to the website of Louis Van Lint's tools collection.
Tool creation has, from the very beginning of the human species, been one of humanity's defining characteristics. Our history as a species is a story told by our tools, beginning with the most rudimentary examples up to more sophisticated present day artifacts of human skill and artistry; Our tools bear witness to our species’ evolution.
Tools have served to extend the human capacity to do work and at the same time have provided a means for artistic self expression. As a result craftsmen and artisans have blurred the line between simple utility and artistry. Simple tools are often produced in ways not strictly dictated by mechanical purpose but rather by an aesthetic intent whose actualization sometimes gives rise to objects of remarkable beauty and diversity of form. Tools are worthy of collection both as a significant element of our patrimony and also as works of art.
Tools brought together in museums and private collections carry the imprint of both those who fashioned them and those who were interested in them enough to give them a second incarnation as objects to be enjoyed and appreciated by future generations. Among these many collections, the Van Lint collection is particularly noteworthy.
Louis Van Lint, a major figure in post-war Belgian painting, worked from an early age in his father’s small building and plastering business for many years. When his artistic calling manifested itself in his youth, this tireless worker divided his time between painting and manual labor until his 30s. He never forgot this seminal contact with wood, metal, and the artistry and nobility of tools.
In light of this information, one better understands what must have pushed him to collect tools throughout his life. Lint's understanding and respect for artisan's tool, combined with his aesthetic sensibility, made it possible for him to amass an extraordinary collection of tools chosen for their aesthetic qualities over a period of around fifty years. A veritable oeuvre, the collection was, for a long time, exhibited on the painter’s villa walls, where it elicited the admiration of many celebrated visitors.
This site aims to be a window into Van Lint's world, an opportunity to admire in images a part of this fabulous collection. We hope that you enjoy exploring it.