A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I headed to the STAM city museum in Ghent. It basically gives you an overview of the history of Ghent in all its glory. This time they also had an temporary exposition about De Vooruit, a festival and arts centre built by the Belgian socialist cooperative in 1913. Now it functions as an independent cultural arts center, which has become a very popular place-to-be with the local crowd. To celebrate its 100-year anniversary, STAM has put together an exposition about the building, which tells the story from it’s beginning until now.
Because Vooruit was – and still is- such a big landmark during my student years (well, I’m still a student, but you know what I mean) I thought it would be interesting to get to know the history of this beautiful building.
A couple of years ago I saw Miranda July’s film The Future during the Ghent Filmfestival. She was there herself to answer some of the questions from the audience.
Not only does Vooruit host all kinds of cultural expositions and shows, it also rents out its concert venue to artists and organizations to perform or to organize big parties. Here’s a poster from the first I Love Techno party that was held in Vooruit in 1995. My boyfriend, the Daft Punk-fanatic he is, was looking high and low for this poster as proof they did once perform in the small venue of Vooruit. Don’t think they will perform there again in the near future.
Vooruit café is another popular part of the whole Vooruit-venue. At the end of the tour you could take a test and win a 50% coupon for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (yes, I am a cheapo).
Of course there is always a permanent exhibition, and at STAM citymuseum, it’s (what’s in a name) about the city of Ghent. It shows you the rich history of this kind of forgotten city in Europe.
This must be the most famous room of the museum. The floor is covered with an enlarged aerial photo of the city of Ghent. In the middle there’s a replica of the city centre. I’m sure every visitor living in Ghent has looked for their home on the map.
The sexy part about this room is wearing these shoe-bag-thingies to keep the floor tidy and neat.
This was actually my second time visiting the museum. The first time was during Museumnight, when all the museums in Ghent open their doors for free to the public. I don’t remember that much of it, just because it was so crowded. Being here for the second time, without the mass almost crushing each other. You actually get to see the museum and take nice and decent pictures without everyone running through your shot!
Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the painting The Just Judges (Rechtvaardige Rechters) by Jan van Eyck, which got stolen in 1934 and has never been found. This whole room is dedicated to the theft, the ransom and the theories around the infamous painting.
At the end of the museum tour, there’s a huge table filled with white lego pieces and three big lego-replica’s of famous buildings in Ghent. Visitors can make their own version of Ghent with the lego-pieces and show how they’d like to see the city in the future.
More information about the museum you can find here. You can visit the Vooruit and all its rooms and venues until the 27th of October.