The beginnings of the Rosenberg Museum date back to the mid-1980s, when Jon Rose, tracing the footsteps of Dr. Johannes Rosenberg, moved from Sydney to Berlin with the intention to illuminate the activities of the large Rosenberg Dynasty. These steps finally led him to Violín, a small village located at the Slovakian-Hungarian border. Its destiny is no less curious than that of the Rosenbergs. It was founded by a Hungarian count named Jakub Violényi who had a curia built on his estate in the mid-19th century. His descendants, however, gambled away the property. Their bank debts were settled by an enterprising priest from the Northern Slovakian region of Kysuce and thanks to his resettling intentions, as well as the fruitful soil, the first Slovaks arrived in Violín. At the dawn of WWII, an American airplane was shot down at Violín; the pilot was buried at the local cemetery and after the War his remains were exhumed and transported to the United States. When we organized the international intermedia symposium in Violín in 1999, the local inhabitants took some of the participants for descendants of the American pilot. Even history, although it articulates time in a linear and irreversible way, can occasionally generate mythological constructions.

The Rosenberg Museum is a perfect mixture of history, factuality, fiction, art, game, happening, and humour. The games surrounding this collective work in progress are fascinating not merely for the contamination of texts and media, and the effacement of differences between art, its reflection and life, but also because of its balancing on the flexible borders between the virtual and the actual world. The uniqueness of the project lies in the fact, that the initial virtual concept was actualized through life itself. A critic once wrote that the Rosenbergs are the only virtual dynasty that became real.

Garden of the Rosenberg Museum director's mother.

The Rosenberg Museum today disposes with unique collection that could well become the subject of envy for many museums of arts, or cabinets of curiosities. Its base consists in the documents, objects, and memorabilia related to the life and activities of the Rosenbergs as well as a huge collection of violin kitsch and bizarreness, which, thanks to its extent and diversity, seriously stands as a candidate for registration in the Guinness Book of World Records. Both sections are completed by the works of art with violin themes, which often merge with items of the latter category. During the years the collection has enlarged and research by Rosenbergologists has proceeded. The Rosenberg Museum now serves as a creative space for the research as well as for the museum studies and criticism.

In the recently published book rosenberg 3.0. not violin music (2014), edited by Jon Rose, the Rosenberg Museum is grasped as a paradigm of impossibility and “dysfunctionalism”. Very few museums can claim to be as dysfunctional as The Rosenberg Museum. The practice of dysfunction can be celebrated by the few institutions whose very existence is testimony to the struggle for the impossible. It is now clear that “dysfunctionalism” has taken over from the various codes and escapades of postmodernism as the defining theory of our times. The Rosenberg family has always demonstrated simple democratic process. The method pertains to the functional Prinzip der Einfachheit; whoever conceives an idea is obliged to throw that particular thought ball directly to the next handy player and see where the receiver runs . . . often straight off the field of play and onto unexpected places, it seems.


Jozef CSERES – executive director
Rainer LINZ – director of the Rosenberg Archive in Melbourne
Ben PATTERSON – master of ceremonies
Jean-Michel Van SCHOUWBURG – RM Ambassador to the European Union

Board of advisors:

Johannes BERGMARK, Konstanza BINDER, Chris CUTLER, Clare COOPER, Tom DEMEYER, Nikolaj DMITRIEV, Georges DUPUIS, Phil DURRANT, Thomas EPPLE, Juraj HAMAR, Aleksander KOLKOWSKI, Joelle LEANDRE, Sachiko M, Ying Li MA, Tos MAHONY, Kaffe MATTHEWS, Michal MURIN, Phill NIBLOCK, Mathias OSTERWOLD, Zsolt SÕRÉS, Wolf-Peter STIFTEL, Hollis TAYLOR, Clayton THOMAS, Joe WILLIAMSON, Harry VATILIOTIS, Carlos ZINGARO

"I don´t know
how they got away with it for so long."
David Harrington