The Delhaye Foundation
Jean Delhaye (1908-93) was a student of Horta’s between 1934 and 1940 and in 1945. He had an unshakeable admiration for his master, which drove him to try to safeguard threatened works during a period of lack of interest in Art Nouveau. He failed to save l’Hôtel Aubecq or the Maison du Peuple, but he was luckier in 1961, when he persuaded the burgomaster of Saint-Gilles, Jacques Franck, to buy Horta’s private house, with a view to making it into a museum. He became a deputee trustee and led the initial campaign of restoration and alterations that he thought necessary for the adaptation of the building to its new functions.
Delhaye was also behind the first exhibition entirely dedicated to the architect, in 1973. Jean Delhaye, who had acquired an important archive as well as furniture, from Horta’s widow in particular, decided in 1961, along with his wife Renée, to set up a foundation, the contents of which are deposited in the Horta Museum.