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action, competition-distorting favouritism in public procurement and in the allocation of investment. Even if they do not mention property and party control to the point of micro-management, it is clear that these features are indeed constitutive for any

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Artists’ recollections of the Kádárist period of Hungarian socialism as well as the analyses of the cultural policy of the one-party state include as a permanent motif the “three T’s” for the initial letter of the Hungarian words for banning, toleration and support (tiltás, tűrés, támogatás) designed in theory for works and in practice applied partly to works and partly to artists. The reminiscing artists and the analysts are more or less at one declaring that “three T’s” were “created” by György Aczél to describe the working of the art policy he dictated between 1957 and 1985.

The matter is however far more complicated. First, the control of art policy was only partly in Aczél’s hand at the beginning of the period, and at that time there was no trace of the “three T’s”, but at most two were experienced: banning and support. Secondly, Aczél’s art policy was not solely his: the demarcation of his scope always fundamentally depended on the actual high political circumstances and on the party leaders who tried to hold them in sway.

In the years of retaliation after the 1956 revolution between 1957 and 1962 the HSWP addressed all social groups including of course the artists from the position of power. For Aczél, it would have been in vain to add anything to the memorandum “on the situation of our literature” discussed by the party PC on August 6, 1957 as much as it was in vain to include that “reserving the right of criticism, the party and the government (…) allow publicity to any non-realist trend that is not hostile to the people’s democracy” in the released resolution – that was not an indication of a “tolerant” art policy. This is massively proven by the “guiding principles” of the HSWP’s “cultural policy” announced in the summer of 1958 which declared that “the party will not put up with the fact that the inferior formalist products of bourgeois decadence (…) should pollute the taste of our people without inhibitions.” Consequently, the “non-realist” trends – though not hostile “to the people’s democracy” did not have a say in literature or any other genre, including fine arts. Only the Ministry of Culture could have allowed them some scope, for the key to all publicity – in case of fine arts, the preliminary permission process for exhibitions – got into the hands of the art department of the ministry from autumn ’57, but they had no intention to give room to artists creating abstract, surrealist, etc. works qualified as “anti-humanist”.

In the early sixties the grip of the dictatorship was loosened. In his closing address at the 8th congress of the HSWP János Kádár announced the slogan of the new times: “Those who are not against us are with us.” In this relaxed atmosphere the ministry in charge of artistic matters was ready to make concessions. Small concessions, of course: they deemed it sufficient to give permission for four exhibitions a year in the smallest exhibiting room of Budapest for the representatives of “artistic trends alien to our goals but not hostile in its contents”, provided that they were willing and able to cover all costs of the exhibitions from their pockets. The plan was thrashed out in detail. György Aczél consulted personally with the head of the cultural subsdivision of the HSWP László Szecsődi before the memorandum to be submitted to the party’s Committee of Agitation and Propaganda. Yet the case did not reach the committee and in 1963 it was removed from the agenda. Notably because, in late 1962, the Soviet political leadership launched a campaign against all modern styles – not for the first or the last time — which the Hungarian decision-makers – who had enough trouble with the architects’ viewpoint that they would not see any “thematic works” in their buildings — could not disregard.

The case of the “self-paid exhibitions” came up again around the middle of the decade when preparations for the “new economic mechanism” to be launched in 1968 required the differentiation of the tools of a cultural policy that until then only knew of support and banning and the increased flexibility of allocating financial support, so they inserted the category of “tolerable” or “permissible” works between the supported and banned ones concerning public showing. Then on May 4, 1967 the ministry ordered the Lectorate of Fine and Applied Arts to insert in the schedule of exhibitions “self-paid” and “semi-self-paid” showings, and instructed the Kunsthalle to stage them in the Fényes Adolf gallery. The cost to be paid was 5000 and 2500 HUF, respectively. The first such exhibitions were opened in 1968.

Not many such showings took place. There was no point. From the early sixties nearly all forbidden fruits — works by the classic and new generations of Hungarian avant-garde — were accessible at first in private homes, later in university clubs, culture houses, the Club of Young Artists, from 1963 in the most important venue, the King St Stephen Museum in Székesfehérvár and later in the Janus Pannonius Museum in Pécs.

The paper whose preliminary writing was published in Művészettörténeti Értesítő 2015/2 presents the archival sources of the above process in the appendix.

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order. The measure of this totality differed between the countries and also between certain periods; still, party control remained in service in the whole region until 1990. Any kind of public information was allowed to go out only with the overall

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Enshrining Communist Party Control in their Charters . . Retrieved at 8 May 2020 . Global Flow of Tertiary

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country. In 1948, as the Communist Party controlled Council of Ministers organized a Drafting Constitution Committee in order to lead this country from a capitalist to a socialist country. 44 Soon, the Committee brought up a socialist Constitution to the

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