Initial impetus to the research on the presence of applied arts in Flanders

INITIATIVES SUPPORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT
CREATIVE CRAFTS DEPARTMENT AND ARTISTIC CRAFTS DEPARTMENT

A. Exhibitions
1. Sales Exhibitions
2. One-off art-history exhibitions
3. Periodically recurring exhibitions.

1. Sales Exhibitions
The advertising was run by business-minded civil servants, which resulted in the main activities being limited to several sales exhibitions in the Woluwe Shopping Centre Brussels (1975-1977); Food Fair Brussels (1979-1980), Europacado, Brussels (1980); Building and Living today, Bruges (1980).

2. One-off art-history exhibitions
Gradually, we have created space for exhibitions in which we were initially careful and later more explicit in opting for innovative trends within contemporary applied arts. Besides a number of smaller exhibitions, which we do not think worth mentioning here, we have also organised and composed the following exciting events:
1978 "Hedendaags Kant" (Contemporary Lace), University Centre Limburg, Diepenbeek: an image of contemporary expressions in lace which made use of all techniques available.
1979 "Glas en kunst" (Glass and Art), University Centre Limburg, Diepenbeek: a collection of stained-glass windows from the most interesting contemporary works- hops for stained-glass windows at that time.
1979 "Grafiek in de Benelux" (Graphics in the Benelux), National Theatre, Brussels and the EBES gallery, Antwerp: printing.
1980 "Metaal & Kunst" (Metal and Art), at the reception hall of the Bekaert company and in a park in Zwevegem,
1980 The first jewellery exhibition showing the work of a new generation of silver and goldsmiths, presented alongside the work of famous sculptors. The title refers to the exhibition's theme, i.e. 'metal' in art.
1980 "Materies & kunst, Kunstambacht '80 ?" (Materials and Art, Artistic Craft '80 ?), City halls, St. Niklaas: retrospective exhibition on contemporary artistic craft in our country. This was the first attempt to retrace its more recent history.
1981 "Grafische boek-ver-beelding" (Graphic Imaginings in Books), at the University Centre Limburg, Diepenbeek; CC Strombeek Bever; HIGRO, Ghent and the City Library, Antwerp: a travelling exhibition on book design in which one could see work by our most interesting typographers.
1982 "Hedendaagse juwelen, meubelen en tapijten" (Contemporary Jewellery, Furniture and Carpets), Design Centre Brussels: an exhibition with craft design 'avant la lettre'.
1982 "Hedendaagse fotografie in West- en Oost- Vlaanderen" (Contemporary Photography in West and East Flanders), travelling exhibition, CC De Schakel Waregem, CC Heusden Zolder: Contemporary photography by West and East Flemish artists.
1983 "Ambacht, traditie en creatie, een nieuwe toekomst" (Crafts, Tradition and Creation: a new future), Militia Hall, Town Hall Brussels, Ogival Hall, Town Hall Brussels under the High Protection of Our Royal Highnesses, the Princes of Liège: a retrospective exhibition on contemporary applied arts in Belgium.
1984 "Hedendaagse fotografie in West- en Oost- Vlaanderen" (Contemporary photography in West and East Flanders), travelling exhibition, Museum of Deinze and the Leie region, Deinze; CC De Schakel, Waregem; Casino, Middelkerke; Town hall, Poperinge: a selection of works by young photographers from both provinces.
1984 "Textiel en Keramiek in het Belfort" (Textile and Ceramics in the Belfry), Town hall, Aalst. In this exhibition we mainly focused on functional work, both in the field of textiles and ceramics.
1984 "Vehta Biennale", Romanesque Church, Vichte: Interna- tional exhibition on the pictorial aspect of textile art, including a section on functional textiles desig- ned by young painters.
1985 "Attitudes. Jewellery from Britain, Schmuck aus Deutschland, sieraden uit Nederland, juwelen uit Vlaanderen", ICC Antwerp and Museum for Decorative Arts Ghent: International exhibition on innovations in jewellery which was meant to travel around Europe, its final destination being the PMMK in Ostend. But the exhibition was destroyed during a freight accident at Bonn station (D). The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue which contained the beginnings of a survey on the recent art history of silver and gold smithery in Belgium and Flanders. It was the first exhibition held in Belgium since 1969 in which the work of the most internationally renowned jewellery designers was presented.
1986 "Sieraad 86. Draagteken" (Jewel 86. Portants), Museum for Contemporary Art 'Het Kruithuis', 's Herto- genbosch (NL): we were invited to select and arrange the section on Belgian (Flemish) contemporary jewellery. This invitation was a direct consequence of the fact that 'Attitudes' which had taken place the year before, attracted Europe's attention to the existence of a new generation of silver and gold smiths in Flanders.
1986 "Gloed en Glas" (Glow and Glass), ASLK Gallery, Brus- sels: ASLK asked us to conceive and organise this exhibition. It was both an evocation and an important historical survey of glass art in our country from the early Middle-Ages till then. Specialists were invited to shed a critical light on the different historical periods involved. We ourselves commented on the period after 1965.
1986 "Juweelkunst in België" (Jewellery in Belgium), Museum for Decorative Arts, Ghent. The first art- historical retrospective sketching the main develop- ments in silver and gold smithery and more particularly in jewellery in Belgium after WW II. This exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue which contained a more complete study of the subject along with an extensive bibliography.
1987 "Jonge Vlaamse Glazeniers" (Young Flemish Stained- Glass Artists), BBL, Kortrijk. This smaller exhibition was a follow-up to 'Gloed in Glas' (see above), and emphasized the work of some younger stained-glass artists who had not been selected for the previous exhibition.
1987 "Made in Belgium", Brussels, Heizel. See below under 'Mass events'.
1988 "Joahlharia contemporanea Belga", Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenken, Lisbon, Portugal. This was a very refined selection of work by contemporary Belgian silver and goldsmiths.
1988 "Kunstambacht in Vlaanderen leeft" (Artistic Craft is alive in Flanders), Ghent, Floraliënpaleis. See below under (Mass events).
1989 "Kunstambacht als Laboratorium" (Artistic Craft as a Laboratory), Brabant Artistic Crafts Hall, Brussels. This exhibition was a quest for the roots of contempo- rary applied arts. It was organised by us for the '5th Biannual European Congress' of the World Crafts Council (WCC) in collaboration with ESIM and WCC Flanders. It illustrated the idea that artistic crafts have laid the foundations of all design; a basic approach which we encounter in the WEIMAR-BAUHAUS. The exhibition functioned as a starting point for a discussion on the phenomenon of 'contemporary artistic craft'.
1989 "Hedendaagse Juweelkunst in België" (Contemporary Jewellery in Belgium), PMMK, Ostend. The exhibition held at the Gulbenkian was used as a basis here. Additional works from each artists were added.
1989 "Giampaolo Babetto, juweelontwerper" (Gianpaolo Babetto, Jewellery Designer) PMMK, Ostend. We organised this exhibition at the request of the PMMK, showing one of the most important representatives of Italian contemporary silversmithery from the Padua region.
1990 "Hedendaags kunstambacht" (Contemporary Artistic Craft), Palais des Papes, Avignon (F) in collaboration with the DG XXIII (SME) of the European Commission. This was a small exhibition in which we showed the difference between ordinary and artistic craft work.
1990 "Hedendaagse juwelen" (Contemporary Jewellery), Luxemburg, in collaboration with the Benelux Economical Union. Every two years, the "Artistic Craft" work group of the Benelux Economic Union organise an event on applied arts in the three countries. This exhibition is one of them.
1990 "TReASHure IsLAND", Museum for Decorative Arts, Ghent. For this exhibition we re-displayed the stand of the same name with which we participated in the international design fair Interieur 90.
1990/1992 "Hedendaagse juwelen" (Contemporary Jewellery), Museum for Decorative Arts, Ghent. A repeat of the Benelux exhibition of the previous year.

3. Periodically recurring exhibitions.
We have organised a number of exhibitions over the years presenting similar themes in the same space and under the same conditions.
"Hedendaagse juwelen" (Contemporary jewellery), CC Strombeek Bever, 1982, 1983. Work by the first genera- tion of silversmiths who graduated from the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp.
"Cyclus Jordaenshuis", Jordaenshuis Antwerp, 1981- 1987. Collective exhibitions of work by young Antwerp artists from all artistic craft disciplines.
"Cyclus Gaselwest", Kortrijk 1978-1987. Two or three collective exhibitions per year of graphic and photo- graphic work by young artists from East and West Flanders.