The Maarten Van Severen Foundation was established in the spring of 2008 by family and friends of designer Maarten Van Severen (1956-2005). Following his wish shortly before his death, the Foundation manages his artistic legacy. It operates from Ghent, where the Maarten Van Severen oeuvre largely came into being.
The three main objectives of the MVS Foundation are:
The MVS Foundation manages the Maarten Van Severen archive and the copyrights. It has ensured that the archive was professionally inventoried and repacked with the support of the Flemish authorities. The necessary procedures have been carried out to sustainably preserve everything and will act as guardian in the future. With respect to preserving the wider artistic legacy of the designer, the foundation also makes efforts to register and encourage preservation of Maarten Van Severen work which is held elsewhere (archive, prototypes, unique pieces, ... in the hands of producers, clients, employees, etc.). In this way, the MVS Foundation is a point of contact for all those who wish to study Maarten Van Severen’s work or publicize any part of it.
In the city of Ghent the MVS Foundation found a key partner, namely the Black Box (the City Archives of Ghent), where the Maarten Van Severen archive has been kept in good condition since late 2008. By an agreement signed on 16th March 2011 between the MVS Foundation, the Van Severen family and the city of Ghent, the ownership rights, the preservation and accessibility of the archive in the Black Box are guaranteeed for at least 25 years. Whoever wishes to view the Maarten Van Severen archive is able to look up the correct file in the database and then retrieve it in the Black Box reading room.
3. ENCOURAGING ONGOING INTEREST
The MVS Foundation wishes to set up or suppport initiatives which enable the heritage of a deserving and internationally renowned designer to be a source of inspiration in the cultural world. To that end, it wishes to forge strong alliances with partners in Flanders and abroad. A first concrete achievement in this regard was the exhibition 'The Maarten Van Severen .03 Chair’. In 2015, ten years after Maarten Van Severen’s death, the MVS Foundation has established a Maarten Van Severen Chair, in collaboration with KASK / School of Arts Gent. Every year a leading designer will give two lectures and a workshop in this framework.