MIDDELHEIM MUSEUM > The new museum
The new museum
The Middelheim Museum is a unique attraction in the art-loving city of Antwerp. The exceptional setting of the Nachtegalen Park serves as a constantly changing backdrop for an extraordinary collection of modern and contemporary art.
The permanent collection, which now includes over 400 works of art, provides an excellent overview of the visual arts from around 1900 to the present. Each year, the museum invites contemporary artists to engage in an artistic dialogue with the permanent collection and the park environment, resulting in high-profile performances and impressive exhibitions featuring both established artists and promising younger ones. Some of these works, such as the Chris Burden’s 2009 work ‘Beam Drop Antwerp’, have become a part of the permanent collection. The Middelheim Museum welcomes over 250,000 visitors free of charge each year.
The museum is constantly changing, and recently underwent an extraordinarily comprehensive transformation. Architect Paul Robbrecht (b. 1950) has been a pivotal figure in this refurbishment. The Robbrecht and Daem team designed a semi-open exhibition pavilion, Het Huis (The House), where fragile works of art from temporary exhibitions can be viewed. While protected, they remain at one with the outdoor environment and the works of art exhibited there. Paul Robbrecht is also a guest curator. Renowned artists, including Ai Weiwei (b. China, 1957), Roman Signer (b. Switzerland, 1938) and Philippe Van Snick (b. Belgium, 1946), present new works created especially for the museum. German artist Thomas Schütte (b. 1954) will inaugurate the pavilion with new and existing ceramics and other works for which this special space is the perfect showcase.
The Middelheim Museum has been expanded to include the former flower garden of the Nachtegalen Park, giving the open-air museum a total of 30 hectares of park and exhibition space.
For the new site, the Robbrecht and Daem team designed a semi-open pavilion especially for temporary exhibitions, called Het Huis (The House).
The Middelheim Museum’s permanent collection has been thoroughly refurbished, with works of art given new housing, moved to different locations, restored, polished and, where necessary, remounted. In addition, works by three major artists have been added to the permanent collection.
Concurrent to the major refurbishment of the Middelheim Museum, we have also subjected the hardware to a comprehensive overhaul, and the castle was completely renovated while the infrastructure was updated in full.
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