The Brussels Museum Nocturnes are back in the capital of Europe from April 13th to May 18th, 2023. Every Thursday, six Brussels museums will open their doors from 5 to 10 pm. Thanks to a special program, organizers want to offer visitors the possibility to have a new vista on the museums’ collections and exhibitions. By having original guided tours, offering unique access to the archives or an artistic workshop, the 37 participating museums promise many surprises to visitors.
On April 13th at 5pm, the season will begin with an opening night along the Canal. A bike tour will allow visitors to discover the neighborhood’s museums, and the MIMA will host a bar and a concert in its courtyard. The Brussels Museum Nocturnes are also an opportunity to discover the city: museums in a particular neighborhood will be open the same evening, and guided walks to discover the urban heritage are to be organized as well.
This year’s program focuses on Art Nouveau: every Thursday, a visit to an emblematic house or a temporary exhibition on the subject will be offered. In December of last year, the Brussels Region announced that 2023 year would be the Art Nouveau Year as an important anniversary is being celebrated in the Capital of Europe. The Tassel House was inaugurated in Brussels in 1893, an iconic building designed by Victor Horta; it was his first ‘Art Nouveau’ construction. On the occasion of this 130th anniversary, the Brussels Region will organize several events aimed at showcasing Art Nouveau in all its splendor.
The Year of Art Nouveau program will enrich the cultural and tourist offer of our region and will reinforce its tourism assets throughout 2023.Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region
Beyond its architectural and decorative aspects, Art Nouveau was, above all, ideological. The artists, architects and craftsmen of the time, frightened by an intensifying industrialization, advocated a return to nature, to the quality and durability of manufactured objects, but also to beauty as an essential part of life.
“We are too modest compared to cities like Barcelona, that manage to make more publicity about their cultural heritage. But in reality, Brussels is the capital of the Art Nouveau”, the Brussels State Secretary responsible for Heritage, Pascal Smet, told a press conference at the Hôtel Van Eetvelde.
Art Nouveau Brussels 2023 also aims to question the obvious about Victor Horta’s work, notably through the “Victor Horta and the Grammar of Art Nouveau” exhibition at BOZAR and “Victor Horta versus Art Nouveau. Horta’s vocabulary” at the Horta Museum (March to December); as well as an physical and digital interactive experience around the stone facade of Aubecq House. Stoclet Palace, one of the capital’s most iconic buildings, will also be honored as part of the “Josef Hoffmann: Beyond Beauty and Modernity” exhibition at the Museum of Art and History.
After six evenings and the participation of 37 institutions, the Nocturnes will end on May 18th, International Museum Day. Each year, museums around the world participate on that date by sharing their actions around a common theme. This year, the themes chosen are sustainability and well-being. How can museums contribute to a sustainable world? Can well-being become a new goal for museums?
The Brussels Museum Nocturnes offer a single rate of €5 per museum (€2.5 for those under 26), as well as partnerships with the Art Nouveau Pass, the museumPASSmusées, Article 27 and Paspartoe make the museums accessible to both regular and occasional visitors.