Current exhibitions



In-between passion and pain
20.10.18 - 26.05.19

Everything that surrounds us tingles and shimmers. Digital screens light up. Neurons crackle under the cranium. Our senses are overwhelmed. Some people eagerly jump into this abundance of stimuli, others go under or try to find comfort in a low stimulus environment. Do we become restless or languid, do we suffer from digibesity or burnout? Today the extremes coexist: opposite the flâneur in the vibrant metropolis is a modern hermit, and bordering on the seclusion room is the roaring internet.

Sensations. In-between passion and pain picks up on the debate about the place of the individual in his raging or, on the contrary, desolate surroundings. Do we respond with boredom or irritation, are we highly sensitive or apathetic, do we look for peace and quiet or do we check off our bucket list? The exhibition explores the balance between the excess and shortage of impulses in a cultural-historical and artistic way, and researches how we feverishly try to quench our thirst for thrills, or frenetically rule them out. 

In collaboration with Kopergietery, Gezinsbond, Kinderrechtencommissariaat, Agentschap Jongerenwelzijn, Mediawijs

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Nek Chand

The Cabinets

Art Collections from the Collectie De Stadshof Foundation and the Dr. Guislain Museum
24.06.17 - 30.12.20

Art is an essential part of life. It touches us, stimulates our imagination and makes us reflect about mankind and society. Because of its virtuosity and expressiveness, art can be shamelessly beautiful and evoke a sense of awe.

Contemporary museums exhibit work by professional artists. Few museums focus on collecting and exhibiting work from original talents, people who did not get the opportunity to study art or who are not part of the regular art circuit for one reason or another. They are usually artistic loners, nonconformists, who make unorthodox choices in terms of the materials and techniques they use. Their motifs are often personal. Their works are intense and unique.

The Cabinets provides a platform for ‘solitary creators’ whose work will be arranged in changing presentations: recent acquisitions are exhibited, vulnerable works are returned to the depot and new themes are addressed.

The Cabinets is a collaboration between the Collectie De Stadshof Foundation and the Dr. Guislain Museum. It presents works of some thirty different artists.

The Museum Dr. Guislain’s collection started off with a small collection of visual art created by artistically-gifted psychiatric patients and mentally challenged persons. In 2002, the collection in Ghent expanded tremendously with the internationally acclaimed collection of De Stadshof Collection Foundation, which is on long term loan. This top-of-the-bill collection – from naïve art to art brut – has more than 6,000 pieces by nearly 400 outsider artists such as A.C.M., Herman Bossert, Nek Chand, Paul Duhem, Luiz Figueiredo, Madge Gill, Siebe Wiemer Glastra, Bertus Jonkers, Pavel Leonov, Bonaria Manca, Markus Meurer, Michel Nedjar, Oswald Tschirtner, Willem van Genk, and August Walla.

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The history of psychiatry

permanent collection
01.10.07 - 30.12.20

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’.

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