Step Inside the Historical Antwerp Loft of Art Dealer Boris Vervoordt
“It’s something much more powerful than yourself”: Vervoordt and husband writer Michael Gardner share their philosophy behind collecting art and what really makes a home
- By Cheyenne Wehren
- Living With Art
Boris Vervoordt’s loft home—a sixteenth-century former coffee warehouse—is located in the Vlaeykensgang, a medieval alleyway in Antwerp’s city center. His father, art dealer and designer Axel Vervoordt, discovered this area when he was 21 years old and spent years restoring houses as they became vacant together with his wife May. One of them became the first location of the family’s growing business, the start of a five-decade path of living with art. Vervoordt, an art dealer and director at Axel Vervoordt Company, still calls the Vlaeykensgang home today together with his husband, writer Michael Gardner.
Over the years, Vervoordt and Gardner have collected works that are very dear to them, the close relationship to the objects that enter their home being of great importance. “At home, I like to be surrounded by pieces that each [...] represent a relationship. From every piece, I know the story, I know why it came into my life,” Vervoordt explains. When advising new collectors, Vervoordt highlights the opportunity to seek lessons from art. “I see collecting as something in keeping with the Renaissance idea of universal vision on the world. It is the idea to be inspired by objects that represent philosophies and cultures in order to enrich our capacity to understand the world better and with more depth and knowledge.”
Explore Vervoordt and Gardner’s philosophy behind collecting art and how they’ve created a home together in the latest video from TEFAF’s Living with Art series.
“At home, I like to be surrounded by pieces that each […] represent a relationship. From every piece, I know the story, I know why it came into my life.” — Boris Vervoordt
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