The museum Dhondt-Dhaenens is a private foundation recognised by the Flemish Government. As a museum, it makes publicly accessible important modern and contemporary private collections with a social relevance. As a contemporary art centre, it aims to play an active role in the international art field.
Since 2005, with the arrival of Joost Declercq as museum director, a two track approach has been adopted: the museum operations include both the research and presentation of modern art of the twentieth century and a function as contemporary art centre. The key concerns of the past have been retained: respect for the wishes of the founders and using the specificity of the buildings and the location of the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens as the basis of all activities.
As for the contemporary art operations, the focus mainly lies on the elaboration of individual exhibition projects. Unlike group exhibitions, this form of exhibition can create a better picture of the intrinsic value of a particular artist. The Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens aims to be a close partner for the artist. The joint development of a project, the mutual questioning and supporting in the quest for the meaning and function of art are key issues. In other words, the museum ca not be a place for merely showing "the beautiful object", but creates in the first place a mental space for dialogue, reflection, experimentation and creation.
Through its contemporary art operations the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens aims to create exhibitions with artists who have been pivotal in certain artistic trends of the last decades but who have not been consistently shown Flanders (or elsewhere). Often, these projects represent a key moment in the career of the artist. The Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens does not want to limit itself to one single type of trend but is open to the diversity of the contemporary art world.
In recent years, the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens has built a strong tradition of cooperation with artists who question the museum as an institution, the position of the artist or the fundamental relationship with the visitor. These radical projects are often controversial and quite often lead to violent reactions from the viewers. There were for instance in recent years the high-profile projects with artists such as Santiago Sierra, Gregor Schneider, Robert Kusmirowski, Thomas Zipp, and Thomas Hirschhorn, as well as others.
In terms of its museum operations, the museum Dhondt- Dhaenens is primarily concerned with a nuanced historical contextualization of recent art history as well as the ongoing updating of its views on the works of artists represented in the permanent collection. Given the Museum’s historically-grown sensitivity for the significance of the committed art collector, we pay special attention to giving public access to and presenting interesting Flemish private collections. In this way, the museum presented the collection Roger and Hilda Matthys-Colle in 2007, the collection Wilfried and Yannicke Cooreman in 2009 and will present the Collection Tony Herbert in 2011. Giving public access to the collections also forces the museum to reflect on the relationship between public and private and helps in finding new forms of collaboration models and management agreements.
HOW TO REACH
From Ghent Sint-Pieters railwaystation (Koningin Maria-Hendrikaplein):
Busline 34 (direction Sint-Martens-Latem - De Pinte) -35-36
There's one bus every hour (h07) / busride takes about 25'
Busstop: Philippe de Denthergemlaan / De Smetdreef
The busstop is at about 500m walking distance from the museum Dhondt-Dhaenens.
Check for detailed time-table
Take the E40 highway (Ghent - Oostende) and get off at exit 14 / Sint-Denijs-Westrem. Follow N43 (Kortrijksesteenweg) in the direction of Deinze. At the second roundabout, take the first exit at your right to the Pontstraat (Deurle). Follow this street for 1.3 km and turn toward the right onto the Philippe de Denthergemlaan. The first street on your left is the Museumlaan. Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens is on your left at the end of the Museumlaan.
There are many enjoyable cycling routes that lead to the museum Dhondt-Dhaenens. From Ghent, via the cycling network, it is approximately 18 km biking to the museum. Check the bike route planner on the website of Toerisme Leiestreek for more details.
The brochure “Cycle Network: Beacons of art on the Lys” is available to visitors at the museum. This guide features two themed tours along the main cultural attractions and museums on the Lys. (price: € 3,00)
€ 7,00 (individual)
€ 5,00 (reduction)
free (icom - international council of museums)