Museum pieces in graphic novels

When browsing the KMKG's bookshop, I picked up a nice little catalogue of an exhibition that was held in the KMKG, Brussels (1996). Comic strips were celebrating their centenary that year. The expo was unimaginatively titled "Museumpieces as extras in a comic book" (Museumstukken als figuranten in een stripverhaal - Quand la BD s'inspire des objets du Musée).
It's a fairly small catalogue but I actually consider it a good effort to popularise some history using your own collection and rich museum history and have a 'new' approach to comic books. Well, it was, dans le temps. All things considering, it has been 12 years and been rehashed without adding anything new.
It puts figurines and historic artifacts side by side with their drawn derivatives. A lot of the material is borrowed from E.P. Jacobs, one of the masters of egyptologising comics (He made 2 fabulous graphic novels 'The Secret of the Great Pyramid'). Hergé's work (creator of Belgian icon Tintin) also features prominently. Jacobs lived only a few blocks away from the museum and could be found sketching for hours upon end and so was very well acquinted with the collection.
Most famous exhibit known all over the world is the Chimú figurine. It may not have a familiar ring to it, but if I say 'Arumbaya-fetish' it may clear up some clouds. Yes. That is the statuette Tintin tries to track down in 'The Broken Ear'.

The museum also sports the inspirational artifact of a Peruvian portrait vase as seen in the graves Tintin stumbles upon after falling through a waterfall in 'The Sun Temple' and again in the antiquarian's shop where Tintin and Captain Haddock buy some diving gear to look for "Red Rackham's Treasure". And of course the mummy that inspired 'Rascar Capac' in 'The 7 Christal Balls'. (Oh, this reminds me of one of those 'rehashed' expo's: the Tintin and Peru exhibition they had in '02).

Alas, the South American art wing is still closed, so a lot of the collection is currently not on display. I hope that, in the near future, all will be accessible again. I think the museum could benefit yet again from an influx of visitors and tourists in the wake of the Tintin movies announced last year and set to take to the silver screens in 2009.

But then they mustn't forget to put one of those big perspex boxes for donations. Or rather where everyone can get rid of their change. I seem to remember there was one like it when I was a kid (when the main entrance was closed and what is now called the group entrance served as the main one). It could boost the museum's annual revenue a bit.

In the catalogue's epilogue the museum launches a little plea for help as it were. They call upon everyone spotting more museum pieces in comic books to come forward.

Well, ok, but only if there is a reward involved. Or I could just write a little paper on it and submit it as a proposal for a new exhibition and see it as a moral incentive.

The catalogue is still available in the museum book shop and is only 6€. So hurry while stocks lasts!
And just so you know: They usually have a habit of putting old stuff they can't shift in the entrance lobby (opposite the hat & cloak bar). Today I picked up a free copy of an old catalogue of a 1979 exhibition on the Bellevue house and the Royal district.

Ps: In case you're wondering: I voted NO on the little poll.

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