The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) houses the largest collection of James Ensor and impressive pieces by Rubens, Modigliani, Rodin… In 2001 the museum decided on a large-scale renovation as it no longer met the technical requirements of a 21st century museum and experienced a shortage of exhibition space.
During the renovation, the old building regained its 19th century grandeur. Next to that a brand-new museum volume was built in the building’s former courtyards. This combined with the many works that were restored in the last decade, allows visitors to enjoy the museum and admire its collection in full glory again.
Rethinking the presentation of the collecting, the goal of the KMSKA is to make the art collection accessible to a wide audience. As Veerle De Meester, Exhibition Manager at the KMSKA museum, says: “We try to meet the needs of the different audiences that visit the museum; children and their families should feel welcome, and we want to give them an unforgettable museum experience.”
The new immersive space plays a big role in this by creating a space of wonder. “You can immerse yourself in the painting details and children can discover activations while moving through the room. But you can also take a seat on one of the benches and just enjoy the spectacle,” explains De Meester.
Like a dynamic curtain printed with a detail from a painting in the collection, the 360° projection in the immersive room focusses on the craftmanship of painters. “We do not show anything that was not painted by the artist,” says De Meester. “And by using the projection technology we want to point out to the visitor what great masters those painters actually were.”
There’s four different ‘curtains’ showing a repetition of a specific element from a painting in the museum. These details differ in color, brushwork and contrast – from the eyes of Fouquet’s red cherubim to Memling’s gold and pearl textile details.
Veerle De Meester explains why choosing the right visualization technology was so important for the exhibition team: “We wanted the projections to stay close to the original paintings to do honor to the master pieces. We needed the color rendition and details to be shown as good as possible.”
Knowing the positive reputation of Barco’s solution in terms of reliability and image quality, the choice was quickly made by the exhibition team to install six of our UDM projectors. With a brightness of 22,000 lumens, 4K resolution and colors outperforming the Rec. 709 color space, the content is brought to life in the most truthful way.
In the first three months after the eagerly anticipated re-opening of the museum, they welcomed over 267.000 visitors. People from all age groups, with different backgrounds, come to the museum individually, in groups, with school or as a family.
Satisfied with the results, Veerle De Meester concludes: “Visitors are enthusiastic, and we find that the immersive projection generates the intended wonder. It’s great to see that the experience is enjoyed not only the families but also by the other visitors. Most of them stay quite long in the room, it is moment of relaxation during the museum visit. And many guides include it as a stop in their tours. The immersive space has become an unmissable part of the museum visit for all our visitors.”