Mai Manó House operates in a studio-house built at the end of 19th century, for the commission of Mai Manó, Imperial and Royal Court Photographer, serving as his studio for decades until 1931. This special, eight-story neo-renaissance monument is unique in world architecture – now serving its original purpose, the case of photography again. Mr. Manó was quite an acclaimed photographer of his time, a specialist of child portraits. The building’s richly decorated façade clearly served ideological purposes: Mr. Manó wanted to lend a past to the young trade, hardly considered to be a form of art by anyone at that time.
Mai Manó House presents its exhibitions on three floors. On the mezzanine, in Kis Manó Gallery – in the bookshop – it organizes small-scale exhibitions, sometimes from the works of debutant photographers. In the four rooms interconnected on the first floor, it organizes thematic shows, group-presentations, retrospective exhibitions of classic masters from home and abroad. On the second floor, in the rooms next to Mai Manó’s Sunlight studio, the retrospective exhibitions may continue or are presented a coherent series of photographs.
The famous Daylight Studio of Mai Manó House is located on the second floor, which visitors reach on the original carved wooden staircase leading up from the spacious first floor gallery. The landing on the second floor is decorated by the windows of the famous glass-artist, Miksa Róth.
The institution plays a marked role in the cultural life of Budapest and Hungary, while the organization of exhibitions and programs abroad is getting more and more emphasis within its activities. The reputation of justly world-famous Hungarian photographers of the 20th century offers a great opportunity to regain our old status in the world of photography by the introduction of the generations following those great masters