Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), Ghent

(2.9/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
The Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst is a relatively new museum located in Ghent, Belgium, and is renowned both for its permanent collection and for its provocative exhibitions.HistoryThe new museum opened to the public on 7 May 1999. The collection concentrates on international developments in art after 1945, and was based upon works collected by the Contemporary Art Museum Association (created on 8 November 1957 at the instigation of Karel Geirlandt) and the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst (set up in 1975 as the first Belgian museum devoted to contemporary art, housed in the Museum of Fine Arts, with Jan Hoet appointed as director).After Jan Hoet retired from the museum on December 1, 2003, Peter Doroshenko was in charge. After a trial period of one year, he was dismissed. The dismissal of Doroshenko caused much commotion. Artists and curators, headed by Luc Tuymans, feared for the future and independence of the museum. A petition was handed to the Chairman of the Board of Directors; culture vessels Sas Van Rouveroij. The dismissal was not reversed, but there were some changes in the organizational structure of the museum. Thus, Jan Hoet gave up his seat on the board of directors.Current directors are Philippe Van Cauteren (art director) and Philippe Vandenweghe (business director).
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a museum whose attendants still have time to learn to appreciate even more your art! Beautiful building, nice exhibition, delicious coffee!
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  • The building it self and especially the lighting was very nice. But the actual exhibitions did not apeel to me. Some boring photograhper and Gagarin. 
  • Founded by the 'Pope of contemporary art' Jan Hoet, he has to look at the people of today gelehrtt art and what makes this wonderful Museum, with often very interesting exhibitions
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Google
  • Great collection, but the museum is to small. There are no self guided audio tours. Friendly service.
  • Beautiful setting right in the middle of Gent within the park. Grungy feeling with the off the beaten path art exhibits. I do recommend the lobby cafe with free WiFi on a hot summer afternoon...
  • all i can say about this place is...WOOOWWWW. very original, modern and very attractive and eye-catching.
  • I was there some time ago but the exhibition of modern art was very interesting. I had a nice sandwich and cafe before I went in. It is also not expensive to enter - I cannot remember exactly the price though. I saw someone reviewed this place one star because it was shut the day they went - I think that is really unfair. I had a great experience and told many friends about it.
  • Of all the museums I've visited around the world, SMAK is the most innovative. When I visited in summer 2014 they had positively absurd avant garde pieces, like a watermelon (yes, a real watermelon) laying there on the ground. It greatly expands the mind and challenges the visitor to think about art in a new way.