Foundation of public interest and asbl Atelier Marcel Hastir

Atelier Marcel Hastir consists of two separate legal entities: Foundation of public interest Atelier Marcel Hastir which is responsible for management and conservation of the building and its contents, and the ASBL (= non-profit association) Atelier Marcel Hastir which handles the cultural activities organised here. Both bodies are staffed entirely by very active volunteers who are committed to the project.

Atelier Marcel Hastir asbl

The statutory purpose of the ASBL is to preserve and to promote this foyer for artists which was set up by the painter Marcel Hastir as a living and multicultural meeting ground; we do this by conserving, exhibiting and publicising his art works; by holding concerts, other performances and exhibitions so as to enable artists on the threshold of their career as well as established performers to meet with an appreciative audience; and by hosting lectures and talks specifically relating to art, history and human rights.

Among recent non-musical events which relate to Marcel Hastir’s civic actions during World War II we would point to the 2015 exhibition of the drawings of G. Despaux dating from his time in Buchenwald concentration camp (from 1944-1945).

At present the ASBL has a membership of about 60 (active members and supporters).

Articles of Association 2004 Articles amended 2007


As a successor to the Atelier, Maison des Arts Coordonnées, ASBL Atelier Marcel Hastir was set up in 2004 to ensure the continuity of Hastir’s efforts in the field of cultural activities.

Marcel Hastir had in 1949 set up the Atelier, Maison des Arts Coordonnées to accommodate precisely these activities. His wife, Ginette van Rijckevorsel van Kessel (they married in 1946), ran the Atelier for 30 years with her great sense of organisation and openness: it was she who performed the secretarial, administrative and communications tasks which were vital for the Atelier to have functioned and prospered as it did.

This tradition of fostering new talent and hosting established artists, combined with the commemoration of acts of courage in the face of the crimes against humanity committed during World War II, plus the conservation of many works of art created by Marcel Hastir constitute the raison d’être of the ASBL.


Would you like to support the Atelier? Or get involved in major decisions concerning its future cultural path?

You can become a member of the ASBL for €30 (or €15, see below) per year:

    • € 30 entitles you to full membership, and to vote at AGMs
    • € 15 makes you an associate member, entitled to attend AGMs but not to vote

To become a member, please fill in the following details:

    Foundation of public interest Marcel Hastir

    The Foundation is tasked with the conservation of the works of Marcel Hastir and with maintenance and upkeep of the house as an artistic space and a memorial. It also organises and oversees the use of the premises for music, painting, and yoga classes inter alia. You can also book a space for a private event in the artist’s former studio or in other spaces within the house which are accessible to the general public.

    In 1927 Marcel Hastir came across this house at 51, rue du Commerce – originally built in 1860 for an officer of King Leopold I’s household – when he was looking for a new base for the Belgian Theosophical Society, of which he was a member. In 1935 he moved in himself, on the 2nd floor. 

    The building is one of the few original houses in the area known as Quartier Leopold dating from the second half of the 19th Century; it was a well-off neighbourhood and also home to many artists.

    The area became a target for property speculators, and in the 1970s as a tenant of the Theosophical Society Marcel Hastir had to face down the first attempts to evict him. The Theosophical Society wanted to sell the building under pressure from developers. 

    In 2005, when already ill, he instructed his circle of helpers to set up a foundation bearing the name of his Atelier, and decided to leave his entire collection of works to that foundation.

    Thanks to the efforts of his friends the house was preserved from demolition and purchased by the City of Brussels with money provided by BELIRIS and the Foundation of public interest Marcel Hastir. The City of Brussels granted the Fondation  a long-term lease of 99 years.

    Part of the house was classified in 2007, because of its historical significance to the creative arts and as a memorial. 

    Current challenges

    The Atelier Marcel Hastir is currently faced with two related challenges:  renovation of the structure, which is essential if it is to continue and develop its activities in the coming years; and the conservation and restoration of the paintings it houses.

    It is not purely a museum, nor purely a concert venue; it is rather a private house which must continue to exist: it needs to be restored while preserving the intimate atmosphere it possesses, its history and its unique charm.  There are also plans to install a sort of café at reception on the ground floor, in what used to be Hastir’s dining room. 

    The plans are there, the administrative work is in the pipeline, but the Atelier does not have the money to cover the cost of all the work.

    Articles of Association of the Fondation


    Partners and donors

    Art, humanism, memory: they belong to us all. They are our heritage; it is up to us to keep them alive and to pass them on. It is the responsibility which we bear to future generations.

    This mission lies at the heart our values and our daily activities at the Atelier:  to preserve and inject life into the artists’ foyer created by the Brussels painter Marcel Hastir (1906-2011) who was made an Honorary Citizen of the City of Brussels in recognition of his actions in the Resistance during World War II.  It involves conserving, putting on display and publicising his works of art which are still to be seen in his house/studio, and also by organising concerts, performances and exhibitions to enable artists, whether on the threshold of a career or already well-known, to meet the public in an informal and convivial setting.

    This requires enthusiasm, energy and an ability to navigate in cultural settings. That is what we have. It also requires partnerships to keep the premises in good shape and to receive performers and the public in an appropriate manner: that is what we are seeking.

    The continued existence of the Atelier, and the development of its activities will not be possible without these partnerships, which will enable us to assemble the funds needed to pay for the renovation of this unique property, for the continuation of these privileged encounters, and for enriching and passing on a little of the history of Brussels. If you wish to support us, you can make a donation; we are also open to suggestions regarding partnerships, in forms which would be a matter for discussion. Whatever the format, we undertake to ensure high visibility for any such partnership.

    To provide support for the Foundation

    We are looking for funds in order to restore the Atelier. They can be public or private, come from sponsors or benefactors. The aim is to preserve the painter’s works and to ensure continuance of cultural activities in his house: this depends on each and every one of us, all means are welcome, every euro counts.

    The Fondation Roi Baudouin has opened an account for the benefit of the Foundation of public interest Marcel Hastir intended to gather together the gifts which will help towards the work which needs to be done. Any donation of more than 40 euro is tax deductible if accompanied by an attestation given by the Fondation Roi Baudouin.

    The Fondation Roi Baudouin account in question is: BE 10 0000 0000 0404 – BIC: BPOTBEB1, and any transfer should be accompanied by the communication 128/2160/00032 (this is essential in order to link the gift to the project).

    You can also make an online donation through the Fondation Roi Baudouin account.

    We thank you in advance for any contributions – however modest they may be:€ 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, or 1000: from many small streams do mighty rivers flow.

    All ideas for finance will be carefully studied: does your employer donate to charities? Do you personally know a sponsor? Do you want to do a good deed? Think of us!

    Support the Fondation