11.06.2015 > 27.09.2015

Brussels by Monique Martin

Brussels by Monique Martin
Monique Martin (1928-2000) is a nationally-treasured artist, both as a painter and illustrator, and notably as the creator of Ernest & Célestine.

This summer, an exhibition sets out to explore the various aspects of her art, with Brussels as its central theme. The Belgian capital, where she lived her entire life, made a significant impact on her work, both in terms of her children’s books that she signed under her pen-name of Gabrielle Vincent, as well as in her landscapes and portraits. Her strokes breathed Brussels.

This retrospective highlights, first and foremost, the original boards for Ernest & Célestine, sketched scenes on the heart of the Palais de Justice (some of which were published in 1995 in the collection Au Palais) and previously unseen drawings for the Petit ange à Bruxelles, her first book, edited in 1970.
21.08.2014 > 03.05.2015

14-18 Brussel on german time

14-18 Brussel on german time
1917, a lady living in Brussels: Among the sufferances which we have to bear, our despots have imposed German time. We have never adopted it. (…) In Brussels, the public clocks had to be set to it. This measure was the inspiration behind a little song in which it was said that by moving time forward by an hour, the enemy was only managing to bring forward our victory by an hour!

Carefully conserved for a century, the documents and objects dating back to the First World War form part of the exceptional heritage of the City of Brussels.
The Archives are putting these documents online: www.14-18.bruxelles.be

04.07.2013 > 20.04.2014

From bread hall to Brussels City Museum

From bread hall to Brussels City Museum
Eight centuries of brussels’ history

The 19th-century neo-Gothic building as we know it today is witness to a story that started in the 13th century with the construction of a bread hall erected on a plot of land belonging to the Duke of Brabant. Testimony to the initial use to which this building was put is the Dutch word still used today to refer to the building: “Broodhuis” (literally “Bread House”). When the bakers had left the premises, the building was rebuilt at the beginning of the 16th century and came to be called the “King’s House” with reference to the then Duke of Brabant, the future Charles V, who was also King of Spain.

This building with two names would successively be a bread hall, a tax office, a court, a temporary prison, a storeroom for forage used by the British cavalry after the Battle of Waterloo, a rehearsal room for the La Monnaie ballet school, a library and city council offices, before becoming the City Museum in 1887, a function it still fulfils today.

03.12.2011 > 31.12.2011

Brussels in watercolour

 Brussels in watercolour
Snapshots by Jacques Carabain, 1884-1897

At the request of burgomaster Charles Buls, the painter Charles Carabain created 59 watercolours of Brussels with a view to immortalising the urban landscape. These works by such a talented artist are kept in the collections of the City of Brussels Museum, and are a source of information regarding places that have since, in many cases, undergone very radical changes. Placed alongside ancient iconographic documents from the City Archives and present-day maps and photos for the purposes of comparison, they show us the how these sites and life in Brussels have changed over the years up to the present day.

10.10.2007 > 27.01.2008

Of the city and its pleasant countryside

 Of the city and its pleasant countryside
The City of Brussels Museum staged an exhibition on Brussels’ landscape in the 18th century, based on the drawings and paintings of two little-known yet very important landscape artists, Ferdinand-Joseph Derons and Andreas Martin.

19.11.2003 > 30.04.2004

Made in Brussels

Made in Brussels
300 years of earthenware and porcelain
(1650 – 1950)

The first earthenware factory opened in the centre of Brussels at the end of the 17th century, on the initiative of the Mombaers commercial dynasty. A century later, the new production of porcelain took over from earthenware. Economic considerations aside, this engendered a social revolution: whilst the nobility had expensive silver dishes that it shared for sumptuous dinners, the proletariat had until then eaten from pewter plates or wooden bowls. A new industry arose, which would mark the beginning of an artistic tradition in the service of everyday life.

30.04.2003 > 18.08.2003

Loos in the big city

 Loos in the big city
Public toilets in brussels from the middle ages to the present day

In the city public spaces are living areas for its inhabitants. These days, user-friendliness and the city-dwellers’ comfort are concepts that are once more being brought into the spotlight again by our political authorities. And yet in the centre of Brussels benches are few and far between and there are no public toilets at all, whereas these were part of the urban landscape in Brussels from the Middle Ages until about thirty years ago.

31.10.2001 > 31.08.2002

Open-air Brussels

Open-air Brussels
Sketch of spatial change in “the pentagon”
This exhibition showed how spaces such as squares, green areas, cemeteries, car parks, etc., have changed and grown according to elements making up the city of Brussels, such as a watercourse, the River Senne, trading activities, places of worship and political centres. The exhibition was rounded off with photographs by Marie-Françoise Plissart, who created a link between a certain “bucolic” image of the Brussels of yesteryear and the present-day city. When exhibitions are staged, the City of Brussels Museum publishes books in the form of catalogues, histories aimed at a broad readership, and scientific studies. These publications are available for purchase (see shop heading).