Antwerp's Middelheim Museum to completely overhaul display of collection

Renovation works have started at the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp, a large open-air museum for contemporary art, to make the collection more accessible and easier to understand. The arrangement of the works of art in the park will be completely revised and the works will be clustered thematically.

The Middelheim Museum was founded in 1950 and collects sculptures and art installations from around 1870 to the present day. The arrangement of the works has actually never been changed, only pieces added.

"By repositioning the works and clustering them thematically, we can provide more explanation," says Deputy Mayor of Culture Nabilla Ait Daoud. "The arrangement will also be dynamic: some works will remain in their place for a long time, others will move around more often or make way for another work and temporarily end up in the new open-air depot."

That depot will be a new place in the park where you can view works that temporarily do not fit into the museum's display. This way, the museum wants to keep a large part of its collection permanently visible and still have room to acquire new pieces.

A number of installations cannot be moved or were made by the artist himself specifically for a certain place. Nevertheless, according to the museum, more than half of the works will have a new place by the end of 2023.

The themes on which the work will be based are all linked to the starting point of the Middelheim Museum as a connection between nature and culture. "For example, works will be grouped together around the life cycle, allegories and the planets," says director Sara Weyns. "The park will also get a lot of extra greenery and we are taking measures to protect it better against climate change."

The city of Antwerp is providing 700,000 euros for the project.



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