Arnold of houses

Arnold of houses (* 8. May 1892 in Temesvar; † 28. January 1978 in Budapest) was considerable Hungarian-German, for a long time art historians living in Great Britain, a sensitive border crosser between different theories and disciplines how: History of art, psychoanalysis, art theory, aesthetics, social history, culture history and art psychology.

Houses estimates the formal aspects of art, however an socialhistorical perspective favored as an art sociologist. Its comprehensive and intimate art knowledge and its activity for many years in the film business sharpened its view for art as on the one hand autonomous and on the other hand social phenomenon. In the art controversy between west (form immanent interpretation) and east (social limitation of art) during the cold war and could Arnold houses wanted to mediate.

Table of contents

theoretical basic concept

houses held for in the middle 20. Century “the hour of the sociological interpretation” of art right, accented socialhistorical aspects of the art emergence and - spreading, without formal, psychoanalytische and/or. psychological among other things Moments neglect to want. It analyzed art both and autonomous and/or. self-sufficient thing and as versatile communication process within time-certain art conditions, which partly specify themselves after “education layers”. Based on Karl Mannheim knowledge sociology regarded houses art as location-bound “sociological document”, which must be interpreted also ideology-critically. Because art acts traditionally as anti-traditional, nonkonform, also new (RH) production possibilities do not mean the end of the art. Newer “mass art “(film art, Beat, Pop kind) found with houses than one the first entrance into the history of art. The actual art crisis saw houses in the anti-human fight of the society systems justified after 1945 and in a certain Sprachlosigkeit of the art. But even the new “negatively artistic… moves still… in more or less unmistakably aesthetic categories… “as with Samuel Beckett. Finally Hausers art regulation, on the basis of the contradictoryness in the mannersism , finds its center in the term of the paradox as “combination of irreconcilable contrasts”, “inevitable ambiguity and eternal Zwiespalt” of the artistic picture. Paradoxical finally is the entire “dialectic of the aesthetic one " (interrelation of form - contents of, distance connection, actual-fantastic, timelessness of historicity, conscious-unconscious etc. and so on). It works satisfactorily with houses as constantly handled explanation sample, which in “paradoxes, which discovers connection of incompatible one, a basic form of the art”.

Hausers concrete art-historical work and its art-sociological conception witness from impressing thought wealth, unusual art knowledge and immense dialogue readiness. Houses seizes among other things in the history of art on Theodor W. Adorno, walter Benjamin, Konrad fiddler, George William Friedrich Hegel, George Lukács, Alois Riegl and Heinrich Wölfflin, in the psychoanalysis on victory mouth Freud, in the sociology on Emile Durkheim, Friedrich Engels, Karl Mannheim, Karl Marx, Georg Simmel and max of webers back. If he speaks about the film, he considers equally western directors as Ingmar Bergman, Robert Bresson, Federico Fellini, Luchino Visconti and the Russians Sergei Michailowitsch iron stone and Wsewolod Pudowkin. Despite weighty differences many points of contact exist in the art-theoretical opinions Adornos, Lukács´ and Hausers (and partially in their biographies). Houses does not only want regarding the social prognosis and political ambitions between Lukács and Adorno platziert to know itself and tried to maintain ground in the area of conflict between scientific Totatitätsideal and progressing alienation process. Equally mediating positions houses in questions of the classical artistic inheritance (verabsolutiert of Lukács), the modern trend , avant-garde and the “open” work of art represent (from Adorno verabsolutiert) as well as in its view of realistic condition. Already the knowledge-sociological beginning Hausers insistiert on a clearance both for art production and Kunstrezeption. That the art is substantially paradoxical secondly, evenly contradictory and bspw. not only form or contents, defends art against one-sided collection. And thirdly its looking for for the right center supports houses by the method “tertium datur” (third way). In the age essay “variations over tertium datur with George the Lukács” it means: “The choice of the ´goldenen Mittelweges´ belonged to the oldest theories of the wisdom…”


Arnold of houses played a large role for art historians in west and east. The outsider position of its two-restrained “social history…” in the second half 20. Century is however not to be surveyed. George Lukács summarized in a radio discussion (1969) with houses: “If I now of your work to speak may, then I regard it as one of its unusual earnings/services that it maintained the shrinking sense for the real connections in the midst of this overwhelming neopositivistischen (see Neopositivismus) current in a considerable number of sociologists and historians… “for many readers worked after Christian Gneuss social history like a “revealing… and opened again the view for historical questions. “The criticism reacted to Hausers work very contradictory. Behind the different valuations different views of an art sociology hide themselves, not less reflect them the difficulties with the analysis of the material art process and actual contradictions in Hausers theory. Theodor W. Adorno and max of Horkheimer praised social history as an obligatory certification of sociological art analysis and their lucky overall display. Jürgen Scharfschwerdt understood this only “with difficulty specifyable art-sociological conception” as a “last large sense search and sense giving of the civil society.” Corner hard May characterized houses as the “incontestablly most popular Mentor of interdisciplinary work.” Alphons silver man again polemisierte seriously against uncritical Adepten, “sociologically bearing the ´Hauserschen method ´ followed " and rates its publications as a “boundless Germisch from social history, philosophy, psychology, aesthetics and Marxist ideology “. Regardless of such objections Hausers scientific meaning is reflected among other things in the fact that he us already one year after its death - by the way in an anthology published by silver man (!) - when “classical author of the art sociology” is recommended.

“Social history…” as its certainly most well-known work 1990 in approximately 20 languages were present. In the FRG its total expenditure with the ninth edition amounted 1983 to 62.000 copies. New editions of its books are available in the book trade. Such edition numbers signal at least the potenziellen influence Hausers. To consider its training activity for many years and the assumption of Gastprofessuren at the Universities of Leeds ( Great Britain ), fire ice and Ohio furthermore are (the USA) as well as at the Londoner Hornsey college OF kind. To it Zoltán Halász in the positive sense, it meant alluding its own “school” justified. (see secondary literature)


  • 8. May 1892 A. H. in Temesvar born
  • attendance of the High School
  • study of the Germanistik and Rome anise TIC as well as philosophy at the University of Budapest
  • study stay in Paris
  • 1916 leads it his best friend Karl Mannheim in the Budapester “Sundays circle” around George Lukács with Béla Balázs, Edith Hajós, Béla Fogarasi, Frederick Antal, Emma Ritoók, Juliska long and Anna Schlamadinger
  • 1917 created members of the Sundays circle the “free school of the Geisteswissenschaften” (participation of Lajos Fülep, Zoltán Kodály, Béla Bartók, Ervin Szabó), houses holds lectures to the nachkantschen aesthetics
  • 1919 participation Arnold Hausers in the cultural policy of the Hungarian soviet republic (dominance George Lukács´, which merges its friends in university and education politics)
  • 1919 after Collapse of the soviet republic escape Hausers to Italy
  • 1919-1938 exile, study and moving year (stays in Italy, Germany, Austria, work in the film business, unemployment)
  • 1938 -, 1940 it his friend Karl Mannheim requests 1977 creative period in Great Britain, occupation in the film business to write a preface to a Anthologie of art-sociological works. Instead of a preface famous social history develops… in ten-year work:
  • 1951 -1957 work as a lector on the University of Leeds
  • 1957 /59 Gastprofessur at the University of fire ice /USA
  • 1959 /62 theory at the Hornsey college OF kind London
  • 1963 /65 Gastprofessur at the state State of Ohio /USA
  • 1965 return to London
  • 1977 removal into the Hungarian homeland, honour member of the Hungarian academy of the sciences
  • 28. January 1978 Arnold of houses dies in Budapest


  • 1951 “social history of the art and literature” (The social history OF kind)
  • 1958 “philosophy of the history of art” (The Philosophy OF kind History)
  • 1964 “the mannersism. The crisis of the Renaissance and the origin of the modern art " (Mannerism: The Crisis OF the Renaissance and the Origin OF decaying kind)
  • 1974 “sociology of the art” (Sociology OF kind)
  • 1978 “in the discussion with George Lukács” small anthology with three interviews and the essay “variations over tertium datur with George the Lukács”

secondary literature

  • Alberto Tenenti: Houses, Arnold: Kind, histoire sociale et méthode sociologique. In: Annales. Economies, Societes, civilisations. Paris: 12 (1957) 3, p. 474-481
  • Zoltán Halász: In Arnold Hauser´s workshop. In: The new Hungarian quarterly. Budapest: 16 (1975) 58, S.90-96
  • corner hard May: Art, art science and sociology. To the theory and method discussion in Arnold Hausers sociology of the art ". In: The work of art, 1/1976, S. 3-10
  • Jürgen Scharfschwerdt: Arnold of houses. In: Classical author of the art sociology, hrsg. of Alphons silver man. Munich: Beck, 1979. S. 200 -222
  • Klaus Jürgen Lebus: A socialhistorical view on art and society. (List of new publications for the publication of social history… in the publishing house of the art, Dresden, 1987). In: Screen end art. Berlin: 35 (1988) 12, S. 572
  • Klaus Jürgen Lebus: To the art concept Arnold Hausers. In: Weimar contributions. Berlin 36 (1990) 6, S. 210-228 [1]

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