Vass László Collection and Shoe Gallery
László Vass art collector and Honorary Citizen of Veszprém has long been known to culture lovers; his internationally renowned collection of contemporary art has enriched the cultural life of Veszprém for two decades. Master shoemaker László Vass' Budapest factory has been recognised in the international fashion world for five decades; Vass Shoes is a leading brand among the highest quality traditional handmade shoemakers.
Visitors may be interested in a tour of the contemporary art collection in one building, based on the success of the traditional manufactory: the story of László Vass can be an encouragement to culture lovers and those who feel a sense of responsibility that the preservation, care and cultivation of values can lead to the collection of values and close contact with high art through honest work.
In the years following the fall of communism, municipal governments in many parts of Hungary established art institutions and contemporary art galleries, independent of county institutions, which in many respects were more up-to-date. This is how the Szombathely Gallery, the Miskolc Gallery, the Győr Municipal Art Museum and the House of Arts Veszprém were founded in 1993. The institution moved to the buildings in Vár Street, which were in need of renovation due to their dilapidated state. In the following years the Csikász Gallery, the Castle Gallery and the Dubniczay Palace were also renovated. In addition to the restoration of the monument, the institution has also acquired a significant deposit collection.
World-renowned master shoemaker László Vass is one of the most important collectors of fine art in Hungary. He bought the very first pieces of his collection of around 650 works of art in the 1970s. László Vass' collection, based on constructive and geometric art was shown to art lovers in 1996 at the Ernst Museum in Budapest, then in Kaposvár, Győr and in 1999 at the Csikász Gallery in Veszprém. It was then that the idea of bringing an exhibition of the collection to Veszprém was first outlined. The deposit contract was concluded in 2000. The houses at 3-5-7 Vár Street have been designated as the exhibition space for the private collection. Gábor Turányi and his colleagues, László Csutorás and Erika Ignácz carried out the architectural tasks for the renovation of these buildings. The complex and challenging design task involved transforming the buildings, with their varied layouts and different periods into a gallery space in harmony with the castle's historic setting and the spirit of the abstract art collection.
The first permanent exhibition of the Vass Collection was opened in the new building in Veszprém in June 2003. Over the past 20 years the Modern Art Gallery has hosted a number of exhibitions of international importance, including works by Max Bill, Sean Scully, Bernar Venet and Dóra Maurer.
On 25 June 2022 the SHOE GALLERY opened its doors as a separate gallery in the building of the Modern Gallery – László Vass Collection of the House of Arts Veszprém, which gives an insight into the deepest professional secrets of a dying craft by presenting classic footwear: the skills of unique footwear making, the small steps of professional skills, showing how a high quality product, appreciated in contemporary fashion is made with traditional technology.