Ferenc Bodor (1941–1994) was a Hungarian librarian, cultural historian, publicist, architecture and applied-arts critic and a unique figure within the Hungarian intelligentsia during the Kádár period. Between 1959 and 1961, he studied at the Library Science and Methodological Center of the National Széchényi Library. Bodor graduated as an intermediate librarian in 1961. In 1961–1962, he worked as a laborer. From 1961, he studied at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, though he abandoned his studies in 1964. He worked from 1964 to 1967 as a walk-on and made engineering translations. Between 1967 and 1972, he was a newspaper conveyor at the 114th Post Office in Budapest. Beginning in 1973, he worked as a librarian at the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts. Bodor wrote several studies about modern and contemporary applied arts and Hungarian environmental culture. He organized the Oak Gallery for the open spiritual workshop of the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts and was the director of the gallery from 1986 until his death. He directed many exhibitions, discussion groups and art evenings. Bodor served as the leader of the Center for Visual Education of the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts beginning in 1986. In 1988, he graduated from the academy’s Educational School of Special Design Management, writing his thesis about the relationship between everyday culture and design. Bodor wanted to write the history of old hotels in Budapest, but was not able to complete this project due to illness.
Bodor thought that conserving the legacy of disappearing folk culture was important. He took part in the events of the Studio of the Young Folk Artists. His book Nomad Generation shows the interest of young Hungarian intellectuals in folk culture. From 1992 until his death, he was one of the editors of the periodical Ökotáj (Ecological Landscape). Bodor was interested in civic culture too. Mainly he wrote about material culture, everyday life and its locations. The perpetuation of alternative forms and the propagation of an alternative way of life indirectly positioned Bodor against the official ideology of the régime. Most parts of Ferenc Bodor’s collections moved to public collections. In 1995–1996, his letters, postcards and photos were placed at the National Museum and his nineteenth-century photo collection at the Museum of Ethnology, while the tools which represent contemporary design went to the National Technical Museum and most of his books were taken to the Lónyai Street Calvinist High School in Budapest. Most of Bodor’s pictures and manuscripts of the coffee houses were moved to the Foundation of Hungarian Coffee Houses.
- Budapest, Hungary
- Pál, Zoltán