Decoding heraldry at the National Library Exhibition opening

Manuscripts Collection

Eric Thill, Minister for Culture, and Claude D. Conter, Director of the National Library of Luxembourg (BnL), officially opened the Ars Heraldica – The world of coats of arms exhibition at the BnL.

This new exhibition aims to illustrate the use and meaning of coats of arms and provides an insight into a very specialised form of self-representation – not only for Luxembourg, but also for neighbouring countries. It does so with the help of 22 manuscripts from the collection of Dr Jean-Claude Loutsch, donated to the National Library in 2021. As the donor of her husband’s heraldic collection, Mrs Josannette Loutsch-Weydert is delighted with the exhibition in his honour. The Loutsch-Weydert Foundation is proud to contribute to its realisation.

The Minister for Culture welcomed the patronage of the Fondation Loutsch-Weydert. In fact, strengthening patronage is one of the strategic objectives of the coalition agreement. The Minister of Culture emphasised that patronage can help to strengthen the efforts of a state cultural institute by increasing awareness for our culture and by encouraging participation in cultural work in our society. The Minister also thanked Mrs Loutsch-Weydert for her commitment and generosity.

The BnL would like to express its sincere gratitude to the Fondation Loutsch-Weydert, and in particular to Mrs Loutsch-Weydert, for the trust it has placed in the library and for the invaluable support it provides.

In addition to this exhibition, visitors also have the opportunity to discover new works from the Insignia series by Catherine Lorent in the Reading Room, in which the Luxembourg artist presents her contemporary interpretation of heraldry.

Dr Jean-Claude Loutsch

Dr Jean-Claude Loutsch (1932-2002) was a luxembourgish ophthalmologist with a passion for coats of arms. The study of coats of arms – also known as “heraldry” – enabled him to acquire solid knowledge in many fields, including political history, art history, social history and genealogy. He was also one of the few heraldists to draw coats of arms by hand. Throughout his life, Dr Loutsch built up a specialist library: out of a total of around 15,000 books, almost 2,700 relate to coats of arms and heraldry. The heart of this collection is a set of 44 early manuscripts, half of which are on display. In addition, the collection includes almost 730 printed books dating from before 1900, 26 of which date back to the 16th century. This treasure was donated to the National Library by Josannette Loutsch-Weydert.

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