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Museum Aan De Stroom Presents Flemish Masters Through The Ages (PHOTOS)

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In organizing an exhibition of "Five centuries of imagery in Antwerp," the Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS) had its work cut out for it. In a region with such clear artistic touchstones, Masterpieces of the MAS Collection needed a delicate balance between the classic and contemporary luminaries in Flemish art.

The Old Masters like Jan Van Eyck, Pieter Breugel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens have dominated the artistic heritage of the region since the Northern Renaissance, but the late 19th- and early 20th-century work of James Ensor once again gave Flanders the attention of the global art community. Subsequent generations of artists in the largely Dutch-speaking Northern part of Belgium have benefitted from Ensor's contributions, and contemporary art in the region is alive and well today, housing artists such as Luc Tuymans.

MAS, inaugurated just this year, has made a push to contextualize artworks from Antwerp and Flanders into a cohesive artistic tradition, and Masterpieces of the MAS Collection has been careful not to leave any artist or aspect of the museum out of the plan. Curators note that the museum building is itself a work of art; "designed as a giant warehouse with stacked containers or “boxes,”' we are told, "they create a spiral tower that gives visitors a constantly changing view of the city"

Masterpieces of the MAS Collection: Five centuries of imagery in Antwerp will be on display at Museum Aan de Stroom, Hanzestedenplaats 1, Antwerp, Belgium, through December 30, 2012.

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