A New Key: Modern Belgian Art from the Simon Collection

February 10–July 22, 2007

E-book | Catalogue

The Simon Collection, housed in London and France, is the finest collection of modern Belgian art outside Belgium. Never displayed in North America, the fifty-three works in the exhibition include important paintings by René Magritte, James Ensor, Frits van den Berghe, Paul Delvaux, Theo van Rysselberghe, Emile Claus, Léon Spilliaert, Gustave de Smet, and Constant Permeke, among others. Although scholarship has focused on Paris, Berlin, Moscow, and New York as the centers of modern art, this exhibition challenges the canon by examining Belgium. It reveals how the history of modern art looks different when viewed from the vantage point of this “marginal” center—hence the title of the exhibition, A New Key.

Accompanying the exhibition is an illustrated catalogue edited by Jeffery Howe and with essays by Claude Cernuschi, Jeffery Howe, Sura Levine, John J. Michalczyk, Susan A. Michalczyk, and Katherine Nahum. Curated by Jeffery Howe, A New Key: Modern Belgian Art from the Simon Collection has been organized by the McMullen Museum. The exhibition has been underwritten by Boston College with major support from SV Life Sciences and the Patrons of the McMullen Museum. Additional support has been provided by the Kingdom of Belgium and the Society of Friends of Belgium. This exhibition is also supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.

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