In the second half of the 60s, the emphasis was increasingly on achieving the aim inherent in the association’s name: the establishment of a Museum of #contemporaryart (MHK). The museum was inaugurated in 1975, while Roger Matthys was chairman of the V.M.H.K. (1974-1979), and Jan Hoet was its first curator. At that time, the Museum occupied several rooms in the Museum of Fine Art in Ghent. In 1999 it was given its own home, the present museum building, and a new name: Municipal Museum of #contemporaryart (S.M.A.K.). The V.M.H.K. was then renamed as the Friends of the S.M.A.K. In the meantime, Marc De Cock had been its chairman from 1979 to 1995, and he was succeeded by Dirk Schutyser until 2007.
From the very beginning the association attached great importance to forming a collection for the future museum. It made its very first purchase in 1958 and this signalled the start of a rich collection that keeps pace with the Belgian art scene and is at the same time internationally oriented. In 1999 the Friends gave the newly established S.M.A.K. a substantial helping hand by generously donating its entire art collection. The works that they have since purchased are subject to a long-term loan contract with the museum. A new donation is planned for the time when the museum is able to occupy a new building with enough room for a permanent display of the collection, which is the shared aim of the director Philippe van Cauteren and Philippe Leeman, who has been chairman of the Friends since 2007.
The Friends and S.M.A.K. have in the meantime also put their weight behind a long-term project on the history of the V.M.H.K. and the Museum of #contemporaryart. The Mobile and Temporary Studio for Research and Production headed by Koen Brams is studying, among other things, the programme of the V.M.H.K. and the Museum of #contemporaryart. This study will lead to several presentations at S.M.A.K.
From the Collection | Collecting Friends 21.10.2017... 18.02.2018
For more information, contact:
Eline Verbauwhede | email@example.com | Tel. +32 (0)9 240 76 60 | Mob: +32 (0)479 270 604 www.smak.be
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