Beginning 17 May, twenty works of art from the Mauritshuis in The Hague (NL) and the Royal Museum for Fine Arts Antwerp will enhance the 15th and 16th-century collection of the Groeninge Museum. The Hague and Antwerp museums are closed for renovations. The collections are being brought into other museums, amongst which is the Groeninge Museum. These long-term loans will run until the middle of 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The twenty pieces on loan were carefully selected and substantially fortify the collection of the Groeninge Museum. The works of art will then also be displayed amongst the vast collection. Within the loans pieces are works by Jan Provoost, The Master of the Legend of Saint Barbara, Jan Gossaert, The Master of Frankfurt, Bartholomeus Brüyn and Ambrosius Benson. Some of the artists are already represented in the Bruges collection, while other loan pieces will serve to frame the works within the vast assembly into a broader perspective. With a collection exchange such as this, the Groeninge Museum will direct the attention to lesser-known works or facets of its collection that have been underexposed.
The works of art that have now been given in long-term loan are normally not often loaned out. The exceptional opportunity presents itself because both the Mauritshuis and the KMSKA are closed for long-term renovations. In order to avoid the works of art being locked up in storage for a long period of time, they are thus loaned out to various museums, amongst which is the Groeninge Museum. The KMSKA, the Groeninge Museum and the MSK Ghent have already collaborated for some time now by being united under the Flemish Art Collection (VKC). It is one of the goals of the VKC to simplify and to carry out the collections' mobility capability.