Les XX & La Libre Esthétique (1884 – 1914) Critical edition and computerization of the Octave Maus Fund

2004 > 2008

Promotor(s) : Dr. Francisca Vandepitte

Researcher(s) : Rafaël Knops


  • Dr Francisca Vandepitte (Department of Modern Art)


  • Rafaël Knops

Starting date: 01.03.2004 
Ending date: 29.02.2008


The subject of the project was a four-year research programme into a key episode in modern art in Belgium, from 1884 to 1914, when Les XX and La Libre Esthetique determined the face of the Belgian and international avant-garde.  The critical electronic edition of the fund of Octave Maus, the secretary of both circles, serves as a pilot project for developing a bilingual database format for archive management of the Archives of Contemporary Art in Belgium (AACB).

The project had three objectives. First, to produce a critical annotated edition of the correspondence and documents of Octave Maus, in English translation and in the original language - French - and to digitally record this fund and make it available via a multilingual database format intended specifically for archive management. Second, to produce a supporting Octave Maus website, allowing the documents to be read in their entirety, with a critical apparatus, and which also creates a chronology and a cultural and historical context.  Third, to open up and publish these valuable written sources as a guarantee for better conservation.