Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Poster - Magyar Demokrata Fórum
  • Magyar Demokrata Fórum
    Orosz, István, born 1951
  • Enlarge image

Magyar Demokrata Fórum

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Hungary (designed and printed)

  • Date:

    1990 (designed and printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Orosz, István, born 1951 (designer)
    Hungarian Democratic Forum [MDF] (issued by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour offset lithograph printed on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2E, shelf DR109

This poster was one of three designs made by István Orosz of his own accord and offered to the Hungarian Democratic Forum - the party that went on to win the first free elections in Hungary following the collapse of communism. The meaning of the image, depicting the change of the Hungarian coat of arms, was clear to everybody at the time without the need for a slogan. A Soviet style coat of arms came into use in Hungary after 1949 and was partly modified in 1957. During the period of political transition in 1990 the issue was raised of reverting to a traditional Hungarian coat of arms with origins in the Middle Ages. There were two alternatives. The Hungarian Democratic Forum and other conservative parties favoured the so called ‘little coat of arms’ incorporating the Holy Crown of Hungary and symbolising continuity with 1000 years of the Hungarian state. Liberals and Socialists would have chosen the ‘Kossuth coat of arms’ without the crown, making the 1848 revolution and war of independence their historical reference point. After the elections were won by the Hungarian Democratic Forum in July 1990 Parliament accepted the version with the crown.

Orosz represents the coat of arms of the communist period as a crumbling grey relief, from behind which emerges the new, colourful coat of arms. The twist in this sober rendering of flat forms is the suggestion of motion: falling apart and emerging. The element of action and the hint of a sequence points to Orosz’s experience as a successful animator.

Orosz avoids both the pathetic and the spectacular. His seemingly very simple artistic means are nevertheless highly effective. As political symbols, national coats of arms are never neutral signs. The formal graphic rendering of the two coats of arms could therefore become an emotionally imbued symbol for Hungarian voters in 1990.

Physical description


Place of Origin

Hungary (designed and printed)


1990 (designed and printed)


Orosz, István, born 1951 (designer)
Hungarian Democratic Forum [MDF] (issued by)

Materials and Techniques

Colour offset lithograph printed on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Magyar Demokrata Fórum
Hungarian Democratic Forum


Height: 67.9 cm, Width: 48 cm

Descriptive line

Poster, 'Magyar Demokrata Fórum' (Hungarian Democratic Forum); Hungary, 1990


Printing ink




Prints; Propaganda; Politics; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.