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THE COLLECTION

From art on the walls at home, to MErode. How did MErode come to be? An outline of where the collecting bug originates from.

 

The whole art story begins with Patric's parents. Albert Tuytens was a textiles entrepreneur. He and his wife started their collection by buying lithographs and bringing beautiful objects home from their travels. Later, they would take the plunge into modern art. From there, the passion edged towards contemporary art. Many of the contemporary pieces were displayed at home, but some found their way to the workplace. It was Albert’s goal to popularise art, and to share it with the personnel. He figured that, ‘Even if the workers didn't like art, at least they had seen it.’

 

His son Patric was surrounded by art and art objects and, as a boy, would even accompany his parents to galleries and exhibitions. For years, he and his wife Françoise collected art for their home. But Patric was short of space to show his own collection. He wanted somewhere that gave him a free hand in what to buy and where to display it. He was looking for a spacious building with plenty of natural light around Ronse. And found it on Mérode Street. The office rooms and warehousing give his works the space and pride of place they deserve. Now Patric gets to open his collection to the public, and history turns full circle.

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Patric's daughter, Marie, also grew up among the artworks. She would go on to attend the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, In Situ3 (site-specific installations). A piece of hers is actually exhibited in MErode. The ideal subject for her thesis, it turned out, was her grandparents’ collection. She began her career in a gallery, before moving into education. Despite the career change, art was never far from her heart. As her father's new project materialised, she threw herself into it with a passion.

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