In the Brugse Ommeland area, not far from the coast, lies the house “De Vier Winden” (the four winds), once the home of artist Constant Permeke (1886-1952). The sculpture studio stands apart from the house. He wanted his house to be opened up to the public on his death. This wish was heard by the Province of West Flanders, which bought the whole property and contents in 1956 and set it up as a museum in 1961. The contents included 121 works by Constant Permeke. Work by Pierre Devos, Permeke’s son-in-law, Frits Van den Berghe and Floris Jespers was also part of the estate. Over the years, the collection grew with the addition of works of art by Henri-Louis Permeke, Henri Puvez, Oscar Jespers and Luc Peire. Permekemuseum received a further 18 works from the estate of Beatty, Permeke’s daughter, and two from Pierre Devos. This bequest included early work, primarily valuable for documentary purposes, but also work of a high artistic level, such as work from his English period. His youngest daughter, Thérèse, also donated work to the museum.
Around 80 paintings, almost all of Permeke’s sculptural oeuvre and a considerable number of large drawings are on view in Permekemuseum. The museum very quickly grew into one of the cultural attractions of West Flanders and now holds temporary exhibitions as regularly as clockwork. Permekemuseum and Ensorhuis in Ostend are the satellite museums of Mu.ZEE in Ostend.