Three thematic exhibitions in 2012 and 2013 explored different aspects of the collection. The exhibitions were in-depth investigations of three topics: the craft of the artist through the eyes of the model, the work of one of the painters from Ghent in the collection, and the creation of the museum collection through close bonds with donors and collectors.
Three explorations of the collection
The first exhibition was dedicated to the 17th century Antwerp artist Abraham Grapheus, who has gone down in history as the model for paintings by artists such as Jacob Jordaens.
The second exhibition was a tribute to Théo van Rysselberghe, born in Ghent 150 years ago. Besides his painting De Lezing door Emile Verhaeren, the museum owns numerous paintings, drawings, graphic works and books that were shown together for the first time at this exhibition.
Finally, ‘The Art of Giving’ investigated the role that gifts and bequests had played in the history of the museum’s collection. Works by Hieronymus Bosch, Frans Hals, Erich Heckel, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacopo Tintoretto, George Minne and Anthony van Dyck that were donated in the distant or more recent past have made – and still make – a significant contribution to the museum’s international reputation.