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An Eternal Gaze

Fri 15.10.2021
Sun 06.02.2022
Location: PARCUM
Curator: Liesbet Kusters

This exceptional exhibition takes us to higher spheres. An Eternal Gaze explores our human longing to understand our world and our place in it. Using religious heritage as a guide, it leads us through stories of creation, transience and hope.

Allegory of Hope, 1590-1638 © Abdij van Park
Allegory of Hope, 1590-1638 © Abdij van Park
Christ as Salvator Mundi, Southern Netherlands, 1500-1510 © Museum Catharijneconvent
Christ as Salvator Mundi, Southern Netherlands, 1500-1510 © Museum Catharijneconvent

Where do we come from? Where are we going? Why are we here? The enigma of our origin.

Questions about the meaning of life and the mystery of our final destination have been asked since time immemorial. The answers we formulate give us something to cling to. They help to us to comprehend the incomprehensible and grasp the ungraspable. They give us a foothold, a place to call our own, in the infinitely larger cosmological narrative.


'An Eternal Gaze' examines how religion tackles such existential questions and the meaningful role that religious heritage can play in this. The exhibits in this exhibition reflect our unceasing desire to map out and shape our world and the cosmos.

It will soon become clear that the explanations put forward by religion simply make us pose new questions. Will we ever truly understand our existence? Moreover: do we even really want to unravel that mystery?

From beginning to end, this exhibition sets our minds on the infinite.


This includes works from the Royal Library Belgium, the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum Catharijneconvent, Leiden University Library, several Flemish abbeys and churches, and more.

Marjolijn van Heemstra © Frank Ruiter
Marjolijn van Heemstra © Frank Ruiter

Current reflections

PARCUM is collaborating with Dutch writer Marjolijn van Heemstra (1981) on this exhibition. Van Heemstra originally studied theology; these days, however, she's a poet, writer, theatre maker, journalist, and podcast maker. She has written for De Correspondent since 2019 on how space can help us see the earth in a different light.

Marjolijn van Heemstra enters into a conversation with the exhibition's objects. She contemplates the anthropogenic worldview and the nature of mortality through pointed editorials on current issues. The texts will be compiled in a booklet and distributed at the exhibition. A soundtrack playing excerpts from the booklet can also be heard at the exhibition.

  • Antiphonary from Forest © PARCUM
    Antiphonary from Forest © PARCUM
  • © PARCUM
    © PARCUM
  • © PARCUM
    © PARCUM
  • © PARCUM
    © PARCUM
  • © PARCUM
    © PARCUM


Liesbet Kusters is a curator at PARCUM, the Museum for Religious Art and Culture in Leuven’s Park Abbey. She graduated with a degree in Art History from KU Leuven, later obtaining her PhD there in 2012.


When you're through, why not take a stroll around Park Abbey's (1 km) ponds and bask in the beauty of the abbey from a completely different angle.



Available online.


  • Standard: € 12
  • Discount ticket: € 10
  • The audio guide is included in the price.

More information about discounts and groups.

Covid Safe Ticket

A Covid Safe Ticket and proof of identity are required to gain access to the museum. In addition, wearing the mouth mask is mandatory. You can find more information about the CST here.


More information on accessibility can be found here.
Questions about accessibility.

Opening hours

  • From Tuesday to Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • PARCUM is closed on Mondays.


Abdij van Park 7
3001 Leuven
+32 (0)16 27 44 80