Study Collections: A Challenging Context for Museums and Universities


On Thursday 29th September, University of Antwerp is holding a conference introducing its study collections project that has been on going since October 2014. The aim of this conference is to discuss the results obtained during the two-year study: used methods, findings and assessment of results.

For the project two study collections were used as a case study: (1) The study collection Chris D’Hondt is used since 1994 at the University of Antwerp during the practical courses of textile conservation. The diversity and variety in materials and patterns make this collection most interesting. The collection was donated by the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in New York in 1994. Since then it has been used by students textile conservation to practice the art of pattern taking and presentation, preservation and conservation techniques & (2) Jacoba De Jonge, who collected historical costumes and accessories throughout almost all of her life, gave the largest part of her collection to MoMu. After 50 years she was in possession of a large collection of mainly 18th and 19th century clothing and accessories for men, women and children. MoMu acquired a large part of this collection in 2012, to complete its own historical collection.

Soon, MoMu will start with a new project to bring part of the collection closer to its visitors. This will happen by introducing a study collection of fashion and textile items. This study collection consists of about 850 objects that can be consulted in the reading room of the library. A wide range of items will be at present to hopefully answer many of your questions concerning patterns, fabrics and techniques.

For more practical information, please check out the website!









We are closed!

MoMu Closed Web 2016 EN
Game Changers is a wrap! We are officially closed until 16th September. We hope to see you on 17th September with our brand new expo Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia.

Museum Night at MoMu


On Saturday 6th August between 7pm and 1am, you can discover the Antwerp museums in a different light. In addition to the permanent collection and exhibitions of 22 museums in Antwerp, you can also enjoy nightly tours, summer bars, a seductive dance initiation, concerts, … But the party does not stop there because the night will go on at the Afterparty. More information about the programme


Photo: MoMu Antwerp / Stany Dederen


Photo: MoMu Antwerp / Stany Dederen

In MoMu – The Fashion Museum of Antwerp, you can enjoy the last weeks of the exhibition ‘Game Changers’. Until 14th August you can discover over 100 unique couture and ready-to-wear silhouets by Cristobal Balenciaga, Madeleine Vionnet, Gabrielle Chanel, but also Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Martin Margiela,… Entrance is free during Museum Night.


Drawing by Charlotte De Geyter Pittoors

Along with KMSKA, MoMu looks forward to its exhibition that will open during the fall (Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia from 17/09) starring the painter Rik Wouters and his 100-year death anniversary.Young fashion talent Charlotte De Geyter Pittoors graduated in 2016 from the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp with the collection ‘How To Catch a Fish’. This collection won the MoMu Award and can be seen in the MoMu Gallery.

The strong graphical qualities of her work are the basis of the collection: she imagines herself in utopian settings which celebrate the simple, natural life. For Museum Night she was inspired by Rik Wouters’ paintings, which also depict the small moments of life with a lot of colour and light, so Pittoors painted her own private utopia.

Who will win a spot in the museum?

In the past weeks, 500 artists submitted an artwork in hopes to exhibit it during Museum Night. Eleven museums judged the entries and selected 20 artworks. MoMu chose a selection from the works of Anneke Lauwaert.

Also several company managers browsed through the entries. Their selection of exceptional artworks will be displayed in the expo ‘Ongezien Talent’ at DIVA during Museum Night. For this expo, the jury carefully selected the artworks of Albert Horemans, Bob Torfs and Marie Lexmondwith MoMu director Kaat Debo

Tickets and info

The Museum Night wristband gives you access to 22 museums and shuttle buses. Presale: € 8 (at Info Culture and <26 years: € 5, <12 years: free, the evening itself in the museums: € 10

Collection, Library

New Acquisition: Video Material from Horst Wanschura

MoMu library is extremely excited to have received a generous donation from Horst Wanschura, a multibrand concept store in Stuttgart, Germany. The store has donated a ton of video material to the library including rare video footages of 80s – 90s collections of renowned fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaulthier, Junya Watanabe, Ann Demeulemeester etc. We are extremely proud to add these gems to our current collection. The next step? Digitalize all the fragile VHS material and keep them safe!


Teaser Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia

From 17|09|2016 > 26|02|2017 MoMu will presents its newest expo Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia. In collaboration with KMSKA, MoMu will unite fashion, craftsmanship and art. Starring the intimate and domestic paintings by Rik Wouters combined with silhouettes from Belgian designers and contemporary artists.



Upcoming: Rik Wouters & the Private Utopia

Rik Wouters ©KMSKA | Photo by Ronald Stoops | Graphic design by Paul Boudens

Rik Wouters ©KMSKA | Photo by Ronald Stoops | Graphic design by Paul Boudens

The theme of enchanting homeliness by painter Rik Wouters, as well as the intimate feeling of sanctity between him and his wife Nel, forms the premise of this exhibition.

In our region, Wouters was the only artist to combine Post-Impressionist painting techniques with simple domestic scenes. His expressive brush strokes and the unfinished style of his canvases give a dynamic to his work that, combined with the emphasis on lighting and colour, result in an enchanting and optimistic quality.


Rik Wouters, Tullips, 1912, oil on canvas © KMSKA – Lukasart in Flanders VZW, Photo: Hugo Maertens / Dirk Van Saene, SS 2005, Photo: Stany Dederen

In this exhibition, the contemporary movement in which people are again seeking domestic intimacy and contact with nature, the ‘slow’ movement and the renewed attention for traditional techniques, like ceramics, weaving and dyeing, are linked with the utopian philosophy from Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden.


Rik Wouters, Self Portrait With Black Eye Patch, 1915, oil on canvas © KMSKA – Lukasart in Flanders VZW, Photo: Hugo Maertens / Jan-jan Van Essche, No Man Is An Island, SS2016, © Photo: Pietro Celestina & Maud Van Haegenborgh

Various Belgian fashion designers — including Dirk Van Saene, Bruno Pieters, Christian Wijnants, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Veronique Branquinho, Martin Margiela and Jan-Jan Van Essche — give their individual interpretations to these thoughts: some by choosing specific fabrics and techniques, and others through their idiosyncratic position in fashion, in which they do not give praise to the hectic pace of the fashion world.


Rik Wouters, Kale, not dated, oil on canvas © KMSKB , Photo: J. Geleyns, RO Scan / Bernhard Willhelm, SS 2001, © Photo: Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen

This exhibition is a partnership between MoMu and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of painter Rik Wouters in 2016. The exhibition brings together work by Rik Wouters from the KMSKA collection and pieces by contemporary artists and fashion designers.

Behind the scenes, Collection

Working with the MoMu/UA Study Collection: Traditional German headware


Traditional German headware (ca. 1890)

Inventory number: 80289

Materials and techniques: Silk; Cotton; Wool; Cardboard; Metal thread (silver); Metal lamina strips; Glass beads; Stones


This hat is a beautiful example of a mixed-material object that can be found in a textile collection. It consists of a metal frame, which was completely deformed, with a silver coating, richtly ornamented with motives in silver thread and silver lamina strips, and finished with beads. The methods for conserving metal were chosen so as not to be harmful for the textile, and vice versa. The frame was carefully bent back into its proper form. Corrosion on the frame was removed by an abrasive method after which the metal was protected with a coating against the influences of oxygen. The fibres of the fragile, damaged and broken silk ribbons were stabilized on a silk support and protected by a silk crepeline. This is a method to preserve and protect the ribbons, which yields a nice uniform result and gives the viewer an idea of how the hat must have looked in its earlier days.

Words by Bernice Brigou and Natalie Ortega, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Design Sciences, research group Heritage & Sustainability. Project supported by the Flemish Government.


New Acquisition: Iris Van Herpen couture dress worn by Björk


Thanks to MoMu+Friends, MoMu has acquired a new item from the Kerry Taylor Auction: Björk’s Iris van Herpen couture off-white iridescent acrylic dress, worn for the ‘Biophilia’ tour, ‘Micro’ collection, Spring-Summer, 2012.


Björk’s Iris van Herpen couture off-white iridescent acrylic dress, worn for the ‘Biophilia’ tour, ‘Micro’ collection, Spring-Summer, 2012. the nude jersey ground applied with complex armour-like layers of fan-shaped hand and laser cut acrylic panels.

Iris van Herpen’s inspiration for this collection was scientific SEM photographs of bacilli, vermin, mites, lice and termites. She said, ‘I wanted to show the beauty of them, because in my eyes they are the most bizarre, unbelievable and most imaginative creatures imaginable’ This dress took 4 months to complete..

Impressed by the dress? Our ‘Game Changers’ expo features a few more radical dresses by Iris Van Herpen! Game Changers: Reinventing the 20th Century Silhouette until 14th August at MoMu Antwerp!


Working with the MoMu/UA Study Collection: Challenges of Black Lace


Mitten (beginning 20th century)

Materials and techniques: Lace; Cotton


The presentation of lace poses a challenge because of its transparency, especially when it is a three dimensional object. A second year student was given the assignment to think of a combined presentation/preservation solution and to study the materials and technology of this black lace mitten, followed by a conservation treatment. The mitten came into the study collection, stuffed in a plastic bag, wrinkled and damaged with lacunas. Relaxation of fibres and creases was achieved with ultrasonic cold steam. The entire mitten was then doubled on a support of white tulle. Lacunas were camouflaged by local colouring of the tulle in black. A white silk cushion was made to match the exact form of the mitten: it provides a perfect support and enables the viewer to clearly see the design of the lace.

Words by Bernice Brigou and Natalie Ortega, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Design Sciences, research group Heritage & Sustainability. Project supported by the Flemish Government.


Antwerp Academy: SHOW2016

Photo: Ronald Stoops

Photo: Ronald Stoops

On June 10th & 11th 2016, the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts – Artesis Plantijn University College presents its annual fashion show at Park Spoor Noord in Antwerp.

SHOW2016 will be held on Friday June 10th and Saturday June 11th. Students from all four years will show their work in a new and challenging environment to a varied and interested audience of over 4,000 fashion enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world. An international jury of experts in fashion and creativity judges their collections and installations. The show is repeated two evenings in a row. Save the date and reserve your tickets!