In my perception, heritage has everything to do with the memory of individuals, of communities, places, time zones and nature. Heritage activates our creativity as it offers opportunities to build on legacies that is inventoried, studied, documented and preserved in treasuries such as the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, KIK-IRPA for short. A federal institution that is celebrating its 75 anniversary this year.
For KIK-IRPA, heritage is a cultural conversation with the public. “Everyone has a favorite work of art or monument that is close to his or her heart. It connects us to others, across generations. Suppose that one day that heritage is no longer there. How would you feel then?” can be read on the website. That’s why the KIK Heritage Challenge was established. For ten years, until 2030, when Belgium celebrates its 200th anniversary residents will have the opportunity to vote on heritage treasures that need urgent help.
(click on thumbnail to enlarge pictures)
© photos KIK-IRPA
From four heritage proposals, I voted for the eighteenth-century dress from the collection of the nineteenth-century Brussels painter Albert Glibert (1832-1916). Why? It was a purely emotional choice because of the romantic dress in striped silk and decorated with small floral motifs, made with love in my opinion but badly damaged by water. At the same time, such heritage can lead to discoveries. As it made me curious about this artist, who likes to go back to the past in his paintings and have his models wear historical clothing, mainly 18th century pieces that he apparently bought or acquired himself. He donated his unique collection, especially of robes à la française (sack-back gown) and robes à l’anglaise (close-bodied gown), to the Belgian state. In 1922, the acquisition by the Royal Museums of Art and History, RMAH for short of this artist’s collection of approximately 200 pieces was therefore of great importance. His paintings are on many art and auction sites.
© First three photos: Art & History Museum;
last photo; painting of Albert Glibert: courtesy Ria Cooreman, Conservator Kostuum, Kantwerk, Textiel en Wandtapijten van de KMKG, Art & History Museum Brussels