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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Hotel de Coninck in Ghent | Museum of Design Ghent | Furniture from Liege | 17th and 18th century style interiors and rooms.

Hotel de Coninck in Ghent | Museum of Design Ghent

Hotel de Coninck in Ghent,
  Museum of Design
17th and 18th century style interiors and rooms.

A while ago I visited the city of Ghent (Belgium), a beautiful city full of amazing buildings. Ghent is “The best of both worlds”, a combination of the best from Antwerp and the best from Bruges,(two other Belgian cities) that is what CNN says on its website, and it is completely true.

In this blog article we will visit the Hotel de Coninck or “the Design Museum”.  As always, our focus is on the17th and 18th century decorative pieces of art, rooms and historic interiors.

 The Museum of Decorative Arts 

Hotel de Coninck, the Design Museum in Ghent

The Museum of Decorative Art-Hotel de Coninck, the Design Museum in Ghent, has its origins in the “Association of Industrial and Decorative Arts” founded in 1903 in Ghent. It was first housed in the Academy of Fine Arts, in the Academy Street. In 1922-1923 the collection was transferred to the Hotel de Coninck when the city bought the building. But just until 1958 the city also assumed the administration of the collection.

In 1754 the Hotel de Coninck was included in the list of buildings to protect. The conservation works started a little bit after, the side wall bears the anchors in the year 1755. The building itself is a very impressive example of the typical Flemish Bourgeois architecture from the 18th century. The request was filed in 1754 by a certain De Brouwer, but according to an inscription in the salon J. F. Allaert, the house was in possession of Ferdinand de Coninck since 1761.  

The person who has the opportunity to walk in the museum feels that he/she is immersing in the world of an 18th century rich family from Ghent
The rooms with authentic parquet floors and paneled walls and ceilings are decorated with rich furniture from the period. In May 1992 the new wing of the Design Museum in Ghent was officially opened. The building was designed by the architect Willy Verstraete. The unique pieces that were patiently gathered since the mid-1970 were preserved, in order to be exhibited. The Museum has a new building that is worth to see. From the courtyard to an 18th century façade that has been completely reconstructed. Behind it, a light and airy modern building. The unique find is a huge hydraulic lift in the central part of the building; this makes the floors more reachable. The potential to involve the audience in an exciting play of changing levels is almost unique. The collections of the “old” museum comprise furniture from the 17th and the 18th centuries, displayed in the stylish interior of the Hotel de Coninck.

Dining room at the Hotel de Coninck | Woodcarvings of  J. F. Allaert.

Dining room of the sculpture J. F. Allaert.

An Absolute highlight is the unique dining room where the wooden chandeliers –work of the Ghentse sculptor J. F. Allaerts- hangs on its original site. Other rooms are decorated with 18th century wall paintings or are lined with silk wall coverings. The lighting is provided by 18th century crystal chandeliers. Family characters have their portraits hanging on the walls, like the French King Louis XVIII, who also stablished the office located between the fine collection and the French furniture.

The staircase of Hotel de Coninck.

The newel (a central pole or support column) is decorated with a powerful volute, extended horizontally on a round base, where a goat is resting. The connection to the handrail is made by a bended pole with a braid motif and a garland of flowers. It is crowned by a magnificent carved ram’s head. 
The handrail is supported by a rectangular upwardly recessed, fluted baluster-shaped. The start of the staircase wall with its grooved plinth, his powerful volute and sculpted goat as a graceful counterpoise to the head pole. The stairway wall is decorated with wood paneling consisting in alternately of rectangular panels and fluted pilasters crowned with a rosette. The flutes include bar work. The most important part of the paneling contains a medallion with the image of Josef II.

 17th and 18th century style interiors and rooms | staircase

Style rooms at the Hotel de Coninck

Through the staircase we reach the first floor. Here you will find a hall of honor, which is surrounded by all kinds of style rooms: the Empire room, the Louis XVIII hall, the hall of Bishop Lobkowitz, the hall Ferdinand Scribe, a Director hall with paintings and a room with grisailles from the Boudelo Abbey. All of these rooms contain beautiful chimneys and various objects in the Lodewijk- or later styles.

Translation: Lis Alvarado

17th and 18th century style interior and rooms.

Museum of Design Ghent

17th and 18th century style interior and rooms.

Wood chandelier from J. F. Allaert

Website: Design Museum Ghent  http://www.designmuseumgent.be


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