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Fritz Mayer van den Bergh

The museum bears the name of Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, a man of means, art connoisseur and eminent collector. Who was he? What role does his mother play in the story? What did he collect? And where does Pieter Bruegel come into it all?

Living for art

You’re the son of a wealthy German businessman and a mother from Antwerp. How do you become Antwerp’s leading art collector of the late 19th century?

Henriëtte van den Bergh, Fritz’s mother

Fritz Mayer van den Bergh had a close relationship with his mother. After his death, she realised his life’s dream of setting up his own museum. Henriëtte van den Bergh also had a strong social conscience.

The collector and his collections

Fritz Mayer van den Bergh bought art and historical objects for around twenty years. The resulting museum collection numbers around 3,100 items, and is surprisingly diverse.

A fascination for Bruegel

The name of Pieter Bruegel the Elder is known worldwide. However, this was not the case in Fritz Mayer van den Bergh’s day. Again, he was ahead of his time. Bruegel’s works are now the undoubted high points of the museum collection.

The man behind the collector

Who was Fritz Mayer van den Bergh? Who was the man behind the collector?