At home in a museum: a book about Henriëtte and Fritz Mayer van den Bergh
‘At home in a museum. The story of Henriëtte and Fritz Mayer van den Bergh’ is available for purchase from 22 June 2021. This illustrated book delves deeper into the origins and fascinating history of the Museum Mayer van den Bergh and its founders. The book, which is supplemented with quotes and previously unpublished 19th-century photos, chronicles the Belle Epoque in Antwerp and the relations between an international network of collectors, antiques dealers, art historians and museum founders. ‘At home in a museum’ by Ulrike Müller is published by Hannibal Books and is available for purchase in the museum shop or online.
‘Rather than becoming my property, the art objects that my son collected, which he left to me, have been given to me for safekeeping.’Henriëtte Mayer van den Bergh
‘At home in a museum. The story of Henriëtte and Fritz Mayer van den Bergh’ describes the extraordinary story behind the origins of the Museum Mayer van den Bergh. Today it is mainly known as the museum where Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s famous painting Mad Meg is on display. But above all it is a monument to two people, Henriëtte Mayer van den Bergh (1838−1920) and Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858−1901). Fritz, who had a keen interest in the Middle Ages and the renaissance, amassed the entire collection. After his untimely and unexpected death, his mother Henriëtte had the building erected as a repository for his beloved artworks. As such, she succeeded in preserving this unique collection while keeping the memory to her son alive.
‘His study revealed his personality: it was a delicate, tiny sanctuary, where a large variety of artworks and precious books made the fortunate visitor forget all about time.’August Delbeke on Fritz Mayer van den Bergh
‘At home in a museum’ is the first publication to highlight the crucial role that Henriëtte van den Bergh played in the creation of this museum. The book is based on in-depth archival research, mapping the family background of a mother and her son and their international network, their passions, and their modus operandi.
‘At home in a museum. The story of Henriëtte en Fritz Mayer van den Bergh’ is published by Hannibal Books and is available for purchase in the shop of the Museum Mayer van den Bergh for 39.95 euros. With the much-appreciated support of the Museum’s Regents.
About the author
Ulrike Müller is an art historian specialising in the history of collections and museums in Belgium. She obtained her PhD in 2019 with a thesis on private collectors of art and antiques and their role in public cultural life in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent during the long 19th century (c. 1780−1914). She is currently employed as a researcher in the Museum Mayer van den Bergh. She is also a postdoctoral researcher with the Centre for Urban History at the University of Antwerp.
- Available from 22 June 2021
- Published in Dutch and English
- Finishing Hardcover Number of pages 240
- Size 24 x 17 cm Retail price €39.95
- English edition ISBN 978 94 6388 771 7
- Available for purchase in the museum shop or online at www.hannibalbooks.be (international shipping available)
- With the much-appreciated support of the Museum’s Regents.
Meet Henriette. Rendezvous with a visionary woman
In parallel with the publication At home in a museum, the museum is hosting Meet Henriëtte. Rendez-vous with a visionary woman. In this presentation, visitors can find out more about the story of Henriëtte and her role as the founder of the museum and a woman with a visionary idea. Meet Henriëtte is presented in the museum’s salon and studio. Here in this private space, visitors can take a seat and find out more about Henriëtte and her eventful life, in the same way that privileged guests would have sat down with her here in 1904 before she gave them an exclusive tour of the house and collection. Meet Henriëtte is an audio-visual presentation for which visitors must use the audio guide.
- Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Lange Gasthuisstraat 19, 2000 Antwerpen, www.museummayervandenbergh.be
- Maximum two visitors per hour.
- Tickets: € 8 / 6 / 0 via www.museummayervandenbergh.be
- Visits only on presentation of the ‘Meet Henriette’ ticket. After your visit to the presentation, you can visit the rest of the museum.
- The use of an audio guide is essential. Audio tours are available in Dutch, French, German and English. Audio guides can be borrowed, provided you use your own Android earbuds or headphones with a mini-jack connection. Wireless earbuds and headphones cannot be connected. Audio guides are disinfected after each use.
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Nadia De Vree