Exhibitions @ EgmontPalace

Affiche Art & Diplomacy

Since 2012, exhibitions are held every year at the Egmont Palace at the occasion of July 21st. These exhibitions reach a diverse audience, ranging from 5,000 to 12,000 visitors, including heritage adepts, art lovers, Brussels fanatics, tourists as well as accidental curious passers-by. For this eighth edition of the summer exhibition, the Egmont Palace is playing a sort of home game. As a still rather unknown heritage pearl and a temple of diplomacy, the Egmont Palace is opening its doors to the 'art & diplomacy' exhibition. 

Art and diplomacy are not obvious bedfellows. The world of diplomacy is one of consensus and compromise, of protocol rules and legislative frameworks, of ironing out issues and working discreetly. Art and artists, on the other hand, have a rebellious and contrarian image, or are at least regarded as critical and questioning. They don't shy away from trampling over the established order, and they don't care about being labelled. This exhibition explores both worlds, away from the clichéd image we have of them. After all, wasn't Rubens also known for his diplomatic talents?

Based on 6 perspectives, works of art by 25 artists from the art collection of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and a few didactic objects, such as an ambassador’s costume, scale models of Belgian embassies, documents from the archives, various aspects of Belgian diplomacy and embassies are highlighted. Through those perspectives, ‘building up the dialogue’, ‘at your service’, ‘conversation pieces’, ‘it’s a risky business’, ‘fading memory’ and ‘food for thought’ the visitor gets an impression about the real estate, the public service functions, the cultural diplomacy, the life in an outpost and the culinary diplomacy.

Artists: Sven Augustijnen, Ruben Bellinkx, Guy Bleus, Marcel Ceuppens, Mon Colonel & Spit, Carl De Keyzer,  Ronny Delrue, Wim Delvoye, Thierry Falisse, Emmanuel Kervyn, Lieven Lefere, Emilio Lopez-Menchero, Vincent Meessen, Johan Muyle, Otobong Nkanga, Hans Op de Beeck, Max Pinckers, Marie-Françoise Plissart, Bernard Queeckers, Ana Torfs, Luc Tuymans, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Catharina Van Eetvelde, Yves Velter

Curator: Ilse Dauwe

Egmont Palace, 8, Petit Sablon, 1000 Brussels, 22/07-30/08/2019, 12-6 pm (closed 15/08, 16/08 and weekends)

Some pictures (© Jean-Pol Schrauwen):








Come and discover this fascinating world in the Egmont Palace and/or here already in
the  publication (PDF, 2.41 MB)!

More information?

Cultural heritage at the Egmont Palace

The Egmont Palace is situated in the cultural heart of the city, at a stone’s throw from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Bozar, the Royal Palace and the Petit Sablon. It could be a perfect tourist attraction. Therefore, the FPS Foreign Affairs wishes to make the cultural heritage of the Egmont Palace more accessible to the general public, e.g. by organizing the yearly summer exhibitions and by creating publications such as  Art@Egmontpalace (PDF, 2.16 MB).

These activities organized in the Egmont Palace are supported by the internal art committee of Foreign Affairs and are part of the bigger picture of the art policy of Foreign Affairs. 

Any questions?

Art policy of Foreign Affairs

The art collection of the Belgian MFA is created around 1830, and mainly after WWII, when most of the diplomatic postings opened their doors. The collection consists of more than 4500 collection pieces and is worldwide spread, in the diplomatic postings in more than 240 buildings. The management of the collection is a shared responsibility. The policy is formulated by the art collection department in Brussels and is supported by the organization. The art policy plan is in 2013 validated by the board of directors. Since then, an external art purchase and advisory committee and an internal art committee are established. More information about the art collection, the policy and the management can be found in the brochure  Art in the Belgian Embassies (PDF, 4.35 MB). Some publications on large and recent realized art projects give an insight of the context of the way the artworks are displayed, like the publication of Kinshasa ( Dutch (PDF, 4.35 MB) -  French (PDF, 4.25 MB)) and  New Delhi (PDF, 6 MB). On the website an overview of the artists represented in the art collection of the Belgian MFA can be found.