Visits / Exhibition  

Charlier Museum

In 1890, art lover and collector Henri Van Cutsem acquired two adjacent neoclassical-style buildings looking out onto the street that is now called Avenue des Arts/Kunstlaan. While the first – a four-bay building dating from 1844, which he inherited – remained intact, the second was demolished and rebuilt in order to create a unified whole. The front layout remained unchanged but at the rear Van Cutsem commissioned Victor Horta, a fledgling architect at the time, to extend and convert the stables.Between 1890 and 1893, Horta created two galleries topped with metal skylights and a new façade on the Rue de la Charité/Liefdadigheidsstraat side. These long glass-covered spaces maximised the light, showing off the painting and sculpture collections to their best advantage. Inside, display cases, also attributed to Horta, acted as partitions to break up the space. These works foreshadow later features of the Art Nouveau master's work: the fluidity and transparency of the interior spaces and the use of exposed metal, both inside the building and on the façades. In 1904, Van Cutsem bequeathed the house to sculptor Guillaume Charlier, who gifted it to the Municipality of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode/Sint-Joost-ten-Node in 1925. (Listed 15/07/1993)

Practical information

Sun. only, 10:00 to 17:00

Avenue des Arts/Kunstlaan 16 – Saint-Josse-ten-Noode/Sint-Joost-ten-Node

Advance booking not required

Accessible with assistance

Accessible with assistance