Art Nouveau and Art Deco
The Magasin Wolfers
Through the medium of sculpture, glassware, ceramics, table silver and other objects, it provides a survey of the major stylistic trends in decorative art between 1890 and 1940; among the top items are the candleholders of Henry van de Velde. An important section of both the collection and the gallery is devoted to the furniture and display cases in which the works of art are exhibited. The ensemble was designed by Victor Horta in response to a commission by the firm of Wolfers Frères, gold- and silversmiths, for their showroom.
Eye-catchers in the ‘Wolferswinkel’ are the sculptures in precious metal and ivory, the majority of which were made specially for the Colonial Exhibition of 1897 in Tervuren. De Mysterieuze Sfinx (Charles Van der Stappen), De Zwanenstreling (Philippe Wolfers) and Allegretto (Julien Dillens) are undoubtedly among the most outstanding works of Art Nouveau.
In the future
The greater part of the collection is held in the department’s reserves, which include exceptional items of furniture designed by, among others, Victor Horta, Oscar Van de Voorde, Philippe Wolfers, Gustave Serrurier-Bovy and Léon Sneyers. Within the foreseeable future, the entire collection will be displayed in a new series of galleries devoted to the Belgian decorative arts of the first half of the twentieth century, with the main accent on Belgian exhibits at the world and international exhibitions from 1897 to 1937.