Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp

The library collection of the KMSKA is closely related to the museum collection and contains primarily publications on Western European art from the period 1200 up to the 1970s. The emphasis is on painting, drawing, graphic and sculpture from the Low Countries. One of the strong points is the Flemish Primitives.

The library collection of the KMSKA is actually started in 1904, when conservator Pol de Mont began his research for the writings of a collection's catalogue and for this he collected the necessary academic publications. With the split betwen the Academy for Fine Arts of Antwerp and the new museum in 1895, there were merely a handful of books brought over from the academy's library to the museum. In the 1920s, the library received a great deal of material by way of gifts or legate, and in addition to the library an archive was establised for handwritten documents, letters, prints and photographs. In 1949, a fully fledged museum library came about with a reading room and depository space. The librarians were at the same time conservator and researcher for the institution.

Through its history, the library also obtained a few interesting partial collections. The most important of these is without a doubt the legate of Oscar Nottebohm, which was granted in 1936. In 1998, the KMSKA obtained a part of the library of the International Cultural Centre (ICC) in Antwerp, ca. 5690 items.

Practical information:

Visits can be made by appointment (by telephone or via e-mail). The library is open for visits from Monday through Friday, from 9u00 until 12u00 and from 13u00 until 16u00. Free access for students, researchers and individuals. The library is wheelchair accessible. The publications are only to be consulted on location, inclusive of making copies. Visit the website of the KMSKA for further information concerning the facilities and the library regulation.

Where: Lange Kievitstraat 137
2018 Antwerp
Persons Responsible: Ingrid De Pourcq (Librarian) and Inez Bourgeois (Archivist)
Contact: archibib@kmska.be
Telephone: 0032 3 224 95 81
Online catalogue: