Discover the city’s museums at night
Head to the city on the evening of 8 October for the 21st edition of the night of the museums with a special programme of performances, music, workshops, guided tours and culinary surprises. There’s a focus on the spoken word with readings, monologues and slam poetry performances at each venue.
We’ve highlighted the tours and performances in English or without words, but there are also many in French, German and Luxembourgish. You can watch the video below for highlights of last year's night of the museums. Then read on to discover the special events hosted at each museum or gallery.
Take a guided tour through 19th century British landscape artist John Constable’s masterpieces, on loan from the Tate collection. One of England’s most celebrated painters, whom together with JMW Turner, shares a masterful use of colour and shading to depict light. Constable found his motifs exclusively in the natural environments of Suffolk, Salisbury, Hampstead and Brighton, heavily influencing French romanticism. Tours in English are at 22.30 and 24.00.
Children from 6 years (or accompanied by a parent from 4 years), can also discover Constable in a workshop on painting clouds and skies, creating their own skyscapes from 17.00 to 23.00.
Take a guided “stroll through art”, in particular the gallery’s European collection from 17-19th centuries. The tour in English is at 23.30, and will include 100 paintings and 14 sculptures from the permanent exhibition, starting with 17th century Dutch and Italian dreamscapes then proceeding to French painting around 1850. There’ll be sculpture and miniatures to discover, and an immersive video that brings to life the artworks.
Luxembourg poet Fabienne Gorges will be performing at 18.00 and 20.00, showing the importance of text, voice, role and posture in performance of the spoken word, covering climate, war and pandemic, taking the audience on a highly emotional journey.
There’ll also be strolling concerts from Duo Kiasma, on the cello and accordion, sharing their personal vision of the role of a musician in the 21st century, with performances on the hour from 20.00 t0 23.00. If you prefer something funkier, female DJ duo Shania and Charlotte will be spinning the turntables in an electronic line up, from 21.00 to 01.00.
There are thematic tours of the sculpture located in the gallery’s park, designed by Édouard André (in English at 19.00), and the grand masters collection (in French).
Take a short 30-minute guided tour in English at 18.30 or 20.30 with an art mediator (and personal experience says these art mediators are extremely knowledgeable), to learn about three distinct contemporary artists and their works.
For something more in-depth, curator Stilbé Schroeder will be guiding you around the exhibition “Jours de lenteur” at 22.00 in English. Composed of old sheets and other fabrics, Adrien Vescovi’s works are dyed in natural pigment, often exhibited in the open air where they interact with the elements or compliment the architecture.
You can also take a tour of the “Sound without music” exhibition which highlights how listening to and producing sounds is an essential part of contemporary society (at 18.30 in English).
Everyone can get involved in a workshop to turn single use plastic bags into unique objects with Lisa Keiffer, a graphic design teacher at Lycée des Arts et Metiers, from 17.00 to 21.30, whilst there’ll be a book reading of “Waking the mountain” for children at 17.30 in English, a story of friendship and working together for a healthier planet.
The spoken word comes from Jackie Moontan, a man from the moon, dressed in bright colours, a sharp observer, singer, and verbal acrobat, whose part-absurd, part-moving stories will be told at 19.00 and 24.00 in English.
There’ll be a DJ set from Acidic Male, with industrial sounds, hypnotic drums and experimental vocals, and another from Sensu, plus a BBQ by KAY.
Luxembourg City Museum
Print and posters are the themes for the Luxembourg City Museum, with a poster party workshop for children (aged 6 years or from 4 years but accompanied), inspired by the “Best of Posters” exhibition, and a print workshop for adults led by Luxembourgish printmaker Zoé Thill.
To get you into the mood, you can take a guided tour of the 100 posters in the exhibition (a small selection from the museum’s collection of 2,500 pieces), which illustrate the development of Luxembourg and of graphic design during the 20th century. The posters bear witness to the social changes, tastes and mentalities, and the tour includes a short history of the poster, in an animated film. The tour in English is at 22.00.
There’ll be a guided tour in English at 19.00 of the life of associations in the city since the 19th century – for sport, health, culture, science, faith, politics are sheer conviviality. Today there are some 500 associations in the capital, and the exhibition looks at the Medieval brotherhoods as precursors, through to the present day.
There will also be a thematic tour on contemporary art at the museum at 21.30 in English, focussing on artists dealing with the urban landscape of the city, and another (in Luxembourgish only) on the museum’s architecture, as it is located in a complex of four historic houses in the old town.
Young and old are invited to join the sing along at 19.30 and 21.30 with Sang a Klang, the oldest national choir founded in 1857, performing a selection of traditional Luxembourgish songs and international pieces. DJ Maximillion, founder of Luxembourgish label Lauter Records, will provide some groove-based sounds from 21.00.
Cosima Suglia, a Luxembourgish science fiction afficionado and slam poet, will be performing the spoken word, including stories, poetry, and more at 20.00 and 22.00. Benoit & Claude, family viticulturalists from Remich will be providing a first taste of their wines of 2022 and tarte flambe.
Museum of History and Art
At 19.30 there’ll be a tour in English of Echternach artist Gast Michel’s “movement in colour, form and symbols”. A keen observer of his environment, he analysed and decoded his surroundings, featuring recurring symbols such as wheels and arrows, and a luminous colour palette, dominated by blues and yellows. Early works deal with mythical depictions of human figures, whilst later ones take a more graphic pictorial language and feature stylised objects and signs. The exhibition covers 30 years of his work, which ranges from paintings and sculptures to tapestry.
Inspired by Gast Michel’s playful colours and patterns, kids are invited to create their own little magnetic works of art. Adults can enjoy texts and poetry by Gina Arvai, exploring the concept of “bad taste” in the spoken word, and performing in English at 21.00 and 23.00. The self-confessed “word mechanic” speaks and writes in Luxembourgish, French, German, English, Hungarian and Italian.
Want to learn more about Luxembourg’s colonial past, then take a guided tour in English at 20.30. Whilst Luxembourg was never a colonial power, its society was shaped by the ideology of colonialism, and many Luxembourgers left to live and work in the colonies of other European states during the 19th and 20th centuries. There were almost 600 such nationals living in the Belgian Congo not long before it gained independence in 1960.
There will also be a guided tour in English at 23.30 of the exhibition “The rape of Europe, in solidarity with Ukraine”, showing 60 works from Russian-born artist Maxim Kantor that expose the totalitarian and aggressive character of the current Russian regime.
Natural History Museum
Humanity’s relationship with nature has never stopped evolving, yet we know that our lifestyle has a serious and sometimes irreversible consequence for the environment. Take a guided tour in English at 20.30 of the exhibition “IMPACT, biodiversity at stake” with curator and zoologist Monique Kirsch, to see the lightning speed with which animal populations have been affected and the demise of certain species, as she invites us to rethink our relationship with nature and other living creatures.
Kids can discover the exciting world of bees, wasps and other pollinators and build their own bee hotel, and there’ll be hip hop and beatbox performances throughout the evening from Maras and Faya Braz, and slam poetry and texts from journalist Franziska Peschel.
Drai Eechelen Museum
Take a guided tour (in English at 19.00) as this museum celebrates its 10th anniversary and meet Charles the Bold, and view the museum’s collection including a marble sculpture of a Prussian king, a vase by Boch and rosette stones from the fortress gates.
If you want to get a taste for life for Napoleonic soldiers, there’ll be re-enactments including rifle shooting, customs officers and a soldiers’ school.
André Mergenthaler will be performing on his violincello at several points in the evening, and there'll be performances of short monologues by Pascale Noé Adam, a Luxembourgish actress and director.
Children can learn the art of hand weaving with Lily Weisgerber, using a weaving comb to create a souvenir inspired by the uniforms of soldiers.
Join the blueprint workshop and help create a large-scale collective drawing using different print techniques, or catch an installation performance by Tarek Atoui in the Grand Hall with music provided by Ziur, part of the exhibition “Water’s Witness”.
MUDAM will be hosting the after-party for the Night of the Museums from 01.00 to 03.00 featuring a DJ set by transmedia artist Dance Divine, whilst Brussels’ design collective Every Island will transform the gallery’s space into a club with images and sensations.
You can get a snapshot of all the various workshops and guided tours at this website. Advanced tickets can be bought from participating museums and the city tourist office from 14.00 on 8 October or online from 12.00 on 6 October from Luxembourgticket.lu
Advance tickets cost €10 for adults, €3 for youths aged 16-26 years and are free for children. On the evening, you can purchase tickets for €15 for adults, and €7 for youths.