Great news for Art Nouveau aficionados in Belgium and all over the world – from June 1, 2023, the legendary Maison Hannon located at the junction of Avenue Brugmann and Avenue de la Jonction in Saint-Gilles will be reborn as a “house- museum under the name Maison Hannon. A place in perpetual motion. This new Art Nouveau architectural and museum hub will strengthen the cultural and tourist offer of this district in the upper part of Brussels, in a joint venture with the Horta Museum.
On 31 May, State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage Pascal Smet inaugurated the renovated Maison Hannon in the presence of Minister-President Rudi Vervoort, mayor of Saint-Gilles Jean Spinette and the President of asbl Maison Hannon, Charles Picqué. More specifically, major restoration works were completed and this listed Brussels building has been transformed into a museum that anyone can visit. As part of the Art Nouveau Brussels 2023, this new architectural and museum centre will from now on enhance the cultural and tourist offer of this neighbourhood through a combined ticket with the Horta Museum.
This major museum project is the result of a private-public partnership unprecedented in Belgium. The Maison Hannon non-profit association, which is completely autonomous, brings together: the Commune of Saint-Gilles, the Brussels- Capital Region (Urban and Image de Bruxelles), the St’Art Invest fund, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the National Lottery, VINCI Energies Belgium, Socatra Prométhéa… and the Horta Museum for its expertise. Other partners include the Musée de l’École de Nancy, Villa Majorelle, the Musée des Arts décoratifs de Paris, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Reims (France) and private collectors. The artworks in the first exhibition (Belgian Art Nouveau) come from the Design Museum Gent and private collections. Thanks to these various contributors, the Maison Hannon represents a truly collaborative project bringing together major players.
“Maison Hannon, a Brussels Art Nouveau masterpiece, is entering a new chapter in its history. It will revive entirely as a permanent museum, open to the public. As Art Nouveau capital, Brussels is proud of its treasures. As part of this theme year, it continues to open up its extraordinary heritage to the general public. Ideal for the international image of our region! ”Pascal Smet, State Secretary for Urbanism
The first phase of restoration is now complete: the first floor, which faithfully recreates the world of the Hannons, and the first floor, a temporary exhibition space. The façade has also been restored. However, these renovations mark the first phase of a much larger project. Further phases of restoration will follow, and the public will be invited to take part in conferences, tours, meetings with craftsmen and crowdfunding campaigns. A unique and pertinent opportunity to understand a long process whose mission is to restore to its original splendor one of the icons of the style invented in Brussels.
Just like Hôtel van Eetvelde, the Horta House, the Solvay House and the Cauchie House, Maison Hannon will soon receive lighting to enhance its heritage and make it a real point of interest at night time. Studies for the facade lighting are currently being finalised.
A TEMPORARY EXHIBITION ON THE SECOND FLOOR
Each year, Maison Hannon will organize a temporary exhibition in line with its DNA: art in Belgium and France; symbolism. The intention is to offer visitors cross-disciplinary exhibitions of art and history, focusing on the period around 1900. Academic research will be associated with each exhibition.
To mark its opening, the Maison Hannon is unveiling an inaugural high-profile temporary exhibition on the second floor, from June 1, 2023 to June 5, 2024, Belgian Art Nouveau.
In 1900, with the Industrial Revolution in full swing, Brussels was the experimental ground for a subversive style: Art Nouveau. A style? No, a state of mind and an insatiable faith in modernity. While Victor Horta targeted a wealthy clientele, Paul Hankar, Henry van de Velde, Gustave Serrurier-Bovy and others worked together to invent a modern way of life, simpler and more uncluttered, with the aim of spreading it far and wide. Through this committed approach, they set out to be agents of change, laying the foundations for a first modernity that would set an example for others to follow.
With this first exhibition, Maison Hannon aims to present Belgian Art Nouveau in all its plurality, through a wide variety of works from public and private collections, many of which have never been seen before.
Public collections: Ghent Design Museum, a major partner whose loans account for nearly 50% of the exhibits, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Spa Museum, Wallonia- Brussels Federation, Horta Museum, Musée d’Ixelles, Fondation Roi Baudouin. Private collections: Jonathan Mangelinckx Collection, RES Collection, courtesy Gallerie St-John, Ghent and other collectors.
2023-2024 Belgian Art Nouveau. Van de Velde, Serrurier-Bovy, Hankar… & Co (2023-2024) – Thematic year: Brussels, capital of Art Nouveau
2025 The last salons where we gnose. Aesthetic, social, and esoteric salons in Brussels (1880-1914) – Thematic year: women
2026 Exchanges between Belgium and Lorraine: the Val-Saint-Lambert crystal glassworks, Émile Gallé & the Müller brothers – Thematic year: glass & the Val- Saint-Lambert bicentenary.
To learn more about Maison Hannon and the restoration works, visit the website of the museum.
The public can now visit Maison Hannon on Mondays and Fridays from 11am to 6pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Tickets can be booked or bought on site. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the house is exclusively reserved for private visits, which can be booked with the non-profit organisations Arkadia and Korei. Visiting Maison Hannon also means contributing to the future restoration phases until 2030. The ticket price includes €2 for future restoration projects.