Great news for culture aficionados! Every Thursday evening from 21 April to 9 June, the 21st edition of the Nocturnes will open your eyes to the treasures waiting for you in Brussels’ museums and art centres.
From 5pm to 10pm, thanks to original guided tours, behind the scenes visits, access to the museum reserves and tailor-made workshops, visitors will see collections and current exhibitions through new eyes at 63 unusual places. Organized by neighbourhood, the Nocturnes in museums are supplemented by extra-muros tours, giving the public a chance to explore the city even further.
In addition to the discovery of temporary and permanent exhibitions, the Nocturnes offer 4 types of programming axes: original guided tours, behind the scenes visits and access to the museum reserves, tailor-made workships and extra-muros walks in the various communes of Brussels: no less than 63 museums have planned everything to catch the eyes of their visitors and show how they remain surprisigngly relevant.
Some highlights of this season:
- A visit behind the scenes of several museums of the Cinquantenaire with the incredible Moulding Workshop of the Art & History Museum, the aircraft restoration workshops of the Royal Army Museum and the art restoration workshops of the Institute of Artistic Heritage (IRPA).
- A new look at the permanent exhibition of the BELvue Museum through the prism of “Men and women: the challenge of equality” via a guided tour given by historians specialized in the history of women and gender. They break down many preconceived ideas about the living conditions of women in the past.
- A burlesque tour of the works of art of the Brussels City Museum.
- A storytelling performance in the gardens of the House of Erasmus, where Boccaccio’s short story collection Decameron, which tells the amusing and satirical stories of ten young Florentines during the plague, will come to life!
- The Live Magazine, a living and ephemeral newspaper that offers an immersive dive into real stories at the House of European History. Journalists, photographers, filmmakers and artists tell the story of Europe with the musical group Les Garçons in the background.
- A visit behind the scenes of the Institute of Natural Sciences, the hidden side of the Museum. Offices, research areas, repositories of hundreds of specimens and all kinds of surprises.
- At La Fonderie, a back massage workshop by students from the BGC massage school as part of the “Oh! ça ne coule pas de source” exhibition, which links Brussels to water.
- A discovery of a former air raid shelter under the Flemish House of Representatives or a guided tour of its contemporary art collections (Panamarenko, Fabre, De Bruyckere, Raveel).
- Nature and science visits and workshops for the 100th anniversary of the ULB’s Jean Massart Botanical Garden, which is home to almost 2000 species of plants.
This year, three new museums are taking part in the Nocturnes for the first time: the Visitors’ Centre of the Flemish Parliament with its collection of modern art, the surprising House of the Parachutists, and the FeliXart Museum in Drogenbos. The Museum of Musical Instruments, the Halle Gate, the Art & History Museum, the workshops of La Monnaie, the Parlamentarium, the D’leteren Gallery and the network of ULB Museums are back after a few years of absence.
The Nocturnes are also an opportunity to discover the newest exhibitions, such as “Sick Architecture” at the CIVA, which focuses on the close relationship between architecture and illness; “Portrait of a Lady” at the Boghossian Foundation, which highlights the representation of women in different cultures from prehistoric times to the present day; “Haute Tension”, an exhibition of outsider art between lines and wires stretched across art et marges museum; or “Belleville” at the Fondation A, which follows the intimate experience of photographer Thomas Boivin through the streets of this Paris neighbourhood.
Towards more accessible and up-to-date museums
The Nocturnes are an accessible Thursday evening outing with a special rate of €5 (standard) or €2.50 (under 26) per museum. Some museums also open for free. The event is part of Brussels Museums’ broader ambition to make museums more accessible to everyone, by working on the specific barriers of admission prices, traditional opening hours, perceived distance, available information and visibility. The Nocturnes are also a laboratory for experimentation for the museums, which have the opportunity to test new programming proposals for all their audiences.
When: Every Thursday from 21 April to 9 June, from 5pm to 10pm.
Price: per museum, €5 (standard), €2.50 (-26 years old) for admission and all extras for
the evening. A special Article 27 rate also applies: €1.25.
Each week, museums in the same Brussels district open their doors and allow you to
The full programme for this year’s event is available at Nocturnes.brussels website.
The Opening Night in Schaerbeek
The opening night of the Nocturnes takes place in Schaerbeek on Thursday 21.04. Alongside the exceptional Museum of Spontaneous Art, the emblematic Autrique House, the lively Schaerbeek Beer Museum and the warm and welcoming Maison des Arts, visitors are invited to discover the neighborhood through heritage tours and storytelling walks.
Fancy an evening of music? Head to the Maison des Arts for a concert by the young Belgian singer, Idyl, or join the Museum for Spontaneous Art for an immersive performance by Rosa Marga. Finally, enjoy a drink at the L’Estaminet, right next to Maison des Arts and the Schaerbeek Beer Museum! You can find all the information about this new Nocturne season at the Nocturnes Info Point at Maison des Arts.
EXTRA – MUROS – Fairy tale-walks with the Fédération de Conteurs!
Storytellers take you on a journey from the Town Hall to the House of Arts, via the magnificent Maison Autrique and the surprising Museum of Spontaneous Art. A journey full of legendary characters such as Nasreddin Hodja and tales inspired by the colorful life of Schaerbeek, city of donkeys and beer, kriekenlambiek (reservation on the spot , please arrive 15 minutes in advance).