The Digital Museum

The Digital Museum has been created with the digitization of the collections of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The department today manages various projects related to the digitization of works of art.

 

Digitization, whether for conservation, dissemination, economic exploitation or knowledge of collections, is today central to the different art and culture heritage professions.

By building an entire department dedicated to this area, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium express their intention to position themselves as key players and develop national and international collaboration.

The Digital Museum manages research projects related to the digitization of works, helps provide public online access to the collections via the FABRITIUS (Fine Arts BRussels InTernet & Intranet USers) and LOANA (LOANed Artworks) catalogues, and supervises the Photographic service of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

ProjectS

BePAPER       2020 > 2024

Belgian Art on Paper in a European Perspective. 1918-1950

The BePAPER-project will provide a first overview of the field of Belgian avant-garde works on paper within an international context between 1918 and 1950, that is, up and until the dawn of CoBrA and the rise of the so-called neo-avant-gardes. The project will contribute to a better definition of the collection category of “modern works on paper”.

This project studies and discloses Belgian avant-garde “work on paper” (under which we understand autographic, unique artworks using paper as basic material, such as drawings, watercolors, collages, and paper assemblages) between 1918-1950. The project builds on the collection of “work on paper modern art” of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. For the period from ca. 1918 to 1950 the collection houses about 2400 individual sheets and sketchbooks, half of which were created by Belgian avant-garde artists. These artists include the Futurist Jules Schmalzigaug, the Expressionists Frits van den Berghe, Joseph Cantré, Gustave De Smet and Constant Permeke, the Constructivists Jozef Peeters, Karel Maes, Felix De Boeck, Victor Servranckx, Edmond van Dooren and Pierre-Louis Flouquet, the Surrealists Paul Delvaux, René Magritte and E.L.T. Mesens as well as the Dadaist Paul Joostens. In addition to this collection of art works, the study will be foremost based on the holdings in the Archives of Contemporary Art in Belgium (ACAB), Archives of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (ARMFAB) and the museum library.

The project main objectives are, first, to study why and how this wide variety of Belgian classic avant-garde artists turned to paper during the interwar period and to isolate possibly late appropriation tendencies within the Belgian avant-gardes as well as the emergence of trends already pointing ahead to the neo-avant-gardes. Second, we aim to better disclose the RMFAB collection of works on paper through the findings gained within the study and through the development of open data solutions. As result several outreach events such as conferences, publications or exhibitions addressing a scientific and student audience as well as a wider audience are planned.

The BePAPER project is a BRAIN project, supported by BELSPO.

 

DIGIT

DIGIT-04        2019 > 2024

DIGIT-03        2014 > 2018 

Digitisation Programme of the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO)

The plan for the digitisation of the cultural and scientific heritage of the Federal Scientific Institutions is part of the current digitisation programme "DIGIT", which is currently in its fourth phase.

Funding: BELSPO
Partners: Royal Museums of Art and History / Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium / Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage / Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences / Royal Museum of Central Africa / State Archives of Belgium / Royal Library of Belgium / Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy / Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium / Royal Obervatory of Belgium & Planetarium / Royal Belgian Film Archive.

The DIGIT programme aims to digitise the huge Belgian federal heritage which resides in the biggest museums, libraries, research institutes, archives, photo and audio-visual archives of Belgium. The programme has been conceived to cover the entire digitising cycle: digitisation, preservation and use or reuse. 

 

INSIGHT       2017 > 2021

Intelligent Neural Systems as InteGrated Heritage Tools

Funding: Belspo (BRAIN-project)
Partners: Universities of Antwerp, Ghent and Liège / Cinquantenaire Museum / Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

The objective of this project is to advance the application of automated algorithms from the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support cultural heritage institutions in their effort to keep up with their ongoing annotation efforts for their expanding digital collections.

INSIGHT is an academic research project that targets the digital assets of two museum clusters in Brussels: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and Royal Museums of Art and History. This project aims to deploy the recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (language technology and computer vision in particular) to support the enrichment of these collections with descriptive metadata.


SHAREX       2016 > 2018

Shared Art Exhibitions

Co-Funding: Creative Europe Programme of the European Union
Partners: Wallmuse / Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium / State Museum of Contemporary Art of Greece

The objective is to conceive digital exhibitions that integrate collections from various museums, festivals and art centres, so as to broadcast them in public spaces, in compliance with artistic rights.

The respect and protection of rights are an important aspect of this European project. Each member must adhere to its rules and conditions. Technical support may be provided to help create new artistic or educational digital exhibitions. These Montages (digital exhibitions) can be conceived individually or by several users, who may broadcast them in the spaces of their choice.

DCA       2011 > 2013

Digitising Contemporary Art

Co-Funding: CIP-ICT Policy Support Programme of the European Union
Project Leader: PACKED vzw (Brussels)

‘Digitising Contemporary Art’ comprises the digitisation of contemporary art (after 1945) and the implementation of the images produced on the cultural portal Europeana. An important part of the collections of 21 European cultural establishments, extending over 12 countries, is thereby made accessible via the portal Europeana (www.europeana.eu), all copyright issues having been settled in advance. Best practices in digitisation have also been defined within the framework of the DCA project.

During the DCA project, more than 450 paintings, 115 sculptures, 3720 works on paper and 400 posters were digitised at the RMFAB. Participation in this European project has provided the RMFAB with the additional means to make rapid short-term progress in their mission to digitise the national collections. For the first time, the RMFAB have contributed to bringing digital content to the Europeana cultural portal.