Lovers of contemporary art absolutely can’t afford to miss a visit to the S.M.A.K. during their weekend in Ghent. The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, or S.M.A.K. for short (in Dutch), was founded in 1999 and is located opposite the MSK in a former casino building.

The collection

The city of Ghent is known for its rebelliousness, and its contemporary art museum is every bit as dynamic and unconventional as Ghent itself. The collection is considered to be the most important collection of contemporary art in Flanders, with world-famous works of art from Belgium and abroad. Every four months, the museum exhibits a selection of these works in alternation with original, often daring exhibitions.

The Broodthaerskabinet

Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century art history. The Broodthaerskabinet is a permanent presentation of works of art, editions, books and archive pieces by Marcel Broodthaers from the museum’s collection. The impact of his artistic practice was not only felt in his own country during his lifetime. He soon made his international breakthrough as well, with work that forms a lasting legacy.

Popular hero Jan Hoet, the art pope of Ghent

Under the inspiring leadership of the controversial curator and ‘art pope’ Jan Hoet, the former ‘contemporary art wing’ of the MSK was given its own museum, the S.M.A.K. The permanent collection at this museum for contemporary art includes top Belgian and international works of art by Cobra, pop art, minimal art, conceptual art and arte povera artists, who are now among the most famous artists in the world. 

‘The Man who Measures the Clouds’

Take a look at the sculpture by Jan Fabre on the roof: the body of ‘The Man who Measures the Clouds’ is modelled on Fabre himself, but the face belongs to his dead brother. Standing on a stepladder with open arms, a man is trying to measure the fleeting clouds. It’s a metaphor for artists, philosophers and scientists trying to reach higher goals deemed unattainable, such as absolute beauty.

S.M.A.K.-café

You can finish your visit to the museum in the S.M.A.K. café.

Online ticketing S.M.A.K.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the number of visitors is limited and it is advisable to book a ticket in advance. Wearing a face mask is mandatory (+12 years).
Book your tickets here!

Out in a group?

You can schedule your group visit online through the link below. The staff at BOEKjeBEZOEK will get back to you as soon as possible with all the necessary the details of your reservation.
Book your group visit online
The information continues beneath the illustrations.

CityCard Gent: a must-have for your visit to Ghent

You can buy the CityCard Gent here