing an artwork means not allowing it to come into being at all. Through a series of interviews with artists, this paper is revolved around issues that try to uncover the meaning and the context. The methodology of collecting, presenting, conserving media art are entirely new fields for professionals working in Hungarian public collections. What do we have to preserve, and what is it that truly matters? These are the questions we strive to answer.



The associate partner of Ludwig Museum is C3 – Center for Culture & Communication