Collector and patron.

MODERN ART : he collection includes works of Arp, Magnelli, Matisse and Picasso but also of Csaky, Gorin, Jacobsen, Le Corbusier, Magritte, Mambour, Mortensen and Ubac…

from 20 November 2009 to 7 February 2010, in the Salle Saint-Georges - Liège


An exhibition focused on the major Liege-born collector and patron, Fernand Graindorge, and the works he donated to the French-speaking Community of Belgium. The hub of the exhibition is the gift of 70 works by famous modern artists. Provided to the French-speaking Community in 1981, the collection includes the output not only of Arp, Magnelli, Matisse and Picasso but also of Csaky, Gorin, Jacobsen, Le Corbusier, Magritte, Mambour, Mortensen and Ubac… Initially  placed in storage at  the Liege Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the collection was recently transferred to the  Liege Museum of Walloon Art. The event will be supplemented by 30 or so other works by Hartung, Léger, Masson… (that once formed part of the Graindorge collection but are now found in public and private collections), along with a series of archives, letters, photographs… and a film. The spotlight will also be turned on the various dimensions of Fernand Graindorge: the man, the collector, and art lover who put his stamp on the Liege artistic scene. Fernand Graindorge’s initiative was primarily designed to enable Liege to take up a position as Belgium’s leading contemporary art centre in the 1950s. He had the same aim in view when offering inspired guidance about expanding the City of Liege’s collections.

The focus is on the pivotal role he played within the Association for Intellectual and Artistic Progress in Wallonia (APIAW) between 1945 and 1965 and the many exhibitions he held.  The emphasis is also on the decision in 1957 to make him president of the Royal Society of Fine Arts and his role as artistic adviser to the City of Liege in 1977. Published in cooperation with the French-speaking Community’s Collections Department and the Museum of Walloon Art,  a major catalogue, featuring contributions by several authors, focuses on various parts of Fernand Graindorge’s life and collection : a  biography, testimonies of his love for art (text by Dominique Mathieu), the  collection and the  collector (by Julie Bawin), the donation to the  French-speaking Community (text by Ariane Fradcourt), the collector’s social and cultural role, Graindorge and the APIAW (text by Marc Renwart), a presentation of the  collection and the  donation (text by Françoise Dumont) and, lastly, a catalogue  of the 70 works donated (texts by Françoise Dumont).   A documentary video is on display during the period covered by the exhibition to offer an approach to the collection based on the accounts by the various project stakeholders. Dominique Mathieu (head of the non-profit-making body Les Brasseurs), who is Fernand Graindorge’s niece, has provided all the documentation she has on this subject. This is supplemented with a selection of archives, letters, photographs to show the different stages of his life, his special relations with artists, art critics, collectors and gallery owners, ….

The exhibition will run from 20 November 2009 to 7 February 2010, in the Salle Saint-Georges, (the Museum of Walloon Art’s temporary exhibitions gallery). It is organised by the City of  Liege and the non-profit-making body Les Musées de Liège in cooperation with Dominique Mathieu and in partnership with the French-speaking Community’s General Cultural Heritage and Visual Arts  Department.

Françoise Dumont and Dominique Mathieu are curating the exhibition.


Three other exhibitions are being showcased at the same time as  this major event focused on  Fernand Graindorge.

Visitors have the opportunity to see two other exhibitions in the context of   “Autumn in Liege” :


FERNAND GRAINDORGE (1903 - 1985) exhibition, Collector and patron.

Donation to the  French-speaking Community of Belgium

Opening hours

- Tuesday to Saturday from 1 pm to 6 pm,  Sunday from 11 am to 4.30 pm

- Closed on Monday, 24, 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January


Covering admission to the  exhibition and the permanent collections

Adult : euro 8

Adult and senior group : euro 6

12 > 18 years old, unemployed : euro 3

Beneficiaries of Article 27 : euro 1.25

The Museum of Walloon Arts shows paintings and sculptures by artistes from the  French-speaking Community and Brussels, from the  16th century to the present day.


Organised by Sylvie Messier, art historian and  educational consultant

Price : euro 3  (primary) or euro 4  (secondary) per child.

Duration of visit : roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes

Reservations : the non-profit-making body “Les Musées de Liège” : Tel. 04/221 93 25 - Fax : 04/221 26 16 e-mail : info@lesmuseesdeliege.be

Guided visits

Guide-lecturers : art historians

Group comprising a maximum of 20 people or a class (roughly 25 students).

Duration of visit : one hour and suitable for all categories of visitors

Languages : French, Dutch, English, German, Spanish, Italian

Prices : during  the week and in the national languages : euro 65 /hour ; school groups : ? 60/hour

Reservations : the non-profit-making body  “Les Musées de Liège” : Tel. 04/221 93 25 - Fax : 04/221 26 16 e-mail : info@lesmuseesdeliege.be

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