CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

A Study Visit to Museum Hof van Busleyden and Mechelen

On 22 and 23 May 2018, for the first time, CODART will take you to the city of Mechelen. The program includes a sneak preview of the Hof van Busleyden Museum, soon to reopen after extensive renovation, an interesting look behind the scenes at the conservation studio in which the famous Enclosed Gardens (Besloten Hofjes) are being restored, an exclusive visit to the exhibition Call for Justice: Art and Law in the Burgundian Low Countries, which was prepared in partnership with the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, and several excursions that will take us to other remarkable locations in the city of Mechelen. Another event planned for this CODARTfocus is the festive presentation of the latest issue of The Low Countries, which has been produced in partnership with CODART and which is dedicated to Flemish and Dutch art in a global perspective. Manfred Sellink, General Director and Head Curator of the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerpen is guest editor of this special edition.

CODART is organizing this CODARTfocus immediately before the start of the Historians of Netherlandish Art (HNA) Conference, which will take place in Ghent from 23 to 26 May 2018. CODART warmly invites HNA members to register for this CODARTfocus, which offers members of CODART and HNA a unique opportunity to visit several locations related to highlights in Mechelen’s history.

Just a few weeks before the Hof van Busleyden Museum reopens to the public, we are being allowed to take a look at the completely renovated sixteenth-century city palace – as the first visitors to do so. The museum, which has been undergoing restoration in several phases since 2010, will be reopening to the public in June 2018. The directors and curators have extended a warm welcome to us to enjoy a preview of the upgraded museum.

For more details about the program, please read further or click here. To register, go to the Participate page.


The program starts on Tuesday afternoon 22 May with a visit to the conservation studio, where we will be able to admire from close by the Enclosed Gardens (Besloten Hofjes), a remarkable collection of 16th-century retable cabinets, under the expert guidance of Professor Lieve Watteeuw of the Catholic University of Leuven. Professor Watteeuw is a conservator and restorer of books, manuscripts, and library materials, and a member of the Enclosed Gardens conservation team. You can find more information about this major conservation project by following this link. After this visit, curator Samuel Mareel of the Hof van Busleyden Museum, who is also one of the curators of the exhibition Call for Justice: Art and Law in the Burgundian Low Countries, will give a talk on the subject of this exhibition. After his lecture, participants will be given the opportunity to visit the exhibition privately. We will end this first day with the festive presentation of the latest issue of The Low Countries (a co-production with CODART), followed by drinks generously offered by the museum.

On Wednesday morning 23 May, we will start the day at the Hof van Busleyden Museum. Sigrid Bosmans, the museum’s Artistic Director, and Anouk Stulens, Head of Cultural Heritage Development of the City of Mechelen, will illuminate the changes that have been made in the renovated Hof van Busleyden Museum. The lecture will be followed by an exclusive visit to – or Hard Hat tour around – the Hof van Busleyden Museum, accompanied by the museum’s directors and curators. After lunch at Het Anker Brewery, participants can choose from several interesting tours: a church tour with Valérie Herremans and Bart Stroobants, a visit to the collection and workshops of De Wit Royal Manufacturers (tapestries), or a city walking tour with a special focus on Renaissance houses and the Garden of the Palace of Margaret of Austria. We will post more detailed information about the excursions online soon.

Contact CODART

For any questions you may have about this event, please contact the CODART office:
Maartje Beekman
+31 70 333 9744 (also during the CODARTfocus)

This event is organized by CODART and Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen. We wish to thank the Historians of Netherlandish Art (HNA), the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, Ons Erfdeel, and the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Hague for their support and cooperation.