Background information MAS
Antwerp is a city on a river with a port. For centuries, it has served as a meeting place and a place of exchange. The MAS has collected together the traces left behind by these exchanges, using them to tell new stories: stories about the city, the river and the port; stories about the world in all its diversity, and stories about the connection between Antwerp and the world.
This is the framework within which the stories of the MAS are told. To do this the MAS is using and providing a home for the collections of the former Ethnographic Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Folklore Museum and part of the collection of the Butcher’s Hall.
The MAS is displaying these collections in its open-view storeroom and also through four themes, each of which takes its cue from the connection between Antwerp and the world: Display of power, World city, Worldport, and Life and death. And all of this is set within a breathtakingly imaginative scenography.
But the MAS has more to offer. Visitors can enjoy the splendid architecture of this ‘tower of tales’ situated in the midst of a bustling city neighbourhood. A pedestrian boulevard has inspired contributions from artists and allows people to experience the connection of the MAS with the city, the river, the port and the world through beautiful and alternating panoramic vistas. There is the square designed by Luc Tuymans and there are also pavilions. There is the outdoors collection – the MAS owns the largest collection of dockside cranes in the world – as well as MAS activities beyond its walls.
The MAS supports hundreds of collectors and collections distributed across the whole city under the collective heading of the Antwerp Collection. And – of course – there are exhibitions.