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Collectie MAS (AE.0619) Foto: MAS Antwerpen (Bart Huysmans en Michel Wuyts)

100 x Congo

A century of Congolese art in Antwerp

Exactly one hundred years ago the Congolese collection of the city of Antwerp came into being, in all-out colonial times. 100 X Congo features one hundred highlights. What stories are hidden behind the objects? How did they end up here? What did they mean to Congolese peoples? And where lies the future of the collection?

Here you will find how early contacts between Europe and Africa went. How Antwerp masters depicted Africans. Why Congolese men and women were staged at the world fairs. During colonization the missionary work had its impact on Congolese culture. And how did Congolese people perceive the white man (mundele)?

For this exhibition the museum collaborates with Belgian and Congolese researchers, filmmakers and artists. We engage in dialogue with Antwerp residents of Belgian and Congolese descent. The MAS invites you: think along with us about the imaging of Africans and about the past, the present and the future of  the Congolese collection.

With the exhibition also comes a publication. This is for sale in the MAS shop or online. Please contact

Practical information

100 x Congo. A century of Congolese art in Antwerp

3/10/2020 - 12/09/2021

Book tickets

A powerful image of a standing female figure
whose head averts the viewer's direct gaze,
AE.0609, Collection City of Antwerp, MAS,
photo: Michel Wuyts

The MAS would like to thank the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika) in Tervuren for its collaboration by arranging for exceptional loans from the permanent collection to come to Antwerp, and for co-financing the French-language publication. Both museums pursue a common goal in research and transfer of knowledge about heritage.


The exhibition '100 x Congo. A century of Congolese art in Antwerp' focuses, among other things, on the Antwerp World Fair of 1894. At the time, 144 Congolese were shipped to Antwerp as an attraction for the European public. Based on never-before-published sources from the Antwerp Felix city archives, the MAS shows that a number of them became seriously ill and died here at the time.

However, recent further research has revealed that it was 7 Congolese and not 8, as stated in the expo. Manguesse and Monguene appear to be the same person with different spellings. We misinterpreted that. Sabo, Bitio, Isokoyé, Manguesse, Binda, Mangwanda and Pezo did not make the return trip home and are buried in the Schoonselhof. They were all between the ages of 17 and 31. The MAS apologizes for this misinformation in the expo.

About the exhibition

Afrikaans beeld van een vrouw

Visitor guide 100 x Congo

A century of Congolese art in Antwerp

100 x Congo is an exhibition with two itineraries. The digital visitor guide gives you all the context you need.


An exhibition with multiple voices

For the exhibition, the MAS collaborates with Belgian and Congolese artists, filmmakers and researchers. An overview.

In many hands

A multimedia project by Faire-Part

In the multimedia project 'In many hands' twenty-five people shine their light on the Congolese collection of the city of Antwerp. They speak about an object of choice from the one hundred highlights in the exhibition.

Also worth visiting

Congoville is a temporary exhibition about the traces of the (post)colonial history on the Middelheim site. Several artists of African origin take the visitor in tow.


Join a guided tour on Sunday

Spontaneous visit to the MAS on a Sunday? No need to miss out on a guided tour, because our guides are waiting for you in the temporary exhibition. During a Walk & Talk, you can talk to the curator of the expo.

See also

In memoriam

Jacob Sabakinu Kivilu 10/10/1945 - 08/01/2021

It is with fond memories and the utmost respect that the MAS says goodbye to Jacob Sabakinu Kivilu, an esteemed bridge-builder between Congolese and Belgian universities and museums.

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