15 September 2014

museums are closed on Monday

Most museums are closed on Mondays so it probably makes sense to do something wild and crazy like go the seaside resort town Ostend and visit the Ensor House which happens to be closed on Tuesdays. Painter James Ensor lived in the house but there isn't much of his original art on display. One room had about twenty prints and there were plenty of reproductions round and about. As they say on their website: If you’re looking for original works by James Ensor, you will be disappointed: the museum is instead an invitation to journey to the early 20th century, into the world of the Ostend artist.

The attendant at the door and shop was a recent graduate in graphic design from one of the design schools in Ghent and we had a little chat about the house's funkiness and objects in the shop. One of those objects was a book with the words to Desolation Row by Bob Dylan and illustrations from Ensor. The guy said the song was written after Dylan had seen Ensor's most famous painting Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889. Everyone should have a clamshell stool for their organ and a big version of Christ's Entry behind the instrument.

What doesn't make sense is getting on the wrong train to get home and taking a "little detour" as the conductor called it. It took about an hour more than it needed to but now I've seen more of Belgium than anticipated.

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