Furniture as Legacy

Writer’s furniture in the collection of the Petőfi Literary Museum

Petőfi Literary Museum

The Collection of Relics in the Petőfi Literary Museum holds personal objects of Hungarian writers and poets, including more than three hundred pieces of furniture. Alongside authors’ bequests, the collecting incorporates furnishings of editorial offices and sometimes furniture having belonged to writers’ family members or muses.

The literary value of furniture as relics is represented by them having surrounded Hungarian writers and poets – they bear the life story of their former owners, reveal their financial standing and occasionally reflect an author’s style. They turn up in writers’ diaries and letters, and many authors devoted poems and even cycles of short stories to their furnishings.

Items of furniture are donated to or purchased with provenance by the museum collection, and former articles of everyday use are requalified as museum objects. If necessary, they are cleaned, restored and then held under special conditions in storerooms of specified temperature and humidity. They are recorded and become accessible for research, as well as being exhibited, when they acquire a new context and meaning.