A picturesque 19th century villa overlooking the green avenue near the city centre serves as the backdrop for an extraordinary period in art history that is remarkably unknown to the public.  The cottage-style mansion was once home to its name giver, Emile van Doren. “He was a painter and member of the School of Genk, an art movement characterised by paintings visualising the striking landscape of the surroundings of Genk,” says curator and van Doren expert Kristof Reulens. “In the 19th century, Genk was a luxurious getaway for the
international upper classes and its contemporary painters. But this changed when three coal mines were erected in the city – something nature lovers like van Doren didn’t like,”says Reulens. “Although nowadays, with a site like C-mine this industrial heritage is also part of the cultural identity of the city.”