In 2011 the Antwerp City Museums have been much in the news. The MAS | Museum aan de Stroom opened its doors on 17 May, and the number of visitors has exceeded all expectations. The Middelheim Museum welcomed the individualistic Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, and the Rubens House focused attention on a lesser known side of the great artist by mounting the exhibition Palazzo Rubens. The Master as Architect.
The Museum Mayer van den Bergh presented, in its exhibition The Burcht, the story of the lost heart of Antwerp, the historical area around the Steen. The Plantin-Moretus/Printroom displayed work by the contemporary artists Anne-mie Van Kerckhoven and Peter De Koninck, and drew upon its own unique collection of prints for several small but superb presentations.
In 2012 the Middelheim Museum will undergo a complete makeover. The MAS will organise a number of activities to look back on its first year, and the Red Star Line Museum (picture) will celebrate its pre-opening year. The Museum Plantin-Moretus/Printroom will highlight its collection of old and new masters, as well as the great Mercator.
The Museum Mayer van den Bergh and the House of Literature will mount exhibitions of ‘hidden’ work by two other masters of Belgian origin: painter Pieter Bruegel and writer Louis Paul Boon.