KMSKA has been publishing a scientific annual since 1960.
The 2009 edition of the
Antwerp Royal Museum Annual has just appeared. The series is the continuation of
Jaarboek Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, a publication whose launch in
1960 provided a platform for the museum to participate in the scientific arena, under the
successive editorship of
Gilberte Gepts-Buysaert (1960-1967),
Adolf Monballieu (1968-1982) and
Julien Vervaet (1983-1998).
From 1965 onwards, the annual frequently included critical stylistic analyses and archival research findings by prominent Flemish art historians such as Jozef Duverger, Hans Vlieghe, Erik Duverger and Carl Van de Velde. In a subsequent phase, Francophone researchers such as Cathéline Périer d'Ieteren and Didier Martens also became regular contributors. Adolf Monballieu, a researcher associated with KMSKA, published various studies on Bruegel and contemporaries that remain relevant to this day. The annual has, moreover, included notable iconographic contributions by Keith Moxey on Beuckelaer (1976), by Paul Huvenne on the ethnographically important ‘costume book’ by Lambert De Vos (1978), Ethan Kavaler&'s article on Bruegel (1986) and three iconological studies by Leo Wuyts (1987).
For four decades, the museum annual was published mainly in Dutch, with occasional foreign-language contributions. Seen in the context of Flanders' historical process of linguistic empowerment, the initial choice for Dutch was quite understandable. However, it also implied that the articles published barely registered on the international scientific radar. In other words, the content of the art-historical research conducted by or under the auspices of KMSKA went largely unnoticed beyond Flanders and the Netherlands. This, in turn, held the danger of a relaxation of the criteria for inclusion. In 1999, Paul Huvenne, the new director of the museum, embarked on a different editorial course: standards for inclusion were tightened and henceforth the annual would appear in English, under the scientific editorship of Dr. Paul Vandenbroeck. The annual typically takes one of three forms: there are collections of studies on a single topic, monographic volumes, and volumes containing miscellaneous contributions in terms of both content and approach. The annual also provides room for innovative approaches alongside more ‘traditional’ art-historical studies.
On the occasion of some particularly noteworthy exhibitions at KMSKA, thematic volumes of the annual have been devoted to Antony van Dyck (1999), female artists (2002), and Antwerp mannerism (2004-05). The 2008 edition consisted of a monographic study by Nico Van Hout on ‘deadcolouring’. Other volumes focus on iconographic issues. The 2009 edition contains four articles providing divergent perspectives on the artistic tradition that developed from the peculiar story in the Gospel about the ‘woman with an issue of blood’ who touches the hem of Christ's garment in the hope of being cured… In this manner, the annual is helping to shape a new art-historical paradigm that draws on gender studies and other approaches, as in a number of contributions by exponents of a new generation of art historians such as Barbara Baert and Sofie Van Loo. The Antwerp Royal Museum Annual offers in-depth analyses about both canonical and more unfamiliar art-historical materials, with an openness towards a divergence of approaches, an eye for both intricate detail and the greater international picture, and a sensitivity to gender issues and the existential (‘anthropological’) scope and significance of the image.
All submitted articles are peer-reviewed by the members of the Editorial Board, which is comprised of Prof. Dr. Barabra Baert, KU Leuven, Prof. Dr. Anna Bergmans, UGent, Elizabeth Honig, PhD, UC Berkeley, Dr. Paul Huvenne, KMSKA, Prof. Dr. Brigitte Kurmann-Schwarz, Universität Zürich, Dr. Elizabeth McGrath, Dr. Sabine van Sprang, KMSKB-MRBAB. Other experts may also be called upon to review submissions.