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“Fantastic collection”

Museum Dr. Guislain
Ranked #11 of 176 things to do in Ghent
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Darwin, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic collection”
Reviewed August 26, 2014 via mobile

A fantastic presentation of the history of psychiatry. There is also great temporary exhibitions. I cannot recommend highly enough. I spent 3hrs wandering around on a rainy day. All staff are very friendly and helpful. There are even interactive exhibits. The ethos of the art gallery outsider art, is about amateur artists presenting work as artist (as opposed to patients). They have so many pieces that this section is often rotated and changed. Although the history of psychiatry is a permanent collection is will be updated soon to show the advancement up to current times.

2 Thank Miss_mac86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
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  • Japanese first
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  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
the prairie
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Informative but underutilized”
Reviewed August 24, 2014

This is a very unusual museum because it is housed in one of the oldest psychiatric hospitals in Belgium (and possibly Europe). It gives great insight into the plight of people with psychiatric conditions especially their treatment in the recent past.
My biggest suggestion would be to reorganize the displays so that they ar arranged in some orderly fashion. Many of the displays are a bit random. There are prose to accompany many of the items and English is one of the translations (thank you), but some objects had very little information associated with them. The muti-cultural perspectives room was lacking in sufficient detail to give visitors any background on why the displays existed and how they related to any of the other displays (tell us why ginseng is on display for example).
This museum could be developed into a much more informative place.

Visited August 2014
Thank bijouWa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
688 reviews
517 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,117 helpful votes
“An eye-opening exhibition of the evolving approach to mental illness over the centuries”
Reviewed August 24, 2014

Although not in the city center, this museum is a must-see in Ghent. Set in a beautiful old psychiatric hospital, which alone is worth a visit, this museum is easily accessible by tram from the city center. The exhibition of the history of humanity's approach to mental illness is quite illuminating, and so are the various artifacts that are shown. Given the uniqueness of this museum, it should be an essential stop on the itinerary of every visitor to Ghent.

Visited July 2014
5 Thank FactotumDellaCitta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“History of psychiatry at it's best”
Reviewed June 29, 2014

For anyone with interest in psychology or psychiatry NOT TO BE MISSED!!!!!! The museum not only has expositions on the history of psychiatry and the remarkable work done by Dr. Guislain but also contemporary painting and photography exhibits. The grounds are beautiful. You can peek through the windows and see the Belgian psychiatric nurses studying in the library. The School of Psychiatric Nursing is housed in the main building.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Mr-Reeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Extremely Well Done, and Very Disturbing”
Reviewed June 18, 2014

We visited in June 2014, and they had a display of war represented in art by mentally ill artists. The guide describes the work as well as the artist's pathology, which is a surprisingly interesting way to view a work. Much of the art is really exceptional, and some of it is incredibly disturbing - an exhibit to burn into your brain that war is, indeed, hell.

Only slightly less disturbing is the history of psychiatry represented in the standing collection. Though it understandably skews toward the contributions of Dr. Guislain and his contemporaries, it is a fairly well-presented history of the discipline, though sometimes it seems more like a litany of atrocities. If you yourself have some mental illness or care for somebody who does, you would be hard-pressed not to be heartbroken by the historical treatment of these challenges.

We only had an hour and a half in the museum, which was a mistake on our part. You should leave yourself more time than that.

This is well off the beaten path in Ghent, but well worth the trip. The walk from city center is a little more than a mile and takes you through some parts of Ghent heavily populated with immigrants, particularly Turkish immigrants, which is a totally different view of the city.

Visited June 2014
3 Thank TMFHitman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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