Portret van Jules Dhondt, 1963
Jules Dhondt (1889–1969) had artist and contemporary Léon De Smet paint his portrait in a black tailored suit against an anonymous background. Jules was described by Marcel Grypdonck (1909-1996) – the former Inspector-General for Cultural Affairs of the Province of East Flanders and a member of the first Board of Directors – as a man with a sensitive heart and unwavering loyalty to his friends and family.
When founding the ‘Jules Dhondt Foundation’ in 1964, Jules selected distinguished political and business figures for the board of directors. He had a clear set of tasks in mind for them. Jules Dhondt himself was also a director in various companies, including Drukkerij Erasmus, NV Waesland (furniture fabrics), NV Dacca (jute spinning mill) and NV Safti (knitwear). With his accumulated capital, he expanded the collection considerably in a short time, although always proceeded with caution when making purchases. In this, he was assisted by friend and adviser Jozef Mees.
The first meeting of the museum’s board members on June 3 1967 was attended by Jules Dhondt (Chairman), Irma Dhaenens (Vice-Chairman), Dr. Adriaan Martens (1885–1968), Lode Claes (1913–1997), Marcel Grypdonck (1909–1996), Antoon De Pesseroey (1917–1979), Hugo Waeterloos (1930–2002), Octaaf Van Malderen (1911-1995), Maurits Naessens (1908–1982) and notary Rudy Pauwels (1932-2007).
- This work is part of the museum’s main collection. It was included in the inventory of the donation from Jules and Irma Dhondt-Dhaenens that was compiled at the board meeting on 03.06.1967.