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Contemporary and historical masters in dialogue

15 contemporary artists look at the Fritz Mayer van den Bergh collection and enter into a dialogue with centuries-old paintings, modest sculptures and lavish retables. An intriguing blend of old and new where you examine the work with a fresh pair of eyes.

The sculptural group of Christ and St John the Apostle gets make-over

Christ and St John the Apostle (± 1300) by Master Heinrich von Konstanz, one of the museum's masterpieces and outright public favourite, is currently being examined and restored at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels. A team of specialists have been studying the wooden sculpture from top to bottom, which has produced some surprising results.

Christ on the Cross with Donors regains colourful splendour

The monumental triptych 'Christ on the Cross with Donors' painted by Quintin Massys (1456/66-1530) is once more on display in our museum for visitors to admire. Until late February 2024, the work could be seen in the successful exhibition of artistic masterpieces entitled ‘Rare and Indispensable’ in the MAS in Antwerp. Before that, it had undergone essential restoration work at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels. The masterpiece has now regained its original wealth of colour and can now be seen as Massys intended.  

Under restoration

Taking care of our collection

Museum Mayer van den Bergh ensures the proper preservation of the house and collection. But for some objects, good conservation is not enough. This is when we move on to restoration.

Helping hands

In TV shows like The Highest Bid and Four Rooms, buying and selling works of art seems easier than ever. In the time of Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, things were a little different. How did Fritz still manage to build such an impressive collection, with work from all over Europe? And who helped him do that?

Masterpieces in prime condition: the Mayer van den Berghs and their art conservators

A large art collection also means a great responsibility. The archives of the Mayer van den Berghs show that Fritz and Henriëtte took the conservation of their collection extremely seriously. What did a proper restoration mean to them? How did they choose their select circle of conservators? What was it like dealing with them?

Iconic Italians in ink

The part of the Mayer van den Bergh collection that is perhaps least well represented in today's museum galleries are the drawings. There are conservatorial reasons for this. At the same time, it is quite unfortunate, because in Fritz's collection, art on paper plays an important role.

Figures from the past

Fritz Mayer van den Bergh had a special interest in portraits and collected more than fifty of them. The museum archives give us an idea of where his interest in portraiture came from.

Henriette's vision

What was Henriette's role in the creation of the Museum Mayer van den Bergh? And how was she viewed as a female museum founder?

An exclusive museum visit

A museum visit at that time was very different from today: visitors entered the museum through Henriette's own home and received a private tour. Letters and photographs from the archives offer a picture of the museum visit during Henriette’s time.