A word from the Director

The whole team at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium joins me in wishing you a warm welcome.

Whether you are an art lover, a professional, someone curious or in search of discoveries, you will always find in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium something that is interesting or inspiring. The emotion is there. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium comprise more than 20,000 works of art from the Flemish Primitives to the contemporary art. A great part of the collection is visible on several locations. The constant acquisition of new works of art, alongside numerous short and long term loans ensure the position of this institution as a key player on the international level.

The Museums’ collections are the starting point for scientific researches, data collections, as well as educational and cultural activities for a variety of public target groups.  Researches are promoted and disseminated thanks to the publication of scientific books and to active participation in projects and meetings such as conferences, colloquia, symposia, etc. in Belgium and abroad.

Each of you represents a vital link for the RMFAB.  We place ourselves at the service of society and its development. Every year, more than 600,000 people visit the Museums. Numerous services to the public have evolved in the midst of the Museums to respond not only to the needs of various publics: children, adults, people with reduced mobility or disadvantaged, Belgians and foreigners, etc., but also to the natural evolution of our societies and to new technologies. They all strive to make the museums a fascinating environment where knowledge is passed on, participation and creativity are nurtured, and culture becomes a right for everyone. The mission of the museums is to respect all publics without distinction by developing specific strategies that bring together the scientific research, economic development, cultural creation, without omitting pleasure.

In the past few years, we successfully completed several projects that were close to our hearts, among which the opening of the Magritte Museum on June 2, 2009, which remains a driving force in the cultural and touristic development of Brussels. We also showcased a number of highly appreciated exhibitions both nationally and internationally, in particular “Rubens, a genius at work”, “Alechinsky, from A to Y”, “Symbolism in Belgium”, “Orientalism and Europe, from Delacroix to Kandinsky”, “Stanley Kubrick photographer”, “Jordaens and the Antiquity” and “Kandinsky & Russia”. As dynamic as ever, several teams in the museum are already preparing new exhibitions devoted, among others, to The heritage of Rogier van der Weyden, Chagall or  Monet and Japonism.

The opening of the Fin-de-Siècle Museum, brings to light, on an international level, the crucial but often overlooked place of Brussels at the crossroads of European creativity between 1880 and 1914. And it is in a multidisciplinarity spirit that we also give a good place to the educational games and to the discovery. From the opera to the painting and from the literature to the architecture. Thanks to the partnership of the Brussels-Capital Region, the exceptional payment in kind Gillion Crowet is presented to the public in completely revised installations.

I am convinced that as soon as we seek to transcend the conservation - and conservative - dimension of the museum, we can perceive the intrinsic need of the museum to be more a place of exploration of the future than a melancholic repository of a bygone era.  Every project now undertaken by the museum must carry this reflection on the construction of our contemporary identities, whilst preserving our ability to dream.

We hope to see you soon in the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium!


Michel Draguet

Director General