Card Players in the Arts

Exhibition from October 26, 2019 to April 30, 2020

The Belgian National Lottery manages an unexpected collection of art. 570 pieces are on loan to the National Playing Card Museum. Discover a selection of art spanning 5 centuries, great and small. Welcome to the world of card players, gamblers and cheaters!

© Bart Van Der Moeren

The National Lottery is known for its popular products such as “Lotto” or “Win for life”. It is hardly known that the Lottery also manages an extensive art collection. Since 1992 it has been systematically expanded. In addition to more than 60,000 tickets and posters related to the lottery, a vast amount of 10,000 art objects is collected. All on the subject of lotteries, games and gambling. The collection includes paintings, graphics, sculptures, gaming tables, vending machines, playing cards, books, utensils, both great and small art, from antiquity to the present.

All these objects were initially acquired by the National Lottery in order to create a new museum in Brussels devoted the subject of lotteries and games of chance. Eventually the company decides otherwise, because of the large investments, but also because a museum is not their core business. The National Lottery therefore decides to loan its collection to existing museums.

The Lottery collection contains various items that deal with card games and playing cards. The National Playing Card Museum is very pleased to preserve these objects as a permanent loan. Approximately 570 pieces are now cherished in Turnhout.