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.

Contemporary art and 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 Belgium, with world-famous works of art from Belgium and abroad. 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. In addition, the museum displays different works of art by contemporary artists from all corners of the world every three months. The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art (S.M.A.K.) is a place for experiment and innovation, which sheds light on what will be important in the future. 

The Broodthaerskabinet

Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century art history. The impact of his activities as an artist was not only noticed in his own country at the time. He also made his international breakthrough quickly and the image of his work is permanent. The Broodthaerskabinet is a permanent presentation of works of art, editions, books and archive pieces by Marcel Broodthaers from the museum’s collection.

From art mogul Jan Hoet to world citizen Philippe Van Cauteren

Under the inspiring leadership of the controversial curator and ‘art mogul’ Jan Hoet, the former ‘contemporary art wing’ of the MSK was given its own museum, the S.M.A.K. Fifteen years ago, Philippe Van Cauteren took the helm of the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art. He looks at the art world with an open mind and keeps a keen eye on the relationship between art and a changing society.

‘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. for kids

Kids are always welcome at S.M.A.K. Whether exploring a major exhibition or visiting the Imaginary Museum in Citadelpark, they will be inspired by works of art and learn to attribute meaning to art themselves.

Le Musée et son Double

In the coming years, S.M.A.K. aims to permanently present 500 works from the collection and continue to invite contemporary artists. The current S.M.A.K. museum stays at the same location, but will get a branch on the other side of Floraliënhal, in the former casino. The masterplan also proposes to open up Floraliënhal and build an underground floor to create more storage space. 

Wilde Weide

You can finish your visit to the museum in the S.M.A.K.-café aka Wilde Weide.


S.M.A.K. Shop

In the museum shop of the S.M.A.K., you can find art books for people of all ages, posters, cycling jerseys and postcards, among other things.

Online ticketing S.M.A.K.

Prefer not to wait in line at the ticket booth? Want to be sure you can discover the S.M.A.K. when you want to? Then book your tickets online in advance and enjoy your visit to the fullest.

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