Janos Mácza Archive

A significant part of the Janos Mácza archive covers publishing activities and comprises manuscripts of his works prepared for publication in Russian. His Aesthetics (An Introduction to the Philosophy of Artistic Culture), compiled into two typewritten volumes, includes multiple handwritten additional materials. This book was prepared between 1942 and 1946 based on a lecture course delivered by Mácza at the Department of Art History at the Institute of Philosophy, Literature, and History (1934), at the State Institute of Cinematography (1935), and at Moscow State University (1945). The printed editions include the first layout of the book The History of Aesthetic Teachings issued by Moscow University Publishing House (1961), which also features extended comments and corrections by Mácza. Another rare document in the archive is the unpublished manuscript of The Youth of Michelangelo (1938¬-1939), which has an author's note dated 1970 commenting on the history of the appearance of this work of fiction. Among other things, the note mentions Vladimir Kemenov’s scandalous article in the journal Under the Banner of Marxism (8, 1937) where Mácza was attacked and, as a result, was forced to temporarily interrupt his research.

The archive contains several letters and notes, some handwritten by Mácza. Of particular interest are the notes that he exchanged shortly before death with his colleague, Professor Viktor Lazarev.

Another part of the archive materials dates to a later period and was likely formed as part of the academic and teaching activities of various people from Mácza's close circle. It features summaries of books on art history and lectures on various topics, along with articles, chronological charts on the history of civilizations, and notes on various eras and subjects from the history of art as well as a selection of articles and tables on palynology and geomorphology. Of particular interest is a notebook with detailed pencil drawings accompanied by handwritten texts, which contains original design projects, architectural sketches, and drawings of vehicles.

Janos Mácza

(1893, Nižný Hrabovec (Austria‑Hungary)-1974, Moscow) was a Soviet art historian, Doctor of Art History (1936), and professor at Moscow State University. He was the author of books and articles on the history of European and Soviet art and the history of aesthetics. He spoke Hungarian, Czech, German, Italian, and French. Born into the family of a rural teacher Ludwig Mácza, Janos studied at the gymnasium in the city of Mukachevo (the territory of Austria‑Hungary, subsequently Czechoslovakia and the Ukrainian SSR, and now the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine). In 1914, Mácza moved to Budapest, where he studied in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Department of the University of Budapest and also in the Faculty of Philology. In 1919, he worked as an assistant director at the National Theater and as a literary and art critic, leaving for his home country following the fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. From 1920 to 1922 Mácza was actively involved in the communist movement in the city of Košice (Czechoslovakia). In 1922–1923 he lived and worked in Vienna, moving with his family to Moscow based on his party membership. In 1928, Mácza started teaching art theory and the history of aesthetic movements at Moscow State University.

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