Saturday, 11 June 2016

A visit to the Museum of Comics Art in Brussels

A while ago, me and a friend went downtown to check out a small exhibition of Brontës’ memorabilia. It was a very small exhibition, hosted in a book shop. Since it was a very small exhibition, we went through it quickly, and since it was raining, (what else?) we decided to go to the near by Museé de la Bande dessinée or the Museum of Comics Art. It is situated in a wonderful house designed by Victor Horta, the famous architect of Art Nouveau. It was built as a departement store for Magasins Waucquez. After Waucquez’ death in 1920, the building began to languish away and in 1970 the magasin closed its doors. It was only due to Jean Delhaye, a former aid to Horta, that the building was saved, and in 1975 it was acknowledged as a protected building.
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The entrance hall to the Museum


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The fantastic ceiling!
After long discussions it was finally decided in 1980 to restore the building and dedicate it to one of the most popular cultural branches in Belgium; the Comics Art! It was meant to be a hommage to Hergé, the creator of TinTin, be he himself suggested to dedicate it to the entire Belgian comics industry. Which is much, much bigger than, at least I, knew.

It is a wonderful house to start with. Just coming into the reception area you are lost among the many wonderful features of Horta’s Art Nouveau creations. The ground floor contains a museum shop, a library and a restaurant. The food is fine, but you can just look inside and admire the surroundings.

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Second floor exhibition area
Up the stairs you come to the exhibition area of the comics art. There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions. One part is dedicated to the art itself, and describes the process of creating the comic strips. It is very interesting and well explained. One can not help to admire the creators, when realising how much work goes behind the final products.

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Lucky Luke welcoming you!
There was a temporary exhibition on Frank Pé and his works. Very impressive. The permanent exhibition  shows the history of the comics strips and the most famous ones like TinTin, Asterix and Obelix, the Smurfs and Lucky Luke!

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The world of the Smurfs
If you are in Brussels it is well worth a visit. You really hit two birds with one stone by being able to enjoy the fantastic architecture as well as the history of the famous Belgian Comics Art.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like so much fun. As a young person my friend and I used to lie under the willow tree which was huge, dress the cats in doll's clothes and read any comic we could get our hands on. So lovely to have a museum devoted to them.

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