Discover the Antwerp superstar Jacob Jordaens like never before and be surprised by the stories behind his ingenious and sometimes witty paintings. What’s more: in the reconstruction of his showroom, you can actually visit the master at home!

In cooperation with the Frans Hals Museum, The Phoebus Foundation presents the exhibition At home with Jordaens: the first monographic exhibition of the seventeenth-century Antwerp master Jacob Jordaens in the Netherlands.

Why does Hans Memling paint every detail with such precision? How did Rubens manage, with a few brushstrokes, to create an effect that would have made Steven Spielberg jealous? And why were the Southern Netherlands the artistic centre of the world for three centuries?

From Memling to Rubens showed Flemish art from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as you have never seen it before. The exhibition was a journey through three hundred years of cultural history, with breathtaking masterpieces from the collection of The Phoebus Foundation in the leading role. Unknown gems by Hans Memling, Quinten Metsys, Peter Paul Rubens, Jacob Jordaens and Anthony Van Dyck took you to a world full of folly and sin, fascination and ambition. From Memling to Rubens was about dukes and emperors, about rich citizens and poor saints, about art rooms as wine cellars and about Antwerp as Hollywood on the Scheldt.

The many portraits from the Middle Ages to the early modern period from The Phoebus Foundation collection formed the ideal starting point for the fascinating story of the history of portraiture. In 2020, The Phoebus Foundation, in cooperation with the Museum Snijders&Rockox House, organised the unique exhibition The Bold and the Beautiful at various locations in the centre of Antwerp. The exhibition showed stately male and female portraits, self-confident self-portraits, blushing tronies and cute children’s portraits in a unique scenography by fashion icon Walter Van Beirendonk.

In 2018, the Chancellery of The Phoebus Foundation introduced the public to a new sub-collection. Fox Hunt was not just any exhibition: it comprised a cycling and presentation circuit devoted to the legend of Reynard the Fox. The wide-ranging Reynard collection was presented in the form of a ‘cultural expedition’ through the medieval fable, which took visitors on a 40 or 60 km cycle tour of the Waasland region of Flanders and Zeelandic Flanders in the Netherlands. In the course of this experiential circuit, visitors discovered the medieval tale of the crafty fox in a playful and accessible way. A piece of cultural history was made exceptionally accessible through magnificent works of art and sets, mischievous films and ultra-modern animations, not to mention an exciting treasure hunt.

With ROOTED, The Phoebus Foundation devoted an exhibition in 2017 to Flemish art between 1880 and 1930. In the leading role? The most influential painters of the period: Emile Claus, Valerius De Saedeleer, Gustave Van de Woestyne, George Minne, James Ensor, Léon Spilliaert, Rik Wouters, Frits Van den Berghe, Constant Permeke, Gust. De Smet, Hubert Malfait and Edgard Tytgat. The exhibition focused on a turning point in Flemish artistic and cultural history and took the visitor back to the beginning of the 20th century. But ROOTED was also different and groundbreaking. It was also about the present and about what it means to be Flemish, since the border between past and present is wafer-thin.  

The Phoebus Foundation, in collaboration with the Province of East Flanders, organized its very first exhibition in 2016 at the Caermersklooster Provincial Cultural Centre in Ghent. It marked the Chancellery’s first appearance as a new player in the field of old masters. The Birth of Capitalism drew visitors back to the Golden Age of the Southern Netherlands (15th-16th c.). It painted a picture of the economic power of the County of Flanders and the Duchy of Brabant – important technological, industrial and commercial centres of the then known world, and cast a fresh light on an economic and cultural highpoint.

A spin-off of the exhibition The Bold and the Beautiful took place in Museum Vleeshuis. On the second floor you could admire three tasty paintings by Frans Snijders from the collection of The Phoebus Foundation in a surprising presentation by Walter Van Beirendonck.

Lace can have an old-fashioned reputation at times, but in 2019 the Chancellery of The Phoebus Foundation brought this centuries-old luxury textile very much to life. The Phoebus Foundation collaborated with the City of Aalst, the Jan De Nul and Van de Velde companies and with Willy Michiels and Jozef Dauwe to organize a sensual and piquant exhibition devoted to lace: Lace is More!

Meet Myriam De Saedeleer: lace expert and manufacturer from a striking family of lace producers. In the context of the exhibition Lace is More, Myriam tells her unique story.

Flemish fashion guru Jani Kazaltzis visits the exhibition Lace is More! together with curator Katharina Van Cauteren and discovers the surprising history of lace.

Caudry, in the north of France, is the world centre of the lace industry, along with Calais. The region has six active companies, which export 80% of their production worldwide, mainly for haute couture and the luxury segment of ready-to-wear clothing. The excellence of the craftsmanship built up in the companies since the 19th century has been recognised by major fashion brands using lace, such as Chanel, Ungaro, Elie Saab and Alexander MQ Queen. However, with the rise of cheap lace production in countries such as China, the high-quality machine lace industry in Calais and Caudry is under serious threat.

In 2019, The Phoebus Foundation organised Lace is More!: an opulent exhibition that introduced visitors to five centuries of cultural history. It focused on lace clothing and accessories as true status symbols, which were often passed on from mother to daughter, or from father to son. The exhibition showed how lace evolved from underwear to outerwear and back again, and which pioneering role the family business Van de Velde played in this. Today, lace inspires many artists and designers to create high fashion and art.