Found Photographs: Budapest

I was delighted to discover that the Hungarian House of Photography at Manó Mai's House was located around the corner from my brother's apartment in Budapest. On the second floor, they had a small bookstore where I bought these two photographs.

About the Manó Mai House

The eight-floored building was built in 1894 on the order of the photographer, Manó Mai. In 1931, Sándor Rozsnyai (a musical director) and his wife Mici Rozsnyal (née Senger, known as Miss Arizona) bough the building from the family. They built the three-floored Arizona club in the yard, which had been empty until then. This remained open until 1944, when the owners were probably killed by Hungarian or German Nazis. After the war, the building served a variety of purposes such as a school or a presentation hall. From the early 1960's the Budapest branch of Hungarian Automobile Club used it over a period of 30 years.

The Hungarian Association of Photographers was able to start buying the property rights from the residents. The Mai Mano Gallery opened on the half-floor in 1995 and the Hungarian House of Photography was launched by novelist/photographer Peter Nadas and opened on the first and second floors on March 18, 1999.

Suchay's friends

These photographs belonged to my Lola (Suchay) who passed away a few years ago. They were tucked away in a cabinet for many years. I found them during my recent visit to Manila in January. The album was very fragile. The cover was worn out, its brittle pages crumbling at the edges as I held it in my hands. The photographs, however, were in relatively good condition. I was quite surprised they survived the humid weather in Manila. These young women were probably my Lola's friends in Dagupan as evidenced from the handwritten dedication on the front of the images. I don't have the urge to find out the facts or details about them. Instead, I prefer to embrace the beauty and mystery surrounding these photographs.

Found: Czech Army Photograph



Rough translation: the 7th platoon of the 6th Czechoslovakian Regimen in Russia. Picture taken in the forest close to a railroad station.

Once in awhile, I don't mind wandering and getting lost when I travel to a city. This is how I found this photograph in a small bookstore off the tourist path in Prague. I was quickly drawn to several boxes of old pictures and postcards that sat on the counter in front of the store keeper. It was satisfying to leaf through these vintage images as they revealed a different perspective of Czech history told through personal snapshots, class pictures, friends and family gatherings and random landscape sceneries of the country. This particular one stood out. I was glad to see a handwritten description at the back of the picture. Later on, I had a local translate the words in English.