From 1 December August van Yper will be our guest at the Ensor House (Ostend), where he will unveil his exceptional story. August Van Yper, otherwise known as Guustje, was for years James Ensor's trusty manservant. In 1915, he entered Ensor's service along with his lifetime companion Ernestine Mollet. After Ensor's death in 1949,they were allowed to go on living in his house in the Vlaanderenstraat; even when the Friends of Ensor, and later the City of Ostend, had purchased the house in order to convert it into a museum. In the years leading up to his death in 1963, Guustje welcomed visitors in his inimitable style and guided them around the house.
The Ostend photographer Maurice Anthony took dozens of photos of Ensor with his manservant: a famous example is the photo where the imposing figure of James Ensor is pictured during one of his morning walks in Ostend in the company of August van Yper.
The story of the man who had a respect for his master that bordered on devotion, and who knew all his secrets, is now being brought to life through photos and documents from the archives.
More info: www.muzee.be
(News item 4 December 2012)