Thousands and thousands of visitors know what the Ancient Art Exhibition was all about.
The facilities, the propaganda and the budgetary organisation contributed to the complete success of the Exhibition, whereas an undertaking of this kind, naturally very costly, was becoming a real challenge in this period of crisis, when one might have feared a disaffection towards art and science.
We have borrowed from Mr. Georges Philippart, art critic and secretary of the Organizing Committee, the elements of the presentation that follows, not without paying tribute to the dedication and activity that he demonstrated both during the preparation and the duration of the Ancient Art Exhibition.
The preparatory work of the Commissions, which began at the beginning of 1934, focused first on the choice of Masters to be represented, and then on the works to be requested on loan, both in Belgium and abroad. In this sense, the Belgian initiative was well received.
The catalogue of the Exhibition of Ancient Art, presented definitively in three volumes, is an eloquent testimony to its importance.
Its importance can be judged from the material point of view by the table below, which shows the value of each section numerically (the figures shown do not take into account "double" numbers).
Religious silverware 51
Civil silverware 206
Mathematical instruments 14
Literature in the 19th century 61
Music prints and manuscripts 41
Great Britain 148
© Le Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle de Bruxelles 1935