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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
100 x Congo. A century of Congolese art in Antwerp
3/10/2020 - 12/09/2021
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.