FROM BUDAPEST TO TRANSYLVANIA OVER A DECADE OF PHOTOGRAPHS
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:
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.
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
"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?"
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.
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