Vleeshal is a center for contemporary art in Middelburg, recognized for versatile, vibrant and vital projects presented both within the walls of its unique Gothic exhibition space and beyond. Browse the archive
Vleeshal invites (inter)national artists to develop new works especially for its atypical exhibition space. Every three months, Vleeshal hosts a new solo or group exhibition, which can consist of works ranging from film, video, performance, audio, painting and installation. View our current exhibition.
In 2015, Vleeshal kicked off its Nomadic Program as an extension of its existing exhibition program taking place in Middelburg. Within this series, Vleeshal expands its mission to provide space for experimentation and examines what it means to present artworks in unusual contexts.
The curators of the Nomadic Program for 2022–2023 were Nomaduma Rosa Masilela and Thiago de Paula Souza. The program revolves around the question: How do we learn to love each other while we are embattled on so many fronts? Browse How do we learn...?
Since 1975, Vleeshal has made over 300 publications including monographs, critical analyses and catalogues on artists who have exhibited at Vleeshal. One copy of each book is included as part of the Vleeshal Library, which is on long-term loan to the Zeeuwse Bibliotheek. Browse Publications
Vleeshal’s aim is to create an open space for anyone interested in contemporary art. Inclusivity and accessibility are paramount. By providing free entrance on designated days and organizing educational events in the form of lectures and workshops, Vleeshal invites everyone to participate in the conversation about contemporary art. Browse Education
As the only contemporary art institution in Zeeland, Vleeshal places great importance in maintaining its local network, working with artists from the region, participating in local events as well as maintaining the municipality’s art collection. Vleeshal is also responsible for the direction of council policy regarding subsidies for local artists and additionally organizes the Vleeshal Art Prize. Browse Zeeland Focus
Vleeshal manages an impressive collection of contemporary art, consisting of acquired works that sit alongside works donated by local and (inter)national artists. It also manages some forty works of art in Middelburg's public spaces. Several projects realized by Vleeshal over the years have also directly related to artworks in its collection. Browse Collection
Why does a medium-sized city like Middelburg need art that at first glance looks new and strange? Art that for many residents is not immediately recognisable, beautiful or enticing? The kind of art that has been shown and made at Vleeshal for decades? Essentially, the answer is a lot simpler than the question suggests. Contemporary art of the kind that Vleeshal shows prepares us for the new, for what is unfamiliar, for what we do not yet know. It is as unknown as the future that lies ahead.
– Ann Demeester, former member of Vleeshal Supervisory Board
Vleeshal presents experimental contemporary art to the widest possible audience and does so at the cutting edge. High-level art, as current as possible and of international importance, is shown in a challenging context. Due to its unique home base in Middelburg—located in the suburbs on the one hand, and with its distinctive architectural setting on the other—Vleeshal is able to challenge artists to broaden their practice and provoke surprise and reflection in visitors.
Vleeshal contributes to the development of international art by inviting promising artists, often at the beginning of their artistic careers, to create new work for its exceptional exhibition space in dialogue with the institution. Imposing proportions, pointed Gothic arches and a tiled floor in a chessboard pattern make this former market hall a welcome but demanding alternative to the usual 'white cube'. Here, Vleeshal offers artists a much-needed space for radical artistic experimentation, both literally and figuratively. Its rich history shows that working with Vleeshal has often triggered a vital turning point for artists in deepening their practice.
Residing in what was once Middelburg’s meat market, then the former town hall, Vleeshal (English: meat hall) is characterized by its distinct Gothic architecture. The unique venue has inspired many artists to create extraordinary exhibitions, bringing Vleeshal international renown.
From 2000 to 2017, Vleeshal organized exhibitions in a second venue on Zusterstraat, formerly known as De Kabinetten van de Vleeshal (English: The Cabinets of the Vleeshal). The Zusterstraat building offered Vleeshal clean white walls in more intimate spaces. As a result of municipal cutbacks, Vleeshal Zusterstraat closed on October 1, 2017.
Vleeshal began as a venue of the Gemeentelijke Culturele Dienst Middelburg (CDM), a body for local culture established in 1975 with the purpose of creating an art collection. In 1992, the organization restructured and was renamed to Stichting Beeldende Kunst Middelburg (SBKM), the statutory name still in common use.
Middelburg Municipal Cultural Service (CDM)
1975–1982 Johan Vuyk, head of CDM
1976–1978 Piet van Dalen, curator of De Vleeshal
1979–1982 William Verstraeten, curator of De Vleeshal
1982–1991 Anton van Gemert, head of CDM
Middelburg Fine Arts Foundation (SBKM)
When Roos Gortzak became director, she was curious about how her predecessors dealt with certain issues. What was their first exhibition in the Gothic hall? How did they establish a relationship with this atypical exhibition space? How did they involve Middelburg? Gortzak decided to ask these and other questions to the three directors who preceded her: Lex ter Braak, Rutger Wolfson and Lorenzo Benedetti.
Director & curator
Marketing, communication & development
Nienke van der Wal
Assistant curator & curator Oemoemenoe
Adriënne van der Werf
Managing editor Vleeshal Publications
Head of technical production & building management
Office manager and relationship manager Vleeshal Friends and businesses
Education in collaboration with Kunsteducatie Walcheren & Centrum Kunst- en Cultuureducatie Oosterschelderegio
Adriënne van der Werf
Hugo Bos, Jasmijn Roijen, Joanne Scott-Smith, Karin den Boer, Kars Hamelink, Lotte Dooms, Nienke van Houwelingen, Ploen Mevis, Robyn Tieman, Ruth Hengeveld, Xander Scheers
Bibi van Scholten
For press inquiries and general information please contact us at
+31 (0)118 652 200
Vleeshal is a non-profit organization registered as Stichting Beeldende Kunst Middelburg with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (RSIN: 8032.05.089).
Office and postal address
4331 PH Middelburg
SBKM aims to:
- Organize activities in the field of contemporary art;
- Manage the municipal collection of contemporary art
The director receives a salary. Members of the Supervisory Board receive travel costs to and from the meeting.
Monique van Beek, Iris Cornelis, Ann Demeester, Jerry Troy
Policy plan & Annual reports
Policy plan (NL)
Annual reports (NL)
Financial reports (NL)
Vleeshal receives financial support from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the municipality of Middelburg.