In Search of Utopia, the most high-profile exhibition of 2016

In Search of Utopia, the most high-profile exhibition of 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016 — Leuven is celebrating a 500th anniversary. Utopia, the iconic book by Thomas More, was printed in Leuven in 1516. The city on the Dyle is organizing a lavish commemoration of this event with a major exhibition, a city festival and a unique social project. 'In Search of Utopia’ will not only be the biggest Flemish exhibition of 2016, but will also feature many artworks that have never been exhibited in Flanders before. No fewer than 90 masterpieces from across the world are coming to M - Museum Leuven.

The Flemish masters Quinten Metsys and Jan Gossaert as well as international artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein are only a few of the names that will appeal to a broad audience. The organizer KU[N]ST Leuven is particularly pleased that the famous Portrait of Erasmus by Quinten Metsys has been loaned from the Collection of Queen Elisabeth II of the United Kingdom. In addition, three restored Enclosed Gardens from Mechelen will be exhibited for the very first time, and five of the seven authentic Leuven armillary spheres and two of the finest Leuven astrolabes by Gerard Mercator and Adriaan Zeelst are coming home for the first time. The curator Prof. Dr. Jan Van der Stock (Illuminare / KU Leuven) - the man behind the Rogier van der Weyden exhibition at M – has devised an exhibition concept within which all of these works are shown to their best advantage.

Ticket sales are open
The exhibition at M - Museum Leuven opens on 20 October. On 17 January, the masterpieces will be leaving Leuven again. To ensure that everything runs smoothly for the many expected visitors, ticket sales opened on 19 May and will be divided into timeslots. In addition to individual tickets, there is also a special Utopia combo ticket for the exhibitions at both M - Museum Leuven and at the University Library, where Utopia and More will explore the life and utopian literary world of Thomas More.

Tickets are available at, where KU[N]ST Leuven also presents information about the citywide festival and the social project Youtopia.

 500 Years of Utopia is an initiative of KU[N]ST Leuven, the collaborative platform between the City of Leuven and KU Leuven.

In Search of Utopia © Hans Holbein the Younger (after), Portrait of Thomas More, 1527.  National Portrait Gallery, London.
In Search of Utopia © Quinten Massys, Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam, 1517, Palazzo Barberini, Rome
In Search of Utopia © Quinten Massys, Portrait of Pieter Gillis, 1517. Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Antwerp.
In Search of Utopia © Quinten Metsys, Portrait of a Scholar, c. 1525-1530. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
In Search of Utopia © Jan Gossaert, A Young Princess with armillary sphere c. 1530, The National Gallery, London
In Search of Utopia © Enclosed Garden with Saint Elisabeth, Saint Ursula and Saint Catharine, c. 1520-1530. Stedelijke Musea, Mechelen.
In Search of Utopia © Pierre Desceliers, Mappamundi (Map of the World), 1550.  British Library, London.
In Search of Utopia © Thomas Morus, The description of the isle of Utopia, 1550, ed. Paris, University Library – Tabularium, Leuven
In Search of Utopia © Armillary Sphere, 1573, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich.
Exhibiton © Utopia & More<br/>KU Leuven University Library
Exhibition © Yto Barrada - M - Museum Leuven
Exhibition © Tracing the Future _  Commisie Actuele Kunst  KU Leuven
Exhibition © Eutopia – Possibility of an Island -  Stad en Architectuur vzw.
Denise Vandevoort Alderman for Culture, City of Leuven
Hanna van Zutphen Press & Communication KU[N]ST Leuven
Jan Van der Stock Curator exhibition 'In Search of Utopia'