Eline Vandenbosch

Eline is a Belgian art historian, archaeologist and a design historian who is interested in the art nouveau style and the context of the fin de siècle period, the history of tourism, local heritage and museology.

Research Project

The publication about sculptures as a product of his time 

This research focuses on a publication about public sculpture in Brussels printed in 1900 to gain new insights into the production, consumption and use of the guide.

Material Culture, Modern, Europe, Built Environment, Media, Methods of Documentation, Decolonisation, Knowledge Production, Public Works

Eline Vandenbosch, Cover of the publication Pol Meirsschaut, Les sculptures de plein air à Bruxelles: guide explicatif (Brussels: Emile Bruylant, 1900), 2022. © Eline Vandenbosch. 

This dissertation was initiated by one specific object, a book that was published in 1900 by Emile Bruylant (1863-?) and written by Pol Meirsschaut (1845-1916). This publication is titled Les sculptures de plein air à Bruxelles.

This publication contains sixteen walks enabling the viewing of public sculptures in Brussels. This is the only book from that period about this specific topic.

The first part of this dissertation examines the design, production and use of the guide and continues by looking at what the existence of the publication can indicate about the use of public sculptures in Brussels in 1900.

Finally, the research of this guide also offered insights into the use of public sculptures with colonialist values, which provided the opportunity to contribute to the decolonisation debate about public heritage in Brussels.

In Addition
During this MA, I had the chance to volunteer at the museum of toys in Mechelen simultaneously. I helped in the depot of the museum at a crucial moment for the institution because the museum will move to another location in the near future. This is why I was initially assigned to help prepare for this process. Over the past two years, I learned a lot more, such as handling, photographing and digitalisation of objects. On top of this, I had the opportunity, with the support of the curator of the toy museum Vanessa de Geest and the volunteer of the museum Laure Delannoy to develop a project. The ongoing project exists out of different workshops that question how employees and volunteers experience the depot in the museum of toys. This master really stimulated my application to gain knowledge about the importance of reflection on our work and experience in this space.

"Reflection on a work experience is as important if not more important than the experience itself."

Eline Vandenbosch, picture of the moodboard by Vanessa De Geest, 2022. © Eline Vandenbosch.

Eline Vandenbosch, picture of the map of senses by Tom Delellio, 2022. © Eline Vandenbosch.

Eline Vandenbosch, picture of a mindmap to create the map of senses by Eline Vandenbosch, 2022. © Eline Vandenbosch.


©2022 by V&A/RCA History of Design MA