The Museum to Scale spans over a hundred ‘rooms’ with original work from contemporary Belgian artists, from paintings to complete installations. A number of thematic rooms situates the entire ensemble within its historical context.
The Museum to Scale is the elaboration of an idea first conceived by Ronny Van de Velde and realized by Galerie Ronny Van de Velde in close collaboration with the artists involved. The Museum to Scale has been exhibited at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, the Baker Museum in Naples (Florida), as well as at Rotterdam’s Kunsthal and the Fondazione Ghisla in Locarno.
The common connection running through the first 54 rooms - now permanently on view at Antwerp University:
University of Antwerp
Stadscampus - Building R
The Museum to Scale is not a maquette for a building project. It is a contemporary version of the Wunderkammer that were the forerunners of the modern museum – or a variant on the art-cabinet, a showcase where collectors would present their wide-ranging assortment of objects of wonder, from miniatures to fossils.
The reduced scale also harks back to ‘collection-paintings’ like those from David Teniers, as well as to the grand tradition of the art book - but with the important distinction here being that we have to do with original art works. The aim is pragmatic - a portable museum! Aimed, too, at enhanced involvement on the part of the viewer, a contemporary variation on pleasure and learning.
The Museum to Scale refers back to the playful stance adopted by Marcel Duchamp with the Boîte-en-valise, assembling his oeuvre in portable format, as well as in the miniature he made of his painting Nu descendant l’escalier for the art-cabinet in the doll-house assembled by Carrie Stettheimer, friend to the New York avant-garde in the 1920s.
The Museum to Scale also offers, in all seriousness, the necessary tranquility and proximity required to comfortably experience art. Thanks to the paradox of the small-scale that ‘works to enlarge’, our attention goes right to the heart of the works, we understand and enjoy, far away from the hustle and bustle of many of today’s mega-exhibitions. This large collection of small originals also sets one to think about the role of scale and format in art, about the distance traveled between idea and execution, about the changing status and presentation of works of art.