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Happy Birthday Dear Academy

08.09.2013 - 26.01.2014

The Royal Academy for Fine Arts existed 350 years in 2013. At the same time, the renowned Fashion Department turned 50. That is why the whole of Antwerp was dominated by the Academy and the clash between contemporary artistic "violence" and historical heritage.

The Royal Academy - Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerp, Antwerp Open, the MoMu, the MAS, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp and M HKA joined forces to shape the festive programme.

Fashion designer and Academy professor Walter Van Beirendonck and Dr Paul Huvenne, director of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) were looking for answers to big questions in the exhibition in the MAS: Is art a craft or a science? Does art have to be beautiful? Are you born an artist, or can you learn art? And Antwerp art, does such a thing actually exist? In this exhibition, veterans such as Jacob Jordaens, David II Teniers, Vincent Van Gogh and Laurens Alma Tadema enter into dialogue with more recent former students such as Panamarenko, Fred Bervoets and Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven. A floating reconstruction of the Academy's 17th-century showroom took the visitor back to the very beginning. Further on, current Academy students drew live from live models. A wide selection of masterpieces from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts was complemented by masterpieces from the Academy's valuable collection, (inter)national lenders and works owned by numerous renowned artists.


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