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Museum of Fine Arts inherits two unusual art collections

20 Oct 2017Valerius de Saedeleer, winterlandschap in Wales ca. 1914-1918

From 21 October, the Museum of Fine Arts will boast 25 rare paintings and sculptures which have spent the past 50 years in private collections. They were bequeathed to the museum and will now gain the attention they deserve in a new room known as ‘Sint-Martens-Latem and the Leiestreek’.

The MSK will be unveiling many innovations this autumn. Alongside the reinstallation of the regular collection under the title ‘From Bosch to Tuymans: a new story’, the museum will also be presenting many new works. These works were left to the MSK and are being shown to the general public for the first time.

The legacy of Jozef and Fernand De Blieck includes rare paintings and sculptures, mainly by artists who were active in Sint-Martens-Latem and the Leiestreek region. Much of the bequest comes from the collection of Joseph De Blieck (1866-1927), a brewer, liberal politician, patron and art collector from Aalst. He was close friends with artists such as Valerius De Saedeleer and George Minne, which explains the considerable number of their works in the legacy. The collection also includes paintings by Emile Claus, Albijn Van den Abeele and Gustave Van de Woestyne. They are all valuable additions to the museum's collection.

The works have spent the past 50 years hidden away in two private collections. The MSK, which already has a strong tradition in the art of the Leiestreek, will now be able to give these long-forgotten works the attention they deserve. The bequest will enhance the current collection of works from this period, confirming the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent as a knowledge centre for Belgian art from around 1900.

Valerius de Saedeleer, winterlandschap in Wales ca. 1914-1918