Stephen Spinder Fine Art Photography Book Tours Links Hungarian Contact References About me

I am available to accept invitations for book tours and presentations of my work in Budapest and Transylvania, and history of living there.


I have lived in Budapest since 1995, but now devote more time touring in USA. Having completed my 15th book signing/exhibition presentation tour in the USA, I was invited to present my work at 1956 Hungarian Revolution 50th Anniversary events. This included the prestigious George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY and the Hungarian Honorary Consulate in Boston with Eric Lessing photographs from 1956. My next tour is October 2007 and 2008. I would love to hear from you about hosting an event for your organization.

Brief synopsis of Lecture:
My talk is about the unique beginnings of my interest in Hungarian culture, my life in Budapest over 12 years, and my concurrent twelve years of travelling and photographing the Hungarian village folk life in Transylvania. I reveal many personal anecdotes, colourfully presented, about my experiences in Eastern Europe. I start with my original intentions for coming to Budapest –to see Transylvania -and my humble business beginnings introducing my sepia-toned photographs of the city. I have photographed the Gothic spires and Neo-Classic facades of Budapest since 1991, first coming here soon after the wall came down and developed an extensive network of friends and business colleagues over the years. I shed light on the very positive business and social environment in Budapest, the kindness of the Hungarian people, the reception I received from the international business/diplomatic community, and achieving an internationally recognised status. The work is included many private collections – Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Emperor of Japan, former US State Secretary Madeleine Albright, Budapest Office of Tourism, and foreign ambassadors. Finally, I talk about my current book - a 'benchmark of success' for me - its wildly unexpected rapid success, and the creative and business decisions I made to produce and market it. My work in Budapest for over a decade has made me a kind of ‘cultural ambassador’ for this ancient capital. A plethora of questions always precedes the final book signing.

These limited edition prints and books are well known in Budapest and United States, leading to recognition in Washington DC. hosted by Andras Simonyi, Hungarian Ambassador to US. and presented to George H. Bush, George W. Bush and Colin Powell. “Ten Years In Transylvania” was recognized by the Hungarian Cultural Ministry and supported its publication.

Andras Simonyi Ambassador
Peter Fath, Exec. Dir., American Chamber of Commerce
Botond Elekes , Hungarian Ministry of Culture
George Herbert Walker, former Ambassador
John Dale, UUPCC Travel Coordinator
Barbara Beach, Chair of the Board of UUPCC
Catherine Bocskor, member of UUPCC
Péter Sárkózi, Deputy Consul General in New York
Edit Kulcsár, Curator, Vármegye Galléria, Budapest
Val Holt, Concord UU church
Cynthia Cain, Reverend Lexington KY.
Kate Powers, UU church Columbus Ohio


Letter of Support

The intent of this letter is to acknowledge, recognize and support the talents and continued work of Mr. Stephen Spinder, an established American photographer with extensive ties to Hungary.

Mr. Spinder came to me over a year ago seeking support and guidance from us, the Hungarian Ministry of Culture, for his 10 years of photo-documentary work on the Hungarian minorities of Romania (Transylvania). This is a folk culture that still thrives still survives today, in spite of the slow march of western consumerism. They still practice their ancient living traditions and thereby protect and preserve their culture. Mr. Spinder’s work is centered on music and dance traditions and how this folklore is interlaced with identity and a sense of life’s value.

I have seen Mr. Spinder’s images, and only his dedication and commitment to continue what has become his life’s passion surpass his sensitivity to these people: to document the peoples of Transylvania. I strongly appreciate Mr. Spinder’s passion for his work. His interest is sincere and his vision focused. I commend his work and his vision, and I endorse his desire for residence status in Hungary.

The Hungarian Ministry of Culture has already taken concrete steps to celebrate Mr. Spinder’s mission. Our Ministry purchased his work last year because we felt it very appropriately complimented the Cultural Minister’s protocol gifts. I am also proud and honored to announce that Mr. Spinder has been invited to exhibit his portfolio,"Ten Years In Transylvania, 1992 - 2002" under the auspices of the Budapest Spring Festival, the city’s most prestigious international art celebration. The exhibition was facilitated, in part, through support from the Ministry, and will take place the Vármegye Galéria under the direction of owner/curator Ms. Edit Kulcsár. We will further assist with the production of a catalogue of the exhibition.

The upcoming exhibition follows Mr. Spinder’s recent showing of his Budapest portfolio, "An American in Budapest - A Grand View", at the Benczúr Ház gallery, sponsored by the US Embassy and opened by Deputy Chief of Mission Ms. Janet Garvey. At the opening, newly appointed Hungarian Ambassador to Peru, Mr. Péter Kraft publicly invited Mr. Spinder to represent Hungary through an exhibition in Lima.

That a foreign artist has shown such dedication to a craft and cause so close to our hearts should be highly commended. He has given years in the region building an irreplaceable documentation which has contributed to the preservation of Hungarian traditional culture. We ask that you assist Mr. Spinder in facilitating the continuation of his work in Transylvania.

Elekes Botond, Hungarian Ministry of Culture
February 1, 2002

 "I am just going to forward on this e-mail I received from our new friend, Stephen Spinder.  I know that Rodger has already given you some idea of Stephen's interest in connecting with the UUPCC and/or the UUA to provide access to his books and to get some assistance with future endeavors, which, you will read, are on the verge of bursting forth.  He is dear, he is talented, and his heart is thoroughly IN Erdély.  I don't know what can be done to fold him into the UU fold, but I think there is tremendous promise for him and for the UUPCC mission, and I hope you can steer him in the right direction. I am hoping that he will be over on that side of the "pond" when our Choir is, because we all enjoyed him so much when he was at our fundraiser on March 10th."

"Your memory lingers on.  People at First Parish are still talking about how much they enjoyed your presentation as well as your books. We really would like to have you back for a whole evening, perhaps next Spring.  Would that work for you?"

Val Holt
Unitarian Church Member, Concord, MA

Spinder, first visted Hungary in 1991 because of his interest in folk music and dancing. "Then, everyone was trying to get out of Eastern Europe and I was going in," He soon had a full-blown love affair with the region, and in 1995, moved to Budapest, where he has visited ever since. My first oppportunity to meet Stephen was when he was looking for a printing house to publish his first Hungarian moustache calander.

Janos Fodor
Manager; FOLPRINT, Printing house

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Stephen Spinder Fine Art Photography,
119 Hidden Valley Road
Rochester, New York 14624
America tel.: 00 1 585 247 7956
Budapest tel.: 011 36 1 331 2601
Mobile tel.: 06 70 214 7221 (Budapest)

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