The MOU – Museum of Oudenaarde and the Flemish Ardennes – is housed in the richly decorated gothic town hall of Oudenaarde. The town hall was built around 1530 and displays the wealth of the city as a thriving center of the tapestry industry.
MOU showcases a number of tapestries that are woven in and around Oudenaarde. The collection comprises 37 tapestries, eighteen of which are exhibited in the adjoining cloth hall. The most important series is the Alexander series, an ensemble of four tapestries which were given to governor Alexander Farnese in 1582.
In addition to the tapestry collection, the museum also has one of the largest collections of precious metalwork in Flanders. This includes an overview of functional and decorative silverwork from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, however the main focus of the collection is on the Golden Age. Particularly striking is the great variety of drinking vessels. On display are ceremonial tankards, guild cups and trick goblets, cups in the shape of animals, tazzi and cups for which exotic materials were used.
Geertrui Van Kerkhoven, Curator (December 2021)