CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Musea Brugge: behind the scenes

In-depth visit Musea Brugge: behind the scenes with Till-Holger Borchert, Director Musea Brugge, Griet Steyaert, Conservator, and Nadia Vangampelaere, Policy Officer Collection and Documentation, Musea Brugge, Bruges

Behind the scenes of Musea Brugge, the care for the collection’s 75,000 items is a daily task, embracing both the general realm of preventive conservation as well as conservation/restoration measures to protect specific objects.

The restorers Laetitia Golenvaux and Griet Steyaert are responsible for all such activities in relation to the painting collection of Musea Brugge. One of the current major projects is the restoration of The Death of the Virgin Mary, painted by Hugo van der Goes around 1470. This masterpiece was studied extensively in 2017 in preparation for its restoration, a project that will take a number of years, starting in 2018. During the excursion, Griet Steyaert will present the findings of this research to date in the restoration studio of Musea Brugge.

In the realm of preventive conservation, the policy officer of the conservation department, will be pleased to show you the most recent changes to the in-house storage facility. The Print Room contains about one-third of Musea Brugge’s total collection, from drawings and prints to books and printing materials. Like many similar institutions, the Musea Brugge collection has long been plagued by a lack of space. In 2015 it was selected for participation in RE-ORG Belgium, in which the methodology developed by ICCROM for the reorganization of existing storage facilities to create more space and to improve storage conditions was implemented, under the auspices of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK/IRPA, Brussels). Nadia Vangampelaere will show you how this has changed the workings of the Print Room to date.