Research

Knowledge centre

The Permeke Museum aims to become a Constant Permeke knowledge centre that connects the archival source material to new and existing scholarship. We seek to build a strong foundation for worldwide academic research into Constant Permeke, the interwar period and modernism.

In his will, Constant Permeke stated that he wanted his artworks to remain together for as long as possible and for his home to become a museum. The Permeke Museum is responsible for maintaining and optimising the artist’s legacy. All information about newly discovered artworks by Permeke – including their bibliography and exhibition history – is carefully catalogued and verified. The aim of this long-term project is to document Constant Permeke’s entire oeuvre and, in so doing, to produce a comprehensive, illustrated online catalogue. It will supersede the earlier printed catalogues on Permeke’s art and include previously unpublished works.

Do you own an artwork by Constant Permeke? Please contact us via info@permekemuseum.be so that it can be included in the online catalogue raisonné .

The Permeke Museum, and by extension Mu.ZEE, does not provide certificates of authenticity for artworks. For this, you are advised to contact auction houses and commercial galleries.

Publications

To mark the reopening, a general book about Constant Permeke will be published by Hannibal Books. It includes a broad overview of, and reflections upon, Constant Permeke’s oeuvre. The essays are a collaboration with international authors who are experts in the fields of modernism and humanism, and who take an innovative approach to Permeke’s work.

Archive

In addition to artworks, the Permeke Museum also maintains an extensive archive of photos and letters from Permeke to his son Paul and to figures such as Gust De Smet, André De Ridder, Roger Avermaete, Gustave Van Geluwe, etc. The family of honorary curator Willy Van den Bussche donated his papers and documents to the Provincial Archives of West Flanders, with which the Permeke Museum enjoys a close working relationship.

Permeke in Layers

Constant Permeke’s self-portrait from 1928-1936 was in urgent need of restoration. Paint had been lost and was also flaking off in certain areas. A study was launched in 2013 with the support of the InBev-Baillet Latour Fund, and in collaboration with the King Baudouin Foundation. In addition to investigating the cause of the flaking, the restorers also set about researching why the painting had always been so dark. The self-portrait and twelve other paintings by Permeke from the same period (1920-1940), all with a similarly dark layer of paint, were placed under the microscope. The pigments and binding agents, taken from microscopic samples, were thoroughly analysed. The research was presented in Permeke in Layers, a presentation that was first shown in Mu.ZEE in Ostend and then at the Permeke Museum in Jabbeke. The project afforded a deeper insight into Permeke’s working methods.

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