If you ask me which artist was represented with the most beautiful and best catalogues published for every exhibition organized with his works…. the answer is Francis Bacon.
Oversized catalogues with several hundreds of pages, excellent print quality and because of its content in many cases with multiple fold out pages to show Bacon’s Triptych’s in the best possible way outside a museum.
I followed Bacon closely because in 2001 the Gemeentemuseum organized its most expensive and logistically one of the most difficult exhibitions ever ….the one on Francis Bacon. The plan was to print the catalogue in Singapore, but because of a promised book publication to the former director, he decided for a dutch publisher. An initial publication run was set in relation with the expected number of visitors. Soon after opening it proved a wrong estimate, because fortunately, the works by Bacon proved to be far more popular than expected. 3 editions of the catalogue were printed during the exhibition and in total almost 8.00o copies were sold . A huge commercial succes, but even more important a great succes for Bacon as one of the leading modern artists from the 20th century.
This was one of the last times so many large Bacon paintings ,including many Triptychs, were presented in one Bacon exhibition. The exhibition showed the importance of Bacon and because of this, the Gemeentemuseum got on loan the Bacon which is in the collection of the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen and one from the estate of Francis Bacon. Nowhere in the Netherlands so many Bacon paintings can be seen in one spot and and the sixties acquisition of the PARALYTIC CHILD WALKING ON ALL FOURS proved to be a worthy addition the collection of the Gemeentemuseum. ( in the JAARBOEK a study by Josephus Jitta is published on the “Paralytic child”)