In December 2014, the municipal council of Bruges approved the acquisition of the graphic collection of Bruges print dealer Guy van Hoorebeke. This collection consists of more than 1500 prints of exceptionally high quality, ranging from the early 16th century to the present. It contains rare early Netherlandish works by Lucas van Leyden, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Lambert Suavius, and works by well-known international masters such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Giambattista Tiepolo, Claude Mellan and Francisco de Goya. In addition to this astonishing collection of old master prints, modern works by Fernand Khnopff, James Ensor, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Frans Masereel, Maurits Cornelis Escher and others are added to the collection of the Groeninge Museum.
Guy van Hoorebeke is one of the most important print dealers in Belgium and is internationally renowned for his exquisite taste and high standards. He sold graphic works to prominent international museums in London, Boston and Rotterdam. Because of his retirement in 2015, Van Hoorebeke offers the city of Bruges and the Groeninge Museum his entire stock of prints for a price far below its actual market value. Furthermore, he also donates his art library and his private print collection, consisting of ca. 100 old master prints, to the Musea Brugge and her museum library
Dixit Renaat Landuyt, mayor of Bruges: "We are extremely grateful to Guy Van Hoorebeke for his exceptional offer. In these times of economic crisis, the acquisition of this art collection is one of the most solid investments for a city as Bruges".
Since 2011, the Groeninge Museum has made it a priority to make its extensive print collection available to the public by means of digitalization, collection presentations and publications. From 2015 onwards, the Van Hoorebeke collection will be on view to the public in various staged exhibitions.
(News item January 29 2015)