Ambrus, Lajos: Hungarian Apples in America

Ambrus, Lajos: Hungarian Apples in America
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Lajos Ambrus:
Hungarian Apples in America
Calendar for year 2018
16 pages, with apple-watercolur, 197*350 mm
limited edition, 5000 HUF

“While browsing through 3855 apple portrayals (the majority of the paintings were created between 1894 and 1916) in the digitalized Pomological Watercolor Collection of the USDA National Agricultural Library, I was given some unexpected surprises. I found the caption ‘Magyar’ under the pastel of a fall apple…Surprise came upon surprise. I came across a fruit called ‘Hungarian’—just like ‘Magyar’, it is from South Haven, and was painted by another painter in 1902. Carrying on my systematic investigations, I could identify sixteen further varieties that were undoubtedly of Hungarian origin: Hungarian Rosemary, Kossuth apple, Mihályfy apple, Masánszky apple, Sovar… After having crossed the ocean, they all began to bear fruits by the end of the 19th century…– The Hungarian material of the NAL collection would truly deserve a special study. For this calendar, material has been selected that is closely connected with Hungarian history of culture. All the varieties shown here were cultivated in several states of the U.S.A.—in Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Arkansas—in places to where the East European emigrant carried with him or her the seeds of fruits as keepsakes from home, or the seed(ling)s got there through academic exchanges.

Apple is an eternal symbol of beauty and harmony. This small sample of apples is meant to demonstrate the unique genetic values of Hungary and the Carpathian basin at large, and to show the colorful richness of Hungarian fruits justly sought after at home and abroad alike. Remembering them, knowing them, esteeming them enriches the patriotic feelings of Hungarians.” -- Lajos Ambrus

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