About the museum

Fritz Mayer van den Bergh collected some 6,000 works of art in the space of barely ten years. After his sudden death in 1901, his mother Henriette was left with her son’s unfulfilled wish: to open a museum devoted to his breathtaking collection. She accomplished that wish in 1904, since when the Mayer van den Bergh Museum has been a mother’s intimate homage to her deceased son.

A museum by connoisseurs, for connoisseurs

Visitors to the museum enter a world full of paintings, altarpieces, sculpture, manuscripts and tapestries. Each one displayed in an atmospheric interior, full of delicate little art treasures. Most of all, you sense Fritz’s passion and his connoisseur’s eye, together with a mother’s love for her son. The masterpieces include one of the greatest works in Western cultural history: Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Mad Meg (‘Dulle Griet’).

 

Not to be missed

Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Mad Meg (‘Dulle Griet’), 1563.

‘Mad Meg’ is Bruegel’s most mysterious painting. The meaning of this volcanic work has yet to be deciphered. It is the museum’s absolute masterpiece, Fritz’s purchase of which in 1894 was a boyhood dream come true. Since the painting’s conservation treatment, its stunning colours and tiny details are once again visible.

Christ and St John group by Master Heinrich of Constance, c. 1280–90

This life-size statue of Christ and his young apostle John is a unique work, which stands out for its exceptional emotional power.

The family portraits of Cornelis de Vos, c. 1625

This series of paintings of the Vekemans family offers an especially luxurious domestic snapshot of 17th-century Antwerp. It was painted by the celebrated portraitist Cornelis de Vos and consists of five panels, all of which can be seen in the museum.

The museum’s impressive library

Fritz Mayer van den Bergh wanted to create a welcoming, homely atmosphere in his museum – something new for the time. His mother fulfilled his wish after his death. Today’s museum still has a special charm due to its historical furnishings, including the gold leather wall coverings, the magnificently crafted cupboards and doors and the imposing mantelpieces.

Henriette’s salon and studio

Henriette used these rooms to serve tea to important visitors and deal with her museum-related correspondence. The portrait of her at the age of 19 also hangs here. The atmosphere is perfect for the displayed selection of Chinese porcelain, Delft pottery, Japanese items and beautiful textile fragments.

Henriëtte Van den Bergh

Photo: Ans Brys.

 

Programme 2021 and 2022

Madonna meets Mad Meg. Masterpieces and Their Collectors

  • Until January 9, 2022
  • For groups and individual visitors

Impoverished, nondescript, weird or downright ugly: that’s how contemporaries of Florent van Ertborn (1784–1840) and Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858–1901) viewed Fouquet’s Madonna and Bruegel’s Dulle Griet (‘Mad Meg’). Fortunately, the two collectors took another view. They broke completely with the fashions of their time in their quest for that one special masterpiece. And there were plenty of them. Featuring outstanding works from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA), which is currently closed for renovation.

You can find more information about the exhibition here.

Meet Henriette

  • From 9 March 2021 to 9 January 2022
  • Individual visitors only

A museum as homage: this is what Henriette van den Bergh (1838–1920) achieved in the space of barely three years. After the sudden death of her son Fritz, she realized his unfulfilled wish: to open a museum devoted to his breathtaking collection. High time for a rendez-vous with this visionary woman. Meet Henriette is presented in the museum’s salon and studio, where you can get to know Mrs Van den Bergh and her eventful life-story in words and pictures.

More details of the presentation can be found here.

 

Renovation

The Mayer van den Bergh Museum is working behind the scenes on the museum’s expansion. More news on the scope and timing will be available here shortly.

 

Tours

The Mayer van den Bergh Museum organizes two guided tours for groups of adults. Groups with their own guides are not permitted.

Please note that it is not possible to book tours for the time being because of the Covid-19 epidemic. When group visits are permitted once more, the number of participants will be limited for as long as Covid restrictions are in place.

Duration

90 minutes

Capacity

  • Max. 10 persons per guide while Covid restrictions apply
  • Max. 15 persons per guide when Covid restrictions are lifted 

Languages

NL – ENG – FR – DUI – SP – IT

Price guided tour

€ 105; not including museum entry fee (€ 8 p.p. or, for groups of 12 or more: € 6 p.p.) The museum has a listening system, so that the guide can be heard perfectly.

Reservation

info@experienceantwerp.be
+32 3 205 56 05
www.experienceantwerp.be

More info

  • You can find more information here about tours of the Madonna Meets Mad Meg exhibition.
  • More information about tours of the museum’s permanent collection is available here.

Portretten van Vekemans

Photo: Ans Brys.

 

Practical information

Address, opening hours, accessibility

You can find all the practical information about our address, opening hours and accessibility here.

Getting here by bus

The D’Herbouvillekaai coach park: free, no booking required. The new coach park is located to the south of Antwerp. There is a Kiss-and-Ride zone at the Plantinkaai, where coach drivers can also stop to drop off and collect visitors to the city. Gedempte Zuiderdokken coach park: paid parking, intended for short stays.

Coming to Antwerp by car? Please bear in mind that the whole of central Antwerp is a Low Emission Zone. Register your car before setting off for Antwerp and check whether you’re allowed to enter the LEZ.

Admission

NB: group visits can’t be booked for the time being because of the Covid-19 epidemic. When group visits are permitted once more, the number of participants will be limited for as long as Covid restrictions are in place.

  • € 8: standard admission
  • € 6: trade rate, tradetarief, groups minimum 12 persons*, 65 +, young people between the ages of 12 and 26 years 
  • Free: children under 12, Gratis: -12jaar, Antwerp City Card holders, Museum Pass holders

* Subject to change

The ticket price for visiting the Mayer van den Bergh Museum is due to change on 1 September 2021. You can find full details of the new ticket prices here.

Book your tickets here

Details of how to book guides can be found under ‘Tours’. 

Audio guides

Audio tours are available in Dutch, French, German and English. Audio guides can be borrowed, provided you use your own Android earbuds or headphones with a mini-jack connection. Wireless earbuds and headphones cannot be connected. Audio guides are disinfected after each use.

 

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Contact

Press

Nadia De Vree
nadia.devree@antwerpen.be
+ 32 475 36 71 96
pers.museummayervandenbergh.be

Marketing & communication

Harlinde Pellens
harlinde.pellens@antwerpen.be
+ 32 475 85 52 53