Self-portrait in the workshop in Arad with the disciples and the journeyman
During the investigation of Jacques Faix's biography, we asked ourselves, given his situation in Vienna (he excelled in all fields of activity), why did he return immediately after his marriage in Arad, remaining here until his death in 1950.
So far no one was able to send in the perfect solution, which is not strange.
From the correspondence of the time we learn that the director of the Arad Conservatory (Arad Conservatory, the first conservatory in Romania and the sixth in Europe; attests to the extremely important role of music in the cultural life of Arad, in the early nineteenth century.) proposes to Jacques Faix to return to Arad to organize and promote the style of Viennese musical life. The action also takes place at the initiative made public by the Neuman family to support those who will be able to add value to the social and cultural life of Arad.
Thus, after more than a decade of Viennese life, we find Jacques Faix in Arad, moving his piano workshop on Batthyani Street. He became fully involved in the social life of Arad by organizing music and piano concerts at the White Cross (now the Ardeal Hotel) and music evenings for the elite of society, in his house on Episcopiei Street. Arad was then in a very fast and productive period from a socio-economic and cultural point of view, perhaps unmatched since then.
In the same years, the second generation of the Neuman family founded the textile industry, being founded the first car factory in Eastern Europe, the rolling stock industry is in full swing, placing Arad among the first cities in which electric trains run . Musical life is also very much alive, the theater, also inaugurated by the emperor in the seventies of the nineteenth century is the meeting place of the protipendada. The sporting life, nautical but not only, in which the wealthy families of the city get involved frantically, would deeply mark the same historical period.
At least until the outbreak of the First World War, we have Jacques Faix, who is a true pole of local culture, both through the pianos he builds and through the photographs he takes in his studio, but especially through the organization of concerts at the White Cross and the evenings organized in the Piano Saloon in his house.
Ilona Reiter teaching their son Frigyes to play the piano
The remaining documents from this period give us the image of a city in obvious cultural effervescence, we list here the piano concerts organized in the hall of the White Cross hotel, held in the first phase by Mrs. Faix, the photographic exhibitions which were even more successful.
The photos taken during this period also give us an impression about the life of the Arad elite, about the way of life of the wealthy and show us something about the personality of Jacques Faix. The poet Ady Endre, who visited Arad several times, always stops at Faix's house, perhaps because he was enchanted above all by the beauty of Jacques' wife. Pablo Casals, performing in Arad, is also a notable guest of Jacques Faix's house. After the founding of the Arad Photo Club in 1906, through the care and hard work of Jacques Faix, the first national photographic exhibition on the territory of Hungary was to take place in 1907 in Arad. This event could be organized due to the involvement of Faix and Professor Matusek, the two photographers from Arad who were noticed both nationally and internationally on this occasion. In the following years, the two became internationally recognized, being awarded for their photographs in Budapest, Vienna, Paris and Berlin.
Ilona Reiter and their son, Frigyes on a trip
Personal photos from the life of the Faix family complete the picture, illustrating what it meant to be in the city's elite at the time. The piano maker and photographer from Arad had two cars and spent a long vacation with his family in Europe, arriving, as the photos on these occasions show, in the Alps, in the Tatra Mountains, in Switzerland, Italy, but of course in Transylvania or other places. from Austria-Hungary since then.
During the flowering of apples, they usually went to Austria, to Wachau, as evidenced by the countless photographs there. In addition to impressive landscapes with ruined cities or flowering nature, Jacques Faix's camera also captures images of the family idyll, the decoration of the Christmas tree, the maid setting the table or the wife always elegantly dressed with the young child of the two admiring the landscape in many excursions of these family years.