Magritte Museum

Isabelle Vanhoonacker

Magritte Museum

Musee Magritte Museum Place Royale 1000 Brussels

Bruxelles, Belgium
Prix de Musees 2012 / Prix du Public

From the quotidian to the extraordinary


On June 2 2009, the Museacute;e Magritte Museum (MMM) opens its doors to the public on the Place Royale in Brussels. Devoted to one of the best known artists of the 20th century, the MMM presents for the first time the largest collection of Magritte works in the world. It has been completed thanks to an original partnership between the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Magritte Foundation, the Belgian Reacute;gie des Bacirc;timents (protector of the Belgian architectural heritage), the Belgian Federal Science Policy Administration, and the GDF SUEZ Group, which completed the museum's installation thanks to a skill-based sponsorship unique in Belgium. Within four years the MMM received 1 700 000 visitors which means about 1 000 visitors a day or 425 000 visitors a year. Two third of the visitors are foreign tourists.

In 2012 the Magritte Museum was the winner of Prix de Museacute;es 2012 / Prix du Public. Previously it also got the la" Hors cateacute;gorie ra" of Brussels Tourism Meetings Awards (2010).

Its success is probably due to several elements:
-    The uniqueness of the museum's multidisciplinary collection. It contains more than 200 works consisting of oils on canvas, gouaches, drawings, sculptures and painted objects as well as advertising posters, musical scores, vintage photographs and films produced by the artist. It is comprised of purchases by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, which owns the collection, and gifts from the Iregrave;ne Hamoir-Scutenaire and Georgette Magritte estates. Additionally, many private collectors, as well as public and private institutions, loan art to the museum through an ambitious lending program, which permits a dynamic exhibition policy to the museum (ex in 2012: Reneacute; Magritte. Newly discovered works).
-    The Magritte Museum is also the primary repository for research on the artist. With the support of INEO media system, the museum has developed an online research center which provides access to archives about the painter''s life and works, an invaluable resource not only for art scholars, students, and academicians worldwide, but also for anyone interested in learning more about this national treasure of Belgium.  research/database/Fabritius or multimedia
-    The Museum scenography that is respectful of Magritte works
The exhibition is organized at several levels through chronological and thematic interpretive links. The Museacute;e Magritte Museum wants to be a public meeting place for people from all walks of life. Each, according to his or her cultural origin, level of understanding and expectations, will a find a path into the works of Reneacute; Magritte. Each work is displayed under the best possible conditions.
-    Modern, educational multi-media facilities

The most modern interactive media are available to the public. Visitors can consult archives and unpublished documents on screen. Amateur films that Magritte shot have been reformatted by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and are projected in their original crispness. The same is the case with archive photos and illustrations presenting lively, virtual encounters with Magritte's contemporaries. The musical score Norine Blues, which Magritte illustrated, can be leafed through virtually in a Music Box, thanks to an innovative interactive process.

The latest in multi-lingual audio guides also connect sound archives with documentary information to enhance the visitor's experience. They are available in French, Dutch, English, German, Spanish and since 2012 also in Italian.
-    The Magritte oeuvre offers an inexhaustible source for the development of public programs and activities by the educational department which put the emphasis on ls"culture as the right of each and every:
Guided visits and workshops for schools, groups of young people and adults in French, Dutch, English German, Japanese, Russian, Greek - Guided strolls for individual visitors and families -
Museums to Measure activities: guided visits for visually impaired and blind people, guided visits and workshops for people with reduced mobility, also for people with mental health problems, activities for vulnerable people,  sign language guided visits - Holiday workshops for Kids Teens (6 to 13 years), family activities, special events - Lectures
-    The Magritte Studio a multi-purpose studio for creativity and experimentation is well equipped with thought-provoking books (in four languages), play and creative materials, sound recordings, videos, CD-ROMs and more besides.
- Educateam's interactive trilingual website where art lovers, teachers and ls"kids teens' can prepare for their visit or add substance to their memories. Plenty of educational material, questions, interactive and creative games are on offer.
-    The special Braille edition of the Magritte Museum visitor's guide.
Important partnerships are continuously created to realize numerous projects for young and old such as Prenez le Reneacute;, Neem ls"m mee (a bilingual magazine made by youngsters), (a multidisciplinary arts exhibition made by the young public as the result of  a summer workshop), Cineacute;Reneacute;, a video project of one year with socially excluded children and youngsters supported by GDF Suez, hellip;

Realized in 2013 :
A visioguide tablet explaining 21 works of the MMM in French, Dutch and English sign language, allowing deaf people to visit the museum autonomously. A first in Belgium.
The GenerationsReneacute; intergenerational project bringing a group of elderly people and children to work together around the surrealist oeuvre of Magritte.

In conclusion, it is the museum's mission to honor all public by developing specific strategies which link science, economics, culture and entertainment. Each project has to include the reflection on our contemporary identity, while maintaining the capacity of dreaming.



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