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the 500 first Stedelijk Museum publications…A very important list

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Last Thursday i encountered finally one of the list I was hoping to find for a long time. The list is made in the beginning of the Eighties when interest rose in acquiring and collecting the Stedelijk Museum publications. Since the start in the Mid ’30s from last century, over 1100 publications have been published by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and this list contains the numbers and titles of the first 500 numbered publications. Willem Sandberg, Piet Zwart and Wim Crouwel, 3 of the greatest of Dutch designers all can be found on this list and i noticed of the 500 titles on it I have over 400 currently available at http://www.ftn-books.com

Beside the one on the list, there are of course many others published by the Stedelijk Museum FTN books has available. Take a look, save and share this very important document. the list is in PDF format and can be downloaded with the link below:

sm lijst 1 tm 500

 

 

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Otto Treumann (1919-2001)

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Treumann is certainly one of the greatest designers from last century and has designed some of the most iconic images in the Netherlands from the last 50 years, but he has been specially important for the designs of the Joods Historisch Museum and the Jewish community.

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Born in Bavaria in a German Jewish Liberal family in 1935 he came as an immigrant to Amsterdam fleeding Nazi Germany. He followed his education at the “NIEUWE KUNSTSCHOOL” in Amsterdam he educated their students according to the Bauhaus principles. During the occupation in WWII, Treumann became part of the resistance and forged ID’s and food stamps. After the war his posters for the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht became very famous . He also made some striking designs for AKU, which are now sought after and collected. In 1948 he received the H.N. Werkman price.

Treumann made designs for the Stedelijk Museum, the Anne Frank foundation and the Gasunie. His designs can still be found at reasonable prices and some of these pubications are available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

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Robert Combas new additions

combas and pieters

The final blog on the “Figuration Libre” presents two important new additions to my inventory. Both are related to each other. The first is the Guy Pieters catalogue from 2003 in which he presented the latest paintings from 2002 and 2003 and the second is from 2005 from the Museum Jan van der Togt. The museum made a choice from these recent paintings and added, many paintings from the decades before to this great retrospective.

Both are now available at http://www.ftn-books.com and belong to the best publications on Robert Combas

combas pieters c

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Wim Crouwel (continued )

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Early September 2019 i recommended the Mr Gridnik exhibition which would open shortly  after in the Stedelijk Museum. Just a few days before opening Mr.  Gridnik/ Wim Crouwel died  and he never witnessed his tribute at the Stedelijk. Since i have not found the time to go to this exhibition myself, but now that i finally have the opportunity and started planning my visit, i found out that all rooms are photographed and can be visited on line. It is a worthy tribute to one of the greatest designers from the last decade, but could have been much more complete. It focusses for 90% on the Stedelijk Museum publications, but it is still a very impressive sight to see so many great designs collected, but the real surprise is that i noticed that i have almost all of the books on show in my inventory. (www.ftn-books.com)

For those living too far away to visit the exhibition….here is the direct link to the rooms and showcases with Crouwel material:

https://www.stedelijk.nl/nl/crouwel-vitrines

and another excellent site with 19 photographs:

http://dutchdesigndaily.com/nl/nieuw/wim-crouwel-mr-gridnik/

 

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Cesar Manrique (1919-1992)

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Because i encountered a nice publication on this obscure painter , i decided to write a blog on the artist. The main part of this text comes fromT the Cesar Manrique devoted site. They did an excellent job in making more information available on Manrique

César Manrique Cabrera was born on April 24,1919 in Puerto Naos, Arrecife (Lanzarote), the son of Francisca y Gumersindo. His father was a food merchant and his grandfather a notary public. César preceded his twin sister Amparo by just a few minutes. He had another sister and brother all of whom are alive today. Don Gumersindo came from Fuerteventura of good family background and emigrated to Lanzarote.

The Manriques constituted a typical middle class family, without financial burdens. In 1934, his father bought a lot in Caleta de Famara and built a house next to the ocean. This house left a visible impression that lasted his lifetime, he remembered with joy:” My greatest happiness is to recall a happy childhood,five month summer vacationsin the Caleta and the Famara beach, with its eight kilometers of clean and fine sand framed by cliffs of more than four hundred meters high that reflected on the beach like in a mirror. That image has been engraved in my soul as something of extraordinary beauty that I will never forget in all of my life.”

He participated as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. His experience of the war was atrocious and he refused to talk about it. In the summer of 1939, once the war was over, César returned to Arrecife. He returned still wearing his military uniform. After greeting his mother and siblings, he went up on the flat roof, took off his clothes, agrily stepped over them, sprayed them with petroleun and burned them.

At the end of the Spanish Civil War, he entered the La Laguna University to study Technical Architecture, which he would abandon after two years. In 1945 he travels to Madrid and enters with a scholarship, to the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he would graduate as Art Professor and painter.

In the Fall of 1964, following the advise of his cousin Manuel Manrique, a New York Psychoanalyst and writer, Cesar traveled to that city where he stayed until the summer of 1966. He was the guest of Waldo Diaz-Balart, a Cuban painter, who lived in the Lower East Side, at the time, a neighborhood of artists, journalists, writers, and bohemians. Later he was able to obtain through his cousin Manuel’s friendship with the Director of the Institute of International Education, which was sponsored by Nelson Rockefeller. a generous grant which allowed him to rent his own studio and produce a number of paintings which he exhibited with success in the prestigious New York gallery “Catherine Viviano” .
While in New York, he would write his friend Pepe Dámaso “(…) more than ever I feel true nostalgia for the real meaning of things. For the pureness of the people. For the bareness of my landscape, and for my friends (…) My last conclusion is that MAN in N.Y. is like a rat. Man was not created for this artificiality. There is an imperative need to go back to the soil. Feel it, smell it. That’s what I feel.” He began to feel nostalgia for Lanzarote.

” When I returned from New York, I came with the intention of turning my native island into one of the more beautiful places in the planet, due to the endless possibilities that Lanzarote had to offer. ” .

And this is the present reality: It is impossible to imagine Lanzarote as it stands today without César Manrique. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, ecologist, monument preserver, construction advisor, planner of urban developments, outliner of landscapes and gardens.

Those who knew Manrique only superficially ignored the load of puritanism that ruled his conduct. Manrique was really a frugal man, he didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and didn’t allow others to smoke next to him, he regularly went to bed very early and got up at dawn, and began work in his studio very early.

He died at the age of 73 in a tragic car accident, on the 25 of September 1992, next to the Fundacion, near Arrecife. The irony of fate had it that he would encounter death in a car accident, as he loathed the massive amount of vehicles

http://www.ftn-books.com has the best publication on Cesar Manrique now available.

 

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A great Museum Alphabet book / 1995

 

museum alphabet.jpgIn the very long period that i am now active  as a bookseller and collector i have seen many Alphabet books published and sold by the most famous of museums. Arguably one of the best, and certainly a personal best was the one designed by Gracia Lebbink. ( i only have a personal copy in my collection) but recently i bought another MUSEUM ALPHABET book which is nice and adventurous. It is the book published by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The museum published a 30 page hard paged book with details of some of the highlights within the collection, making the very youthful in a playful way familiar with the Museums collection. The book was designed and “written” by Gisela Voss and published in 1995 and is well worth collecting.  There is nothing to be found on the internet on the author, but this book is one of a series of other books she made for the Boston Museum .This book is now available at www.ftn-books.com

museum alphabet b

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Ernst Barlach (1870-1938)

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Barlach died just before the outbreak of WWII.  Kathe Kollwitz was about the same age and both were heavily influenced by the events of WWI. This war made an impression on both artists and many of their statues and sculptures  reminders of this war.

Wood was the material with which Barlach preferred to work and it has taken a very long time that his works received the appreciation they rightfully deserved to get. In the Netherlands only one exhibition was held. It was held at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum in 1961. Personally i did not take notice of this exhibition until last week when i found the catalogue.  I discovered it at the local Bookmarket and thought it had a beautiful design….yes designed by Benno Wissing and the design of the catalogue emphasized the qualities of barlach’s sculptures. The catalogue is nowavailable at www.ftn-books.com and for those visiting the Hamburg region, There are 2 Barlach museums in the region. One in Wedel and one in Ratzeburg.

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Allessandro Mendini (continued)

 

I wrote two earlier blogs on Mendini. One in 2016 and one in February this year to commemorate his accomplishments after his death at the age of 87.

Last week i found one of his earliest dutch publications. An important one, because it preceded the commission of designing the Groninger Museum. Probably the exhibition was held to introduce Mendini to the dutch people of Groningen and prepare them for the adventurous building Mendini would design for the Groninger Museum.

This publication is from 1988 , published together with Politi editore  and it is filled with the typical Mendini designs of which elements would be used outside and within the Groninger Museum.  I love this book, which is now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com

mendini groningen

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A tribute to Cor Rosbeek ( 1944-2019 )

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Recently one of the driving forces in the dutch museum publications world died. I remember Cor Rosbeek as one of the most gifted of all printers in Europe. On those occasions that we met professionally he came up with practical solutions and had always in mind the quality of the finished product.

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He made the impossible possible with a printing press and found solutions for the product that were thought to be impossible to realize. One of his best publications was the Diary of Anne Frank for which he made the facsimile reprint. Cor Rosbeek was a printing genius and realized many beautiful publications with the greatest of practically all (dutch) designers. His series of Rosbeek publications is known all over the world. In these publications everything comes together….great design, typography, layout, choice of papers and subject make these publications a monument for Cor Rosbeek. Some of these highly collectable publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

 

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Wim Crouwel and DE VOLKSKRANT

 

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Wim Crouwel passed away some days ago and since, a great number of articles have been published on his life and accomplishments as a designer. His works will prove to be highly important for designers all over the world in the future and DE VOLKSKRANT ( one of the most important newspapers in the Netherlands) recognized that fact and devoted  a 2 page article on Crouwel in their Saturday paper. It is only on rare occasions that such a long and detailed article is published on just one person. Wim Crouwel and his works prove to be that important. The article can be found on the internet here (dutch)

https://www.volkskrant.nl/mensen/wim-crouwel-hoeder-van-het-functionele-ontwerp-en-een-onverzettelijke-rechtlegger~bf53fa62/