You can find art all over Antwerp; from the architecture to the collections it houses, to the impressive artists who have come, and continue to come, from the city, it’s a place to revel in centuries of creativity, in all of its forms. We’ve compiled a list of the best galleries in Antwerp, from medieval collections to cutting-edge contemporary work.
The Museum of Modern Art, often abbreviated to MHKA (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst) is, without a doubt, Antwerp’s main hub of contemporary art and one of the most important museums in Belgium. Even the building itself stands out, a converted grain silo painted a stark white. Between the permanent collection, the temporary ones, and the museum’s extensive library of art texts, there’s no shortage of resources in MHKA.
Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 260 99 99
For over a decade now, Fotomuseum Antwerp has stood out from its peers as an exceptional collection of photography. The interactive museum is recognised as one of the most comprehensive and best collections of fine art photography in Europe. Displays and exhibitions change every four months, with the continuous aim to present photography as a social comment on the world around us. Alongside more classic art prints are photojournalism, documentary and fashion pieces, as well as family and advertising images. All of this is paired with regular lectures, workshops and screenings by Cinema Zuid.
Waalsekaai 47, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium, +32 3 242 93 00
For a small country, Belgium has a pretty impressive fashion heritage. From the iconic DvF to modern designers such as Raf Simmons, Dries van Noten or Martin Margiela, Belgium is firmly on the fashion scene. ModeMuseum is a massive testament to this, focusing on contemporary Belgian designers. The main collection follows Belgian fashion in a general sense, but the exhibitions are more theme-based, with previous examples including Patronen / Patterns, Knitwear in Fashion, and the use of black in fashion and costume. No matter what the collection, the curation is top-notch, and more than worth a look.
Fritz Mayer van den Bergh was a 19th century art collector who dedicated his life to his collection. He was particularly interested in 14th and 16th century works, which was lucky for him as there was limited interest from contemporary collectors. This allowed him to create a collection of over 1,000 paintings. Upon his death, his mother had a house built to store his pieces, which is now the Museum Mayer van den Bergh. Notable enough for being one of the first museums in the world to be built around an individual’s collection, it’s carried by its own merits as a museum, too.
Lange Gasthuisstraat 19, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium +32 3 338 81 88
In 1997, when he was just 27, Tim Van Laere opened his gallery on Antwerp’s Verlatstraat. Since then, the gallery has made a name for itself on the global art scene, building its reputation up into something even the most ambitious 27-year-old would be proud of. Exhibitions are varied, with international artists putting on shows on diverse themes and a gamut of different genres. The Tim Van Laere Gallery is a bastion of expression, originality, and vision in a world that is often homogenised.