Are you a fan of comics? Do you want to know more about your favorite characters? Or do you just want to spend quality time with your family and members from Expat Club while doing a cool activity and discover Brussels a bit more? Then this museum visit has been designed just for you. You will be amongst the lucky ones to have a private guided tour of the museum that is based in an exceptional Art Nouveau gem. With more than 700 comic strip authors, Belgium has more comic strip artists per square kilometer than any other country in the world. You’re definitely at the right place to discover them all!
The date of this event is not yet confirmed and depend largely on the corona virus situation. If you are interested, you can now pre-reserve a spot and we will inform you when the visit opens up.
Who can join this event?
Expat Club events are attended by singles, couples, retirees, groups of friends or colleagues, and families. We welcome people from all over the world with a wide variety of backgrounds. Expat Club Membership is not required to join this visit.
Where is the Comic Strip Museum?
The Comics Art Museum is located in the center of Brussels, near the Grand-Place, the Galeries Saint-Hubert or the Cathedral of Saints-Michael-and-Gudula.
The train stations “Gare Centrale” and “Gare du Nord” also are located within walking distance.
If you are traveling to the museum by public transport you can get a complete itinerary (train, tram, bus, metro, etc.) from the site www.stib.be by entering “Brussels, Rue des Sables 20” as your destination.
The Waucquez Warehouse
The building’s architecture:
Located in the heart of Brussels, in a majestic Art Nouveau building, created by Victor Horta in 1906, the Belgian Comic Strip Center opened its doors to the public on October 6th, 1989. If you come to visit the Belgian Comic Strip Center, you will witness the unusual marriage of the Ninth Art and Art Nouveau, two artistic forms.
The Belgian Comic Strip Center has enhanced its prestigious, splendid Art Nouveau store. The building originally served as a warehouse to textile baron Charles Waucquez. This period (late nineteenth – early twentieth century) coincides with the beginnings of modern comic strips.
King Leopold II’s long reign (1865-1909) was a flourishing period. Every artistic discipline went through a creative heyday. A veritable revolution took place in the world of architecture. Bourgeois houses in Brussels city center became ideal test cases for this new aesthetic movement, as it was launched by a small group of artists, industrialists, and intellectuals. But Art Nouveau was also applied to department stores such as “A l’Innovation” (Horta, 1900), “The Waucquez Warehouse”, now the Belgian Comic Strip Center (Horta, 1906) or “Old England”, now the Musical Instruments Museum (P Saintenoy, 1899).
Victor Horta (1861-1947):
Victor Horta loved music. But at the age of twelve, he was expelled from the Conservatory because of a lack of discipline. He enrolled at Ghent Academy, in the architecture department, and was awarded his first medal at the age of fifteen. Two years later he left for Paris where he spent more than a year in painter-decorator Jules Dubuysson’s workshop. On his return to Belgium, he took up an apprenticeship at architect Balat’s (who designed the greenhouses at Laeken) and won one award after another.
In 1885 Horta designed some of his first houses. But it is Hotel Tassel (1893) that first brought to light Victor Horta’s enormous original talent: he invented a completely new code which would be used all over Europe until the eve of the First World War.
Masterpiece followed upon masterpiece: Solvay House (1898), Maison du People (1899), his own house (now Horta Museum, 1901), department stores such as Innovation (1903) and Waucquez Warehouse (1906). It is at this point that Horta experiences the very height of his career. Victor Horta was showered with praise and in 1932 the title of baron was bestowed upon him.
Comics Art Museum
Temporary and permanent exhibitions have transformed this Art Nouveau gem into a living and attractive temple. Every year more than 200.000 visitors come here to explore 4.200 m² of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The non-profit organization “Belgian Comic Strip Center” was created in 1984. It is a private initiative, composed of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking members. Half of the members originate from the comic strips’ world or from professional associations of comic strip artists.
This kingdom of imagination is home to some of Belgium’s best-known comic strip heroes: Tintin, Spirou, Bob and Bobette, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Blake and Mortimer, Marsupilami, etc. They are one big happy family of paper heroes. We can safely say that the heart of European comic strips beats in Brussels.
The Documentation room:
The Belgian Comic Strip Center has a Comic Strip Library housing more than 60,000 works. The documentation room allows visitors access to all the collections of albums, magazines and reference works conserved at BCSC. (The works can only be consulted in the library.)
The reading room:
The reading room containing a selection of over 7,000 albums is open to the general public during all opening hours. Here you will also find albums translated into over 40 languages.
During our visit, we will have the chance to have a private guide to tell us all the interesting stories hidden behind our favorite characters! We will get to see permanent exhibitions such as The Invention of Comic Strip, The Art of Comic Strip, Horta and the Waucquez Warehouse, The Hergé Area, The Peyo Exhibition and Pieter De Poortere Auditorium.
But we are not done yet! We will also be lucky enough to see two great temporary exhibitions. These exhibitions are dedicated to a particular artist, movement or theme, or to one of the many heroes of the comic strip, the temporary exhibitions at the BCSC attract comic strip fans from all over the world!
We will get to see: Billy and Buddy, Sixty years of everyday happiness and Pico Bogue and his family.