The James Ensor House

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You can only understand James Ensor and his art if you visit Ostend The house where he worked and lived from 1917 until his death has been preserved in its original state, so you can still visit it today. While the Ensor House was already open to the public, its potential was not fully utilised. That is why the City of Ostend acquired the adjoining dwellings, adding 690 sqm to the house. 

The buildings were converted into an interactive experience centrum that introduces you to Ensor and his world. These rooms, which are decorated with authentic furniture, life-size reproductions and small documentary presentations, offer a unique opportunity to explore the space where the artist worked and lived. Five rooms each shine a spotlight on a specific theme:

  1. Introduction to Ensor’s world
  2. Interiors
  3. Ensor’s public life
  4. Criticism
  5. Masks and strange figures

You learn more about the many facets of this interesting artist. 

Every target group, from art connoisseurs to children, is introduced to Ensor and his world on their level in an interactive presentation. Visitors are also given tailor-made audio guides. Gust Van Yper, Ensor’s manservant, guides the youngest visitors through the house. A privileged experience. Gust reveals countless anecdotes about the many famous people that visited him, about life in the house and the family members. Here you can sense, listen to and see James Ensor. Your visit ends in the museum proper. The museum hosts several temporary exhibitions in collaboration with the Ensor expert Xavier Tricot. 

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