ANTWERP.- With great sadness, the City of Antwerp, Museums & Heritage Antwerp and Middelheimmuseum notify you of the sudden death of Menno Meewis, director of the Middelheimmuseum.
Menno Meewis, 58, passed away in Canada on 17 October 2012 as a result of cerebral hemorrhage.
Menno Meewis started his career with the city of Antwerp in 1977, only temporarily interrupted by a short period at the end of the eighties when he went to work as coordinator of contemporary art exhibitions for Europalia Japan (1989).
As director, Menno Meewis turned the Middelheimmuseum into a meaningful player in the Flemish cultural field. He was the driving force behind the notable rejuvenation and expansion of the museum that was finalized earlier this year, with among others the brand-new half-open pavilion 'Het Huis,' designed by Robbrecht en Daem as a special exhibition pavilion for fragile works of art.
Through the purchase of sculptures by international top stars like Lawrence Weiner, Tony Cragg, Franz West, Chris Burden and Joep Van Lieshout, Menno Meewis gave the Middelheimmuseum considerable and important impulses.
Temporary exhibitions with artists of international renown like Erwin Wurm (2011) and Thomas Schütte (2012), he equally put the Middelheimmuseum on the map.
Menno Meewis has always had a keen interest in local and young artists and was the motivating energy of many contemporary art integration projects that will define the outlook of Antwerp for many years to come.
Menno leaves behind a big void for his life companion Liliane Dewachter, his family and friends, and the entire Flemish museum community.
The city Council, Museums & Heritage Anwerp and the Middelheimmuseum offer their sincere condolences.