by Angela Oestmann
Recently after 10 years of renovation and restructuring, this important museum in Antwerp reopened. While the exterior is already very impressive with its 19th century dramatic architecture, which makes you think more of an opera house than a museum, the inside is modern and pleasant (albeit quite confusing at times with many direct icons but little text). It is very comfortable, though, with convenient elevators and seating possibilities which make the visit easy and pleasant. A restaurant and a café are within the building. Both were very busy with guests, but service was slow. The museum is not far from the newly converted canal area (heavy works are still ongoing) which is fast becoming a trendy area full of fancy shops, bars and cafés. Although it is not yet fully established, two floors are still empty, the works already being shown are well worth the visit.
The museum is home to important works by the Flemish Primitives, Peter Paul Rubens, modern art by Henri De Braekeleer and the Flemish Expressionists and the world’s largest James Ensor collection. The KMSKA focuses mainly on art from the southern Netherlands and Belgium, but it also has some exceptional masterpieces by foreign artists: from paintings by Jean Fouquet, Titian and Amedeo Modigliani to sculptures by Ossip Zadkine, Auguste Rodin and Rik Wouters. (From the website)
Free Entrance with MuseumPass
Photo: Dave Van Laere