The EXHIBITION OF THE YEAR 2021 (AÉK) awards ceremony took place on October 25, 2021, at the Petőfi Literary Museum. The award, founded in 2010 and awarded annually by the Pulszky Society - Hungarian Museum Association, which is celebrating its 30th birthday, aims to reward the novelty of museum exhibitions, their ability to network and communicate with the public, and their scientific preparedness and creativity. For the second time since last year, institutions with a Hungarian-related collection and exhibition across the border were also able to apply for the award. It is a novelty that with regards to the situation caused by the pandemic, the competition was held in three categories: in addition to permanent or temporary exhibitions with a cost of less or more than 4 million HUF, virtual exhibitions were also awarded this year.
Szilárd Demeter, Director General of the host museum, Zsuzsanna Benkőné Kiss, Head of the Department of Cultural Development and Monitoring of EMMI and Ibolya Bereczki Dr., President of the Pulszky Society - Hungarian Museum Association, each held welcome speeches at the award ceremony. Following this, the moderator of the event, Arnold Tóth Dr., the managing chairman of the Society asked Zsuzsanna Benkőné Kiss, Ibolya Bereczki Dr. and Tamás Vásárhelyi Dr., the chairman of the AÉK judging committee, to present the awards.
20 valid applications were received for the title, 12 of which got to the second round. Based on the decision of the judging committee (members: Judit Bajzáth, Péter Deme, Ákos Gózon, Mónika Janotka, Zsuzsa Kalla, István Mányi, György Mihalkov, Gellért Rajcsányi), six temporary, five permanent and one virtual exhibition remained eligible for recognition.
EXHIBITION 1OF THE YEAR 2021, in the category of exhibitions with a cost of less than 4 million HUF, the permanent exhibitionof the Hungarian Open Air Museum entitled Wagonresidents - Orphans of Trianon; and in the category of the exhibition with a cost of more than 4 million HUF, the 'House of Good fortune' (in HUN: Jószerencse Háza) deserved the title with their permanent exhibition entitled the The secrets of the wandering mine. In the category of the virtual exhibition, the virtual exhibition of the Eger Wine Tasting - The Heritage of Viticulture of the István Dobó Castle Museum in Eger received recognition.
EXHIBITION OF THE YEAR 2021 nominated for a certificate the Lutheran National Museum's temporary exhibition called “Gift of Ferencz Pulszky” - Copper engraving, plaster, photography: chapters from the history of artwork reproduction; the temporary exhibition of the Aquincum Museum and Archaeological Park (of the Budapest History Museum) entitled Genius inventions - Innovative ideas and Ludwig Museum's BarabásiLab: Hidden patterns. The language of network thinking. The temporary exhibition of the Ethnographic Museum and the Pannonhalma Archabbey entitled Invisible Spectra, and the Benedictine Abbey Museum of Tihany's temporary exhibition entitled Soul Over the Waters – Meeting of the Past and Present in the Tihany Abbey.
The permanent exhibition of the Borsi Rákóczi Castle Centre entitled Three Births of Rákóczi, the temporary exhibition of the Petőfi Literary Museum entitled Édes Anna / Kosztolányi - Trianon 100, and the Sopron Museum's temporary exhibition called Masterpiece. Life and Crafts in Sopron at the end of the 19th century all received a commendable diploma.
The online journal of the Pulszky Society called the Hungarian Museums Online, presented the nominated exhibitions in a series of articles in the period prior to the award ceremony.
Following the award ceremony, the program continued with the professional conference of Pulszky Society, entitled “Will there be a turnaround in the world of museum exhibitions? New genres and approaches". Participants discussed the theoretical and practical possibilities of renewing museum exhibitions in three sections as part of roundtable discussions following plenary presentations. Lectures and comments also set the way on the directions of future exhibitions, responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the dynamically evolving digital and virtual technologies, and the changing needs and habits of visitors.