Bernáth Aurél Art Gallery – Schusztek Villa

Aurél Bernáth (1895-1982), a two-time Kossuth Prize-winning painter, was born in Marcali, in Kossuth Street. Their house was built by his father, Dr. Béla Bernáth, a lawyer, in the early 1890s.

The building was owned by the Bernáth family until 1913. At the time of the sale, master builder Ferenc Sztelek Jr. bought it and let it out as a tenement flat. The building in bad condition was demolished in 1931, and in the early 1930s, with the consolidation of the neighboring plots, Hospital Director Dr. Jenő Schusztek (1890-1964) and his wife, Mária Csiszár, ordered the construction of the Bauhaus villa, which can still be seen today. The construction of the building was carried out by master builder János Takács Jr., who built similar villas in the Balaton highlands. According to contemporary photographs, the most beautiful house and garden in Marcali was created here. An artificial stone statue called “Children at Play” stood in front of the villa, and an ornate sandstone birdbath still adorns the garden. According to the will of Dr. Jenő Schusztek’s widow, the villa became the property of Marcali town.

Following the death of Aurél Bernáth, the Town Council of Marcali established a memorial museum in honor of the artist in the Schusztek Villa, on the site of his childhood house. The Bernáth Aurél Memorial Museum was opened in the building on 14 May 1984.   A bust of Bernáth created by his friend, sculptor Pál Pátzay, was erected in his yard. Since 1 January 2013, it has been operating as an external exhibition space of the Marcali Museum under the name of Bernáth Aurél Gallery.

1.| The Villa of Dr. Jenő Schusztek (Photograph, 1930s)

2.| Bernáth Aurél Memorial Museum (Picture postcard, 1987)

3.| The Schusztek Villa and the flooded gardens in Kossuth Street (a pitch covered with artificial grass nowadays) Photograph: 1930s)

4.| The statue called “Children at Play” (Photograph, 1970s)

5.| The building of Bernáth Aurél Gallery renovated in 2019 (Photograph: Krisztián Horváth, 2020)