House of Literature
At a literary archival institution such as the House of Literature (Letterenhuis), perhaps one does not expect that also in the collection artists’ archives, or even art objects are found that are related to Modernism.
It regularly occurs that plastic work is also found in writers’ archives. For example, works from befriended artists. Or, work from artists with whom the writer has collaborated with in a publication, such as Het Overzicht. And, naturally, there are the ‘double artists’ such as Paul van Ostaijen, of whom a great deal of archive material the House of Literature has collected over the course of time, though also drawings, sketches and collages.
In addition to this, the House of Literature houses archives of artists such as Paul Joostens and Jozef Peeters, which contain not only correspondences, texts and journals, but also sketches, drawings and designs. The archives of art critics who were also artists also contain lots of relevant material: Michel Seuphor, of whom previously the archive was acquired by the Friends of the Middelheim Museum was then handed over to the House of Literature, contained a trove of (primarily documentary) plastic work and numerous photographs, among other things. The archive of Maurice Bilcke is not only a source of information on Modernism, inter alia, but also contains a nice collection of prints and a large collection of photos of artists and their work.
The House of Literature has also long collected posters, spanning the entire, broad cultural domain. It speaks for itself that the collection contains good modernist material.
Because of the archive-technical emphasis of the collection, the term ‘Modernism’ is not searchable via the databank Agrippa. You can only search by the name of persons, organisations and publications.
Isabelle van Ongeval
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