The Fondation Magritte, established by Charly Herscovici and a number of others who appreciate the work of René Magritte, came into being on 5 February 1998 in Brussels. It is a non-profit-making organisation whose aim is to safeguard the oeuvre and reputation of René Magritte. It monitors the presence of both the artist and his work throughout Belgium and the rest of the world.
The Magritte Foundation is involved in mounting many exhibitions throughout the world. In 1998 it supported the impressive retrospective to mark the centenary of René Magritte’s birth staged by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Since that time it has supported several major exhibitions, including those of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen (August-November 1999), the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh (December 1999-March 2000) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (May-September 2000). In Rome 2001, the Magritte Foundation took on total responsibility for an exhibition of the painter’s work for the first time. Since then the Foundation has sought to bring the benefits of its experience to the creation of exhibitions at Knokke (June – September 2001), in Japan (2002), at the Jeu de Paume in Paris (2003), at the Beyeler Foundation in Basel (2005). In 2005 the first major retrospective of Magritte’s photographic work will open in Brussels (Palais des Beaux-Arts). After this the exhibition will go on tour in Paris (Maison Européenne de la Photographie (2006). Since 2006, the Magritte Foundation continues to promote René Magritte’s art throughout exhibitions all around the world, amongst others at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (November 2006-March 2007), at the Seoul Museum of Art (December 2006-Februari 2007), at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico (2010), at the Tate in Liverpool and the Albertina in Vienna (2011). The Magritte Foundation will support the major traveling exhibition The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 opening this year in the MoMA New York, the Menil Collection in Houston and the Art Institute of Chicago. Currently the Foundation is organizing in close cooperation with the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and the Yomiuri Shimbun a major exhibition in Japan, René Magritte : The Search for the Absolute, to be held at the National Art Center of Tokyo and the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art in 2015. It is Centre Pompidou in Paris which will welcome a big exhibition in 2016-2017. Then, it will be presented to the Schirn Kunsthalle de Frankfort in 2017.
A Committee for the Authentification of Works by René Magritte was set up on 30 March 2000 in Brussels under the aegis of the Fondation Magritte. The Fondation took this initiative in order to protect Magritte’s oeuvre and to continue the enormous task formerly performed by the authors of the catalogue raisonné. This Committee, which meets twice yearly, is composed of members of the Fondation’s administrative council and external experts.
The Fondation Magritte has helped to found the Centre de Recherches René Magritte at the Université Libre in Brussels. The Centre’s main aim is to promote research on Magritte by publishing doctoral theses, conference papers and correspondence, and by gathering and developing archives of written and visual materials. The project took a great step forward when a copy of the Magritte archives housed in Houston (Menil Foundation) was brought back to Belgium.
The Fondation Magritte is currently developing a range of projects, including its website and publications for children. The Fondation Magritte will continue to pursue these activities, while remaining open to new areas of investigation. The new Musée Magritte, an initiative of the Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique, the Régie des Bâtiments, the Fondation Magritte and Groupe Suez, will open in spring 2009.
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Incorporation of the Authentification of René Magritte’s Works 30 March 2000. The Committee for the Authentification of Works by René Magritte was set up under the aegis of the Fondation René Magritte on 30 March 2000 in Brussels. The importance of René Magritte’s oeuvre, and the increasing levels of interest generated by it, have led to some false or dubious attributions. In order to safeguard the artist’s oeuvre, the Fondation René Magritte has therefore decided to set up an Authentification Committee, with the support of the world’s greatest experts on René Magritte. The object of the Committee is to give opinions on the authenticity of works (in any medium) attributed to René Magritte. In fulfilling this role the Committee has taken over the enormous task performed for over twenty years by David Sylvester and Sarah Whitfield (authors of the catalogue raisonné).
The Committee consists of eight members and among them three representatives of the Fondation Magritte. The five experts are Sarah Whitfield, Gisèle Ollinger, Richard Calvocoressi, Mia Vandekerckhove and Xavier Canonne. The Fondation Magritte is represented on this Committee by Alain Berenboom, Bernard de Launoit and Charly Herscovici. The Committee will be chaired by Gisèle Ollinger.
All works must be presented WITHOUT FRAME.
The Committee meets twice yearly to consider requests for authentification, in February-March and September. In just under 20 years hundreds of works have been presented and the Committee has given a positive opinion in almost 200 cases.