DIVA proudly presents her first special exhibition. 'Room of Wonder I: Axel Vervoordt’ is the first in a series of special exhibitions in which a number of guest curators present their interpretation of a Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities and rarities.
Axel Vervoordt is an internationally renowned antiquarian and interior designer. He is something of an authority on silver and a master when it comes to putting together inspired, aesthetic and wondrous combinations. To create his ‘Room of Wonder’, he drew on DIVA’s collection and added loans, including pieces from his own collection. The resulting exhibition, which consists of naturalia, jewellery and exotica, along with historical and contemporary works of art, arouses curiosity and amazement.
Axel Vervoordt: collector and wonder-worker
DIVA invited Axel Vervoordt to create a very personal Room of Wonder. Since the early 1970s Axel Vervoordt has been putting objets d’art together in novel ways at the Biënnale des Antiquaires in Paris. In 2007 he also started curating exhibitions at Palazzo Fortuny as part of the Venice Biennale. By that time, silver was already one of his many interests and areas of expertise. In that period he handled the sale of the Antwerp owl cup which, thanks to the King Baudouin Foundation, is now one of the highlights of the DIVA collection. He also managed the transaction of the gilded tazza with wave pattern which decorates the cover of the exhibition catalogue.
An extra dimension
The emotion Axel Vervoordt invariably arouses, gives collecting and exhibiting an extra dimension. He transforms a room full of art into a Room of Wonder. That is also how medieval and early-modern thinkers saw amazement: as a cognitive passion, which was about the search for knowledge and understanding entwined with heady emotion. So Axel Vervoordt was DIVA’s ideal guest curator to usher in the series. His Room of Wonder reflects on marvellous, rare, precious, exotic and monstrous collectibles from various civilizations down the ages.
With loans including: Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Brussels) and the MAS Collections (Antwerp).
With works of art including: Anish Kapoor, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Jan Fabre, Wim Delvoye, Jan II Brueghel, Lucas Cranach, El Anatsui, Jef Verheyen, Lucio Fontana, Marina Abramovic, David Huycke, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Octave Landuyt, Niki de Saint Phalle and others.
- The exhibition runs from October 19th 2018 to April 28th 2019 and is open every day (except Wednesdays) from 10.00 to 18.00.
- Tickets cost € 10. A Combi-ticket - to include Room of Wonder I: Axel Vervoordt and DIVA, a Brilliant Story - costs €16.
- A tour with a guide costs € 90 (entranceticket to museum not included)
DIVA’s Room of Wonder. The dreamy name fires the imagination. Not only is it the first room you enter when you step inside the museum, but the Room of Wonder concept is also the inspiration for a series of upcoming special exhibitions.
A tour of DIVA’s collection starts in her Room of Wonder. In this contemporary interpretation of a Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities and rarities, valuable objects from every corner of the globe are brought together in a cocoon of luxury. Visitors learn about Antwerp’s illustrious past, about the city that led the way in the production and distribution of art and luxury articles in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Silverware, jewellery, precious stones and exotic curiosities like coconuts, shells and coral were particularly sought after. In her Room of Wonder, DIVA tells visitors all about these objects and their collectors.