Parenthesis Space

A short break in your visit to the museum!

Parenthesis Space invites you to discover some of the newly acquired pieces. Our curators offer you a selection of some of the last works that have been added to the collections. These capsule exhibitions are based on themes that are as varied as they are unexpected. Works you will not see anywhere else!

The pieces presented in the Parenthesis Space give an idea of how museums enrich heritage today for future generations. Some of these pieces are on deposit, others have been purchased or donated.

Practical information

  • Parenthesis Space: admission included with the museum’s entry ticket


P. Dubois, Minerve ou la liberté, 1902© Brussels City Museum

Back to Nature 1900

From February 14 to October 10, 2023

Through this capsule exhibition, the Brussels City Museum turns the spotlight on the rich Art Nouveau heritage preserved in the city’s collections.

Ranging from embroidery to painting, as well as fashion and architecture, the items displayed vary widely and cover many different fields. The starting point of Back to nature is based on the inspiration that artists drew from nature at the beginning of the 20th century. The subtle aesthetics, along with the powerful lines and shapes of plants and flowers attracted their attention. As did the sublime depiction of woman in countless variations.

Discover this enchanting selection of works, most of which have rarely if ever been exhibited before.

M-A. Kindt, Allégorie de la révolution de 1830, 1831 © J. Geleyns

Over to women artists

From September 20 to February 5, 2023

Over to women artists sets aside the representation of women as merely models, to focus on women creators.

This capsule exhibition highlights ten artists through six themes. Two to three works are presented per theme: the artist couple, the painter and sculptor, portraits, historical representations, views of Brussels and rural scenes.

By drawing on its collections, the museum asks questions about its works beyond what they represent: muses, women saints, allegories, etc. What traces remain of women when these traditional representations are put aside? Who are these women who have marked history and left their indelible mark on the artistic production of their eras?

Due to gender stereotypes, women artists are underrepresented in museums. Putting the work of women artists in the spotlight is a passionate and necessary exercise.


Moke Fils_Matonge_2013


From June 21 to September 11, 2022

How can a museum remain innovative and interesting to its returning visitors? By permanently enriching the museum collection with new acquisitions, for example! The museum team completes them, taking into account the links between the works and the museum’s missions as well as any gaps.

The Brussels City Museum takes the urban landscape as its starting point in Brussels. Through a series of recently acquired works, visitors discover this theme, which is dear to artists, in a new light. The few works on display allow us to reconstruct the evolution of the city while critically examining it. The representation of the inhabitants of Brussels also remains a major axis for the enrichment of the collections. The museum tries to reflect the great diversity of the city.

Thanks to an elaborate route, you can already admire some of these artworks in the permanent exhibition. Since the vast majority are kept in the museum’s storage facilities, it is high time to show a selection of them to the public as well!

B. Brolet, Portrait of Maman wearing the dress made by Serge Koeckoekx, 2012

LGBTQIA+ BXL, Collecting memories

From February 22 to June 14, 2022

The Brussels City Archives and Museums held in 2021 a collection of objects relating to the history of LGBTQIA+* movements and cultures in our capital.

In their acquisition policy, the Museum and the Archives collect objects, archives that document contemporary phenomena. But what to collect? It is not always easy to identify what is worth preserving for the future. The capsule exhibition “LGBTQIA+ BXL” presents the most significant pieces of this collection.

These new acquisitions enrich the heritage and knowledge of the history of Brussels’ queer movement and cultures.

*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex and Asexual or Aromantic



B. Brolet, Portrait of Maman wearing the dress made by Serge Koeckoekx, 2012

J-B. Van Moer, Vue de la Senne et du cabaret de l'Ours depuis le pont Middeleer, 1868 © Brussels City Museum

Bourse by the Senne

From October 26, 2021 to Februari 13, 2002

Do you remember walking down the streets of Brussels with your feet in the water ? Before the central boulevards were laid down and the Senne was covered over, 150 years ago. At the time, the Senne played a major role in the development of the city.

Through the centuries, the vicinity of the river has been the site of a great variety of buildings, functions and activities. This capsule exhibition illustrates the dynamic life along the banks of the Senne. It invites you to take a journey to the base of the current Bourse (stock exchange) building, before and after the covering of this enigmatic river.