The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) had not even closed its doors for renovation yet, when it opened a new exhibition with 19th and 20th century art at Koningin Fabiolazaal, also in Antwerp.
When the KMSKA closed its doors in April for the most comprehensive renovation in the history of the museum, its extensive collection spread out to venues across the city. The exhibition Masterpieces in the MAS. Five centuries of images in Antwerp, at the brand-new Museum Aan de Stroom, primarily includes pieces from the collection of the Old Masters. The equally important subcollection of 19th and 20th century art will be showcased at Koningin Fabiolazaal, a centrally located exhibition space in Jezusstraat, in a joint initiative by the KMSKA and the Province of Antwerp.
The KMSKA collection consists of around 7,600 artworks. No fewer than 5,000 of these pieces date from the 19th and 20th centuries. During the museum’s temporary closure, varying selections from this rich collection of modern art will be put on display at Koningin Fabiolazaal. The opening exhibition, entitled The Moderns. Highlights from the Royal Museum, presented some 50 artistic highlights from the past two centuries. Visitors were offered a taste of the museum’s sumptuous holdings, including the very best work by, among other artists, Henri De Braekeleer, Theo Van Rysselberghe, Emile Claus, James Ensor, Amedeo Modigliani, Rik Wouters, Gustave Van De Woestyne, Constant Permeke and Fernando Botero. The exhibition ran until early 2012. It will be followed by six-monthly displays of other 'The MODERNS'-selections, each focusing on a different aspect of 19th and 20th century art.