Apart from our own art collection there are a number of collections on long-term loan, of which the Collectie De Stadshof Foundation is the most important one. In 2002 the collection was vastly expanded with the internationally renowned top collection of Collectie De Stadshof Foundation. The latter comprises more than 6,000 works – from naive art to art brut – by almost 400 outsider artists. There are also long-term loans and donations from, among others, Willem van Genk Foundation, Studio La Pommeraie, Monera Foundation Gemert, Guus Maris, Piet Slijkerman and Otto Prinsen.
What is the extraction of the stone of madness? How do shamans expel evil spirits? What was the effect of the ‘rotation therapy’, invented by Belgian’s first psychiatrist Joseph Guislain? What objects protect us from disease and madness? What does present-day psychiatry look like?
In the course of history people have dealt with madness through a mixture of magic and religion, coercion and care, supervision and science. The unreasonable have been punished, anointed, cared for and cured.
The history of mental health care has known a good deal of desperation, malpractices and sometimes unjustified euphoria. The mental patient confronts us with questions that are hardly answerable and problems that are anything but easy to solve. How do we deal with those who are different? How do we deal with that which is different in ourselves?
The permanent exhibition on the history of psychiatry also pays attention to madness in other cultures and to contemporary questions, problems and ideas. By presenting the terms ‘madness’ and ‘mental illness’ in their historical and cultural contexts, the Museum Dr. Guislain wants to challenge the line between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’.
Where lies the boundary between fantasy and reality? How can we distinguish dream from delirium, illusion from wish, hallucination from discernment? How can we explore or imagine what takes place elsewhere? The exhibition covers two centuries, starting from the many questions concerning psychosis, hallucination and illusion. Not to give a classic historic account, but to elucidate five unique oeuvres from this period that balance between art, knowledge and science. J.J. Grandville, Gustav Mesmer, Gerard Heymans, Jean Perdrizet and Mathew Kneebone each created or mapped out a different universe, thus trying to grasp the ungraspable in their own way. These are worlds in which pencils walk, bicycles float, the distance between two parallel lines is variable, typewriters are in contact with the deceased and street lamps stop shining when you walk past them. Another World creates passages: from this one to the other, between the other worlds among themselves, and perhaps also from the other world back to this one.
Until 11th of June there is an exhibition on Gustav Mesmer in art et marges that is linked to the exhibition Another world. In collaboration with : Gustav Mesmer Stiftung / Museum Dr Guislain
Moses, Tarzan and Superman: we don’t give it much thought, but in popular stories the protagonist is often an adopted child with special powers. Myths, novels and comics are teeming with adopted heroes. The exhibition goes into this cultural fascination and confronts it with historical documents and contemporary questions. How does origin influence the search for an own identity? How do adoption practices evolve? Is the focus on the child, the prospective parents or society? How do procedures work and what if they are lacking? How do we deal with the traumas caused by forced adoption today?
The varied, sensitive history of adoption is illustrated with documentary material, old and modern art, literature, photography, film excerpts and testimonies. Adoption. Between adventure and misadventure explores the representation of adoption practices, focuses on personal stories and in this way enters the current debate.