Isabel Lowyck is taking on the role as the new Director of Gaasbeek Castle. She previously worked for museums such as M Leuven and the Art & History Museum, as well as for various organisations such as the Belgian National Orchestra and Guide-ID.
On 1 February, Isabel Lowyck (born 1973) will take on the role of Director of Gaasbeek Castle. An interest in culture and the arts have been a common thread throughout her education and career. She studied art and cultural studies at the KU Leuven with an internship at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and began her career at the Art & History Museum as an educational employee. After that she was active in the Flemish Museum Association as the project coordinator for Museum Night, Museum Evenings and the Youth Museum Days. In 2005, she founded AmuseeVous, a non-profit organisation which brings young people and museums closer together.
In 2009, she started working at M Leuven as Head of Division Audience Building and, from 2018, she became a freelancer for various organisations (Shaved Monkey (Manager), the Belgian National Orchestra (Marketing Manager) and Guide-ID (Business Manager for Belgium and France). Since 2022, she has also been teaching the 'Educational Heritage Disclosure' course to Design Sciences students at the University of Antwerp.
Dialogue Between Heritage and Contemporary Art
In recent years, Gaasbeek Castle has been building up an exhibition policy in which heritage enters into dialogue with contemporary art. She would like to continue that policy:
"Collaborations with living artists are vital to me. They are the bridge-builders par excellence between the past and the present and possess the gift of stimulating the imagination. In these busy and turbulent times, we can all find peace in beauty."
Attention to Sustainability, Inclusion and Community Collaboration
In addition, Lowyck is looking forward to embedding ICOM's new, broader museum definition into the Castle's policies. She wants to give themes such as sustainability, inclusion and community collaboration a (more important) role in addition to its core missions. She plans to develop the entire heritage site, of which the Castle is the icing on the cake, into a contemporary and engaging place.
Luc Delrue, Secretary General of the Department of Culture, Youth and Media: "Isabel is a passionate museum employee. She spearheaded the 1 euro scheme, worked for the Museum Association in the early years of the organisation and showed her abilities by helping to put M Leuven on the map. With her knowledge and commitment, Isabel is sure to write a fantastic story for Gaasbeek Castle in the years to come. In addition, she will work hard to position it as an attraction in the Flemish and international heritage landscape."
Lowyck takes over the torch from her predecessor, Luc Vanackere, who is retiring after nineteen years at the helm of the castle. Gaasbeek Castle will be closed for restoration work for a very short time before reopening its doors to visitors on 1 July 2023.
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