The Villa Empain is a grandiose residence built in the Art Deco style, located in Brussels, Belgium. Its construction started in 1930 and it lasted 4 years, until 1934, being made by the reputable Swiss architect Michel Polak. It was made for Baron Louis Empain, who was the son of Baron Édouard Empain, a rich Belgian industrialist. Because the construction has a considerable age, it had to be renovated, in order for future generations to enjoy its presence in Brussels for years to come. The Boghossian Foundation took this challenge, completing its renovating and establishing their headquarters there since 2010. Thus, with the help of the foundation, the beautiful Villa became a center of art and dialog that makes the connections between the West and East.
The Boghossian Foundation organizes various cultural and artistic events throughout the year, in its attempt to support the multitude of unique activities in this sector. Everything from concerts, to dance performances, conferences, exhibitions, workshops for children, film screenings, artist encounters, and many more are all on the list of the foundation. As William Saroyan, a great American writer, used to say, the main purpose of art is to make a world that is easier to accept and tolerate. And this is indeed the mission of this foundation, as it does its best to allow the public of any provenience and age to access documents, information, and even archives that will enable a better communication. This environment is, of course, favored by the presence of art, which has the power of bringing people together. The foundation will continue to do its best, and that is to finance, support, and encourage artistic, educational, and social projects across Belgium, Armenia, and Lebanon.
Getting back at what happens at the Villa Empain at the moment, you should know that there is an exhibition on the roll over there. It is called “Décor” and it has the purpose to underline the moment when décor became more artistic, an independent artwork, and stopped being just an integrated part of a building, something to fill the surface of the walls. The exhibition merges very interestingly with the Villa, as it is itself a rather decorated building. Anyone who decides seeing this exhibition will have the chance to see how decorative is seen in the modern and contemporary art. At a first glance, the works of art may appear as decorations that were placed with a purpose around the Villa. But, they are indeed the works of various artists, who wanted to show that decorations can indeed be artworks in the real meaning of the word.
Whether you are visiting the Villa Empain or being a part of an exhibition here, you will not regret the choice, as the building is very impressive in every situation. The Boghossian Foundation did a great job in saving this Art Deco architectural masterpiece of Brussels, making sure that the beautiful Villa will still be here for years to come. What is even more admirable is that the foundation uses the Villa to support art and improve communication between different cultures.