There has always been a fascination for Henry Moore and his works by the dutch. Since the beginning of his career he has had exhibitions at all the major museums in the Netherlands, which resuklted in purchses by museums and privste collectors. One of the last collectors to add a major work by Moore was Joop Caldenborgh who added a very large bronze sculpture by the artist. It was one of the last sculptures he added to his collection before he build the Voorlinden museum.
My guess is that eventually his majestic sculpture garden including the Moore and Sol LeWiit sculptures, will be integrated with the Museum Voorlinden.
I love the large Henry Moore that is outside the Schamhart building at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and learned to truly love this one , because it was my outside view at the Gemeentemuseum when i had my office over there. Later i moved to the offices at the Museum of education and had the complete Berlage building as my view, but the office with the Henry Moore in front and a Rijsselberghe painting in our room was a great place to work.
Since there is a long history of Henry Moore exhibitions in the Netherlands , i have collected many important Henry Moore catalogues of which the Stedelijk Museum one stands out since this one is designed by Willem Sandberg.
I have been working at the Haags Gemeentemuseum for nearly 25 years . I have been moving somewhere around 1.000.000+ books in all these years and never…never…. seen this title before. I am an independent antiquarian bookseller for almost 20 years now and within these years i must have seen evn more books and never encountered this title before, so i did not know it existed, but it is there and it appears to be important too, because it is one of the first exhibitions which combines fashion and interior design over the ages and shows examples of each period. For those of you who did not know it existed. Here it is how it looks. The book is now available at www.ftn-books.com
Finally, after 43 years of being one of the most loyal and dependent employees of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Tineke Griffioen decided to retire from her jobs at the museum. From Prentenkabinet to DTP she made not only a career within the museum, but was also very much involved into the well being of her colleagues. The museum will miss this very friendly and dependent employee who had an expertise in prints and drawings. The set depicted in this blog comes from a Siep van den Berg sketch book he made in France in 1990 and shows that the following pages from the book were not accidentally filled in, but that each drawing developed into a very nice Constructivist composition. This very set was presented to Tineke for being the colleague that she has always been to me….Thank you and have a great retirement!
1983, Just 3 years after i started my career at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, the museum made an exhibition with Alice Aycock. Within the Schamhart buidling the complete floor was covered with large kinetic sculptures by Aycock and at that time i could not appreciate them at all. Now 35 year later i wished i had the same knowledge at that time that i have know, because recently i leafed through the catalogue and it struck met that these works were not only great in dimensions, but even after 35 years fascinating. Where Tinguely made his kinetic sculptures in the Sixties. Aycock made them in much more modern and industrialized/high tech versions in the Eighties and after. Alice Aycock has received international fame with her sculptures.
What remains to me is a wonderful catalogue ( available at www.ftn-books.com) and the memory of meeting a great artist and beautiful woman back in 1983.
To give an impression of her more recent works here is a video on her 2010 presentation:
If there is one artist who brought impressionism into dutch art, it must be Jan Toorop. Roughly you can divide his artistic career into 4 phases. The first being his impressionist period ( a memberof Les XX), the second his neo impressionist period, the third being his symbolistic period and the last period is his realistic period in which he was converted completely into a Roman Catholic artist. Toorop is interesting because of his first 3 periods. Being born in Indonesia he has a different approach to his subjects and experiments with techniques and colors and uses a color scheme completely different from his dutch contemporaries. They focussed on skies and landscapes , whereas Toorop focussed on people and their surroundings. There are some great examples to be found in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag of his very early period where he painted with a palette knife and broad brushes. His very atmospheric scenes in London, a city where he lived for a couple of years and where he painted some great paintings. The “Trio Fleuri” is one of the most appealing painting from his London years, together with the Waterloo Bridge painting and both can be seen in the collection of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
and for those interested in Modern Art. A great painting by Toorop that symbolizes the dawn and rise of Modern Art in this world.
The first time i met Gachnang was during an exibition at the Haags Gemeentemuseum when he visited his friend Rudi Fuchs , who was at that time the director of the Gemeentemuseum. I remembered an unpleasant person, but Rudi wanted the publications by Gachnang to be sold at the shop of the Gemeentemuseum and i was critical about them. It was not that i was not convinced of the art within these publications, but the art by Gachnang was so personal and i thought “strange” that i did not see any selling possibilities for them. Years later, i started to encounter his works in museums and found them far more accessible than i first had thought they were. ALL Gachnang publication have a certain quality and belong to the best publications on art in the last 3 decades of the 20th century and some of them are available at www.ftn-books.com
Outside the Netherlands Pieter Ouborg is hardly know, but compare this artists to his contemporaries he stand out with a “language” which is original and imaginative. Strange, sometimes surreal and even cildlike ( Yes, he befriended Appel and other Cobra artist). STill he did not become the great name people who admired him hoped for. Still he was admired by his fellow artists and during his life he received some very nice retrospectives in the Stedelijk Museum and the Haags Gemeentemuseum. It si hard to describe his art, but if i must make a comparison it must be Wols ( i wrote a short blog on Wols some weeks ago). For those visiting in the near future , here is the list of collections that has Ouborg works in them: ( and of course the books on www.ftn-books.com)
In the first couple of years i always thought Ap was Ab, because i had known several people with the name Ab. Since Ap corrected me, it became Ap/ @p and since we have stayed in contact with each other…not only professionally , but also socially.
His career at the Haags Gemeentemuseum/Gemeentemuseum now spans a period of 40 years. 40 years in which Ap has become one of the “mastodons” of the museum and one of those few within the organization of the museum, who contributes, as a registrar, to every exhibition that takes place within the museum walls. I think Ap is one of those people that you like instantly… easygoing and open hearted and because of that we stayed in contact with each other, meeting occasionally and discussing the art and museum world. There is one occasion that i want to mention in this blog. A few years ago i held an auction on Catawiki, within the auction there was a small Stedelijk Museum book with a lithographed cover by Christa Ehrlich . I mentioned it on Facebook and got an answer from Ap in New York. He was there with the design of the cover from the collection of the Gemeentemuseum which was lend to the Moma(?). This can not be coincidence, but must have a meaning…. so let us try to find out what the meaning of this is in the years to come. Ap, not only a colleague but also a friend! Thanks for 40 years Gemeentemuseum and 36 years of friendship and keep practicing your logistic skills in the coming years with the present we just gave you 😉
I have always been an admirer of Pat Andrea’s work. From his earliest days he illustrated books by Herman Pieter de Boer to his later years in which he made large sized paintings. One of the first ( possibly the first) large paintings i saw by Pat Andrea was his ZOMERAVOND SOFTBAL which was in one of the staircases of the Haags Gemeentemuseum. An impressive painting which in the late 80’s disappeared. Is it in the depot or has it been exchanged with another collection? ….i do not know, but what i do know is, that in 1985 the Berlage masterpiece , the Haags Gemeentemuseum, celebrated his 50 years of history since opening. Gerrit Jan de Rook was the curator who was in charge of a special editions program in which he invited a selection of artists to make a “special” for the celebration. Among these works by the famous Carl Andre, but Pat Andrea was commissioned too, to make a series of 8 small paintings on the theme of “Zomeravond softball”. When they became for sale i was very much impressed by these little gems too and decided to buy one… Now i had my small version of “Zomeravond softball”
I have very much enjoyed this beautiful Pat Andrea for over 20 years , but decided to sell it when i needed the funds to buy another piece of art. The work was sold, but the admiration for Pat Andrea remained. You can look at www.ftn-books.com for more publications on Pat Andrea. Including Journal d’Aurore, which is at this moment the only copy on the market ( inquire)
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20