Ernst Kállai studied Hungarian and German, as well as Literature and History, at the State Civic Teacher Seminar in Budapest between 1910 and 1913. Starting in 1920, he worked as a journalist in Germany. Among other publications, this included many art and culture magazines (such as Ararat, Weltbühne and Cicerone).
In 1928, the Bauhaus Dessau employed him as the editorial director of the Bauhaus magazine and he held this position until 1929. Because he was no longer allowed to publish after 1933, he returned to Budapest in 1935 and taught aesthetics and art history at the Hungarian Applied Arts and Crafts School starting in 1946. In 1948, he became a member the European School artist group, founded the Gallery of the Four Directions and became the director of the Section for Fine Arts in the Art Council of the Hungarian government. During the last years of his life, Kállai increasing retreated from the public offices due to the changed political situation and translated Hungarian fiction books into German.
- Gaßner, Hubertus (1986): Wechselwirkungen. Ungarische Avantgarde in der Weimarer Republik, Marburg.
- Wingler, H. M. (1962): Das Bauhaus, 1919–1933. Weimar Dessau Berlin und die Nachfolge in Chicago seit 1937, Bramsche, S. 458.
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