Collectie Vlaamse Gemeenschap


The M HKA holds works on permanent loan that were acquired with the budget of the Vlaamse Commissie voor Beeldende Kunst (Flemish Visual Art Committee) (1982-2002). This was initially a broad, socially-oriented and supportive policy which later took on a more specific museum orientation that focused on filling in gaps and making deliberate choices. In 2003 this policy area was absorbed into the ‘Topstukken- en Sleutelwerkenbeleid’ (Policy on Major and Key Works), and a small sum derived from this also temporarily reinforced purchasing policy at the M HKA.

Part of the present collection consists of items on permanent loan that were purchased by the Flemish Community. This purchasing tradition, guided by advisory committees, arose out of the government’s intention to support artists and to introduce art into government buildings and spaces.

A number of these artworks are part of the M HKA collection.

Of particular importance are several ensembles acquired in the latter days of this purchasing policy, when purchases were increasingly made with an eye to a museum function, and when curator Dirk Snauwaert was finally allowed to make purchases himself. This enabled several gaps to be filled that had been formed by the M HKA’s ever-decreasing ability to buy: works by David Claerbout and Harald Thys & Jos de Gruyter, ensembles by Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven and Francis Alÿs. The ‘Topstukken- en Sleutelwerkendecreet’ once again made it possible to fill a major gap; the M HKA had no proper museum piece by Panamarenko, but now the Prova Car (1967) was bought at Christie’s and several years later Zwitserse Fiets (1967) too. In 2015, the M HKA acquired Allan Sekula’s key work Ship of Fools.


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