Several publications about Eugeen Van Mieghem have already been released. They are listed below. Should you be interested in obtaining a copy, please feel free to contact the Museum using the contact references at the bottom of the page.

Art book: Eugeen Van Mieghem = Antwerp

Eugeen Van Mieghem’s oeuvre gives us an impressive, unique and masterfully executed picture of people in an international seaport around the year 1900. Antwerp, like other smaller ports, was a source of inspiration for countless visual artists. Van Mieghem’s work, however, centres on ordinary people and their pursuit of a decent life. Van Mieghem could not avoid his fate. His background, his talent and his idealism guided him in his desire to be the artist of the people, his people, the people of the port of Antwerp. In this book curator Erwin Joos uses 500 illustrations to paint a picture of Van Mieghem’s life and work.

(Publication available in Dutch, English and French)

Eugeen Van Mieghem en de emigranten van de Red Star Line

Free passage on the river Scheldt having been bought off in 1863 would mark the start of a new economic bloom. Dynamic entrepreneurs from all over Europe would settle in the city to do business, while on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the fledgling United States of America embarked on an unprecedented economic growth following a devastating Civil War. In 1872 Clement Griscom, a young entrepreneur from Philadelphia, traveled to Antwerp and founded the Belgian business company “Société Anonyme de Navigation Belge-Américaine” (in short, SANBA). Over a period of about 60 years, between 1873 and 1934, the shipping company operating under the brandname Red Star Line transported approximately two million emigrants to the New World. Eugeen Van Mieghem (1875-1930) was an important witness, not only of this massive migration, but equally of his time and surroundings, the world port in which he had grown up and where he was living. His exceptional drawings, pastels and paintings of fortune hunters would gain revived interest only 50 years after his death. Thanks to numerous publications and exhibitions both in the USA and in Europe Van Mieghem has become an Antwerp icon as well as an internationally renowned interpreter of the great European migration at the beginning of the 20th Century. The artist lived in a socially tumultuous period of burgeoning democracies. Driven by compassion and idealism he wanted to be an artistic witness of a community that would hardly ever be focused on. After all, the world was literally passing by his doorstep and he would give the nameless a face. Both his virtuoso talent and his impressive authenticity have created for Van Mieghem’ s oeuvre a place of honor in European art.
In 2002 the author of this book took several initiatives to rescue the old Red Star Line buildings from demolition by granting them an official grade-A and getting them redigned into a museum. The Van Mieghem Foundation has been a partner of the City of Antwerp in the Red Star Line Museum since 2009. The Foundation promotes the Red Star Line Museum internationally through all kinds of exhibitions.

Art book: Franck, an Outstanding Antwerp Family

By 1900, Antwerp was a European centre of growth and the port had undergone extraordinary expansion. Just as had happened in the 16th Century, Antwerp began to attract migrants from surrounding countries. The German community in Antwerp was close to 20,000 strong before the First World War. As a group they relied greatly on the local, generally liberal, francophone middle classes. At the beginning of the 20th Century one particular Antwerp family played a prominent role in several areas of public life.

They undertook numerous initiatives, the outcome of which would have a municipal, national and even international impact. The business man and patron of the arts Frans (François) Franck was the driving force. Frans' and his brother Charles' donations of masterpieces by James Ensor, Rik Wouters, Jacob Smits, Henri de Braekeleer and others to the KMSKA constitute a highlight in their collection. Their elder brother, Louis, was one of the most important Belgian politicians of his generation (Alderman, Member of Parliament, Minister and Governor of the National Bank).

After the Second World War, their descendants scattered across Europe, Asia and The USA. James Ensor's masterpiece "The Entry of Christ into Brussels" was sold to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles by Louis Franck jr. around 1975. His daughter Martine was Henri Cartier-Bresson's wife. In November 2015 the family drew renewed international attention for a while when a part of the family collection (with works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Chagall, Toulouse-Lautrec and others) was auctioned at Sotheby's in New York.

(The book is writen in both Dutch and English)

Art book: Eugeen Van Mieghem - Augustine Pautre

Eugeen Van Mieghem is well-known for his impressive, masterfully executed and unique oeuvre about life in the port of Antwerp around 1900. Driven by idealism, he drew and painted not only the people who lived and worked there, but also those leaving the country to make a new life for themselves in America or Canada.
After his first taste of success at La Libre Esthétique salon in Brussels, in 1902 Van Mieghem married his fiancée Augustine Pautre. However, this stunningly beautiful woman of Swiss nationality died of tuberculosis in 1905, at the age of just 24. Foreign art critics and curators compare the cycle he made of her during the last days of her life with work by Rembrandt, Edvard Munch and Ferdinand Hodler.
Author Erwin Joos spent over 30 years inventorizing the works the artist made of his wife Augustine and in this publication he describes her tragic life.

(Publication available in Dutch and English)

30 jaar passie (30 Years of Passion)

"He who loses himself in his passion loses less than he who loses his passion" (Augustinus van Hippo).

The oeuvre of the painter cum draughtsman Eugeen Van Mieghem is an Antwerp icon. The rediscovery of this artist was not the work of one person, but of a whole host of admirers at home and abroad.
30 jaar passie traces the history of the foundation.
Starting in 1982, it describes year by year how individuals and organizations have worked with our foundation in many different ways to rescue Eugeen Van Mieghem from oblivion.

(Publication available in Dutch only)

The Port

The artist Eugeen Van Mieghem [1875-1930] developed into an Antwerp icon. His work was exhibited in the United States and all over Europe. Van Mieghem was a true Antwerp local, born in the old port. Amidst the port activities of his day, he made paintings of the port and the people who dwelt, lived, and worked there. He gave pride of place to ordinary people and their struggle for a dignified existence in a period of major social change. Around 1900, under the influence of Jean-François Millet, a lot of artists went off in search of a setting where they could portray people in ther natural environment. For some that was the mining district, for orthers the natural beauty of the countryside. Just like Millet, Van Mieghem drew his inspiration from the environment in which he himself grew up. He stands virtually alone in European social art with his authentic images of life at the waterfront in a world class port.

This bilingual publication in Dutch and English numbers 208 pages with over 330 pictures.

Film: Eugeen Van Mieghem – An artist of the people

This 32-minute, biographical film is a condensed and highly watchable recreation of the artist’s life.

The film proved so popular that it is also shown in translation at exhibitions abroad. There are versions with French, English, Hungarian and Czech subtitles.
The DVD is available from the museum in Dutch (original version), French (subtitled) and English (spoken).

A trailer of the film can be seen here by clicking on the image. The complete film is also shown continuously during museum visits.

De dolaar en de weidse stad (The vagabond and the vast city)

Writer Lode Baekelmans and Eugeen Van Mieghem were bosom pals. In his novel ‘De dolaar en de weidse stad’ Baekelmans tells the story of a young man from the Land van Waas (East Flanders) who came to the port of Antwerp around 1900 looking for work. The writer gives a gripping account of the harshness of life for the port proletariat. His story has been rewritten in modern Dutch.

(Publication available in Dutch only)

Mensen rond Eugeen Van Mieghem (People around Eugeen Van Mieghem)

An artist is of course formed by the physical environment in which he grew up, but perhaps even more by the people around him: writers, artists, close family, friends and relationships.
Van Mieghem was a very well-read man, which makes it impossible to discuss all the authors he read. So this book only includes the writers he met personally. Visual artists are referred to if the artist knew them personally or if they influenced him.
This publication is intended to help the enthusiast, admirer or chance reader place Eugeen Van Mieghem the artist in the context of his time.

(Publication available in Dutch only)

De Kapel tussen droom en daad (De Kapel twixt dream and action)

Around 1900 Van Mieghem and his friends (including Lode Baekelmans and Willem Elsschot) were part of a group of young people in Antwerp who frequented the literary and anarchistic association De Kapel. Its influence was profound and those who referred to it later in life did so with nostalgia.
De Kapel, an initiative of the Antwerp entrepreneur François Franck, was a centre of progressive and intellectual life. Exhibitions, musical evenings and lectures were organized there. Writers, politicians and well-known personalities entertained the audience on the most diverse subjects.
In this publication authors Stijn Vanclooster, Jan Moulaert and Erwin Joos paint a brilliant picture of the influence of this extraordinary Flemish association on Van Mieghem’s oeuvre.

(Publication available in Dutch only)

Les Villes tentaculaires - De tentakels van de steden (The Tentacular Cities)

Translating one of Emile Verhaeren’s most famous texts was no mean feat. The poet, a master of literary symbolism, wrote the anthology in such a personal style that no Dutch translation can hope to be more than an interpretation of the original.
This book contains both the original French text from 1895 and Erwin Joos’ Dutch translation.
The influence of Verhaeren’s poems is very much in evidence in the drawings Van Mieghem produced around 1895. There is no doubt that the artist was present at Verhaeren’s reading at De Kapel.

(Publication in French and Dutch)

Willem Usselincx (Antwerpen 1567-1647 Amsterdam), mentor van de West-Indische Compagnie (Willem Usselincx, mentor of the Dutch West India Company)

Very early on, the Eugeen Van Mieghem Foundation became interested in the history of the Red Star Line. Professor Roland Baetens was instrumental in helping the foundation save the old Red Star Line buildings from demolition.
The foundation bought a copy of the American publication Willem Usselinx, Founder of the Dutch and Swedish West India Companies from an antiquarian bookshop. It revealed that even from 1608 the Antwerp Protestant Willem Usselincx played a crucial role in establishing the Dutch West India Company which was the driving force behind the foundation of New Amsterdam (the modern-day New York) in 1624. Despite that crucial role, Willem Usselincx’s name was forgotten and he is almost never mentioned in books about the history of New York city.
This publication endeavours to put the record straight by recalling the historical importance of Willem Usselincx for America and Antwerp.

(Publication available in Dutch only)

Stemmen over Eugeen Van Mieghem (Voices on Eugeen Van Mieghem)

This book is a compilation of some 54 selected reviews and other articles relating to the artist and written between 1904 and 2010. They provide a fascinating overview of the evolution of the perception of Van Mieghem’s work at home and abroad. We see that he is described internationally as a highly skilled and talented, modern artist who left behind a rare body of work about a landmark moment in our history, the origin of democraty. (Reviews in Dutch, French, English and German)

The missing images

ery few photographs or artworks have survived of the mass Jewish emigration from Europe to the New World between 1850 and 1924. Most portray the life of the migrants in small villages before their departure and other rare photographs show the poverty they faced on arrival in their adopted country.
The oeuvre of the Antwerp artist Eugeen Van Mieghem provides a rare record of their stay in the ports and embarkation. In his drawings he captured with great empathy the (mainly Jewish) emigrants who sailed from Antwerp with the Red Star Line for the United States of America and Canada around 1900.

(Publication available in English only)

Portraits of Women

Women played a prominent role in Eugeen Van Mieghem’s art. At first this was his mother and later on mainly his wife Augustine Pautre. But most prominent of all in his oeuvre is the working woman in the port of Antwerp.
Like his great role model Jean-François Millet, Van Mieghem gave these simple working women an air of respect and dignity. Millet painted them working on the land, while Van Mieghem portrayed them going about their daily lives in the port of Antwerp.
This book also looks at the influence of Rembrandt, Steinlen and Edvard Munch on Van Mieghem.

(Publication now only available in French and English)

The Immigrant

The bronze sculpture De Emigrant / The Immigrant was created by the American sculptor Julia Levitina after the work of the Antwerp artist Eugeen Van Mieghem. Of the 100 signed and numbered editions made, some are now in museums abroad and in important company collections.
Julia Levitina was born in Odessa (USSR) in 1981 and emigrated to Philadelphia (United States of America) at the age of 14. Levitina's work has won many prizes including the Metropolitan Museum of Art Medal for Excellence in Fine Arts in 1999 and the Stimson Prize in Figurative Sculpture in 2004.
For more information about the remaining sculptures, please contact the Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum.

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