Former studio of Marcel Hastir
The building that houses the studio of the painter Marcel Hastir dates from 1860, a time at which the surrounding Leopold Quarter was undergoing rapid expansion. A rear annexe was added in about 1900 and served as a venue for classes in dancing, fencing, and gymnastics attended by students from upper-class homes. In 1927, the property was acquired by the Belgian section of the Theosophical Society and soon after this, the artist, having joined the Society, moved into rooms on the second floor and began his artistic activity. During the Second World War, Hastir gave refuge to young people in danger, using his art classes as a cover and allowing his equipment to be used to print anti-Nazi pamphlets and falsify identity papers in order to save lives. Later on, he branched out and became active in the realms of music, literature, and philosophy, organizing talks by Dominique Pire and Alexandra David-Néel and arranging performances by the likes of Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel, Barbara, Lola Bobesco, and Maurice Béjart. Saved from demolition at the eleventh hour, the studio has been preserved in its original state since Hastir’s death in 2011 and continues, under the auspices of a not-for-profit foundation, to serve as a venue for the kinds of events – musical performances, film screenings, talks, and the like – that are able to take full advantage of the intimacy of the location. (Listed 23/03/2006)
sign-languageGuided tours in sign language (French), Sat. at 11h00 and Sun. at 15h00. In cooperation with the Arts et Culture association.
Rue du Commerce/Handelstraat 51, Brussels-Extensions
Sat. & Sun. from 10h00 to 18h00