House of European History
In 1933, George Eastman, the founder of Kodak and inventor of the portable camera of that name, commissioned Swiss architect Michel Polak to build a dental clinic at his expense, making Brussels the latest in a string of cities (after Rochester, London, Rome, Paris and Stockholm) to have such an Eastman-funded facility. Polak, an adherent of modernism who was also behind the nearby Résidence Palace, designed the clinic with a restrained façade and a flat roof. Inside, a large entrance hall featuring attractive marble finishings afforded access to the offices and the children’s waiting room, which was decorated with frescoes based on Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables, painted by one of Polak’s friends, Camille Barthélémy, a well-known painter of landscapes and village scenes, originally from the Ardennes. In 2011, a modern extension was added to the building that would later host the House of European History. This museum, which was inaugurated on 6 May 2017, aims to enhance understanding of the shared past and differing experiences of Europe’s citizens. Its programme of activities includes a permanent exhibition, devoted to the history of the European continent in the 19th and 20th centuries, and temporary events.
Guided tours: “Dental clinic turned history museum: an encounter with the history of the building”: Sat. & Sun at 16:00 (in English); 14:00 (in French); 15:00 (in Dutch).
Exhibition: “Fake for Real. A History of Forgery and Falsification”. Discover fakes and falsifications throughout history, from Antiquity, through medieval and modern times, to the present day. The exhibition begins with the ancient practice of removing people from official accounts (damnatio memoriae) before moving on to forgeries in science, history and art, including the ‘deep fakes’ and ‘fake news’ of today. Uncover the historical circumstances that explain the occurrence of fakes, the motives behind them and their impact and eventual exposure.
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 18:00
Parc Léopold/Leopoldspark, Rue Belliard/Belliardstraat 135, Brussels-Extensions
By reservation only
Accessible with assistance