This Flemish research centre initiates, facilitates, stimulates, and presents research related to Flemish art from the 15th and 16th centuries.
The research centre sets up projects and initiatives which form a link between museums and the academic world.
The research centre, together with the library, provides a platform for museum staff, researchers, specialists, and other interested parties. Researchers can reserve a workstation in the library for long-term research projects related to Musea Brugge collection items. Furthermore, the research centre also strives to distinguish itself as a leading centre for the dissemination and exchange of art history knowledge on Burgundian art from the 15th and 16th centuries. The centre organises and co-ordinates talks, colloquia, and publications, including Distinguished contributions to the study of the arts in the Burgundian Netherlands (published by Harvey Miller), a scholarly publication which is fully related to the centre’s mission. Furthermore, the research centre also organises academic programmes, including an academic summer school (with partners) and the Musea Brugge Research School. The research centre also participates in these sorts of programmes organised by partners.
The research centre is also fully committed to the analysis of paintings via material and technological research using infrared reflectography (IRR). This technique is applied in the centre using specialist equipment by employees with the necessary expertise to record and interpret the images. This technique is deployed within the research centre to examine its own collection. The acquired knowledge is also shared with national and international partners. The research centre also conducts research for outside bodies or facilitates external research within Musea Brugge.
The research Centre is responsible for the scholarly accuracy of the information on the web site Flemish primitives – An online museum of the non-profit agency Vlaamse Kunstcollectie vzw (Flemish Art Collection).
The research centre, an initiative of Groeningemuseum (Groeninge Museum), was formed in co-operation with the non-profit agency Vlaamse Kunstcollectie vzw and with subsidies from the Flemish government. This was within the scope of the cultural heritage decree following the recognition of Groeningemuseum as a classified Flemish museum. In 2015, the research centre was seconded from the Vlaamse Kunstcollectie and housed under Bruges City Council as part of the Kenniscentrum vzw, a municipal non-profit umbrella agency.
Since 2013, the Flemish research centre, together with the museum library of Musea Brugge, has been housed in the buildings of the Sint-Andreas Institute on the Garenmarkt in Bruges. The centre is accessible by appointment.
The centre is led by Till-Holger Borchert, director of Musea Brugge, and an international advisory council. It is managed by its co-ordinator, Vanessa Paumen. All staff from Musea Brugge and Kenniscentrum vzw help to achieve the centre’s mission, with an inherent focus on art from the Burgundian Netherlands. Since its formation in 2010, this Flemish Research centre has worked together structurally and on projects with major national and international partners in the fields of culture and art: the Vlaamse Kunstcollectie and its partner museums (the Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp; the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, M Leuven); the KIK/IRPA (Brussels); the Rubenianum (Antwerp); het Ghent Interdisciplinary Centre for the Arts and Science (Universiteit Gent); the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven; the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest; and the Courtauld Institute in London.