From January 17th 2009 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is 160 years old this year. To celebrate this anniversary the museumís collections are being presented in new displays. For the first time the museumís world-famous collection of prints and drawings is being combined with paintings, sculpture, the applied arts and design. The museumís prints and drawings collection contains more than 80,000 works of art and is one of the most important collections in the world.
Two years ago the museum opened its chronological displays entitled ‘The Collection One’. ‘The Collection Two’ highlights the largest yet least visible aspect of the museum’s collection. Works on paper are fragile and sensitive to light and so are rarely exhibited publicly. ‘The Collection Two’ presents the prints and drawings alongside paintings, sculptures and household items from the same period, thus emphasising the functional relationships between the various art forms. The public will gain an insight into the meaning, context and creative processes behind the works of art.
Drawing is an intrinsic part of an artist’s training and an important phase in the creative process: sketches and studies are indispensable in the preparation of paintings and prints. Prints are essentially a means of producing multiple copies of a drawing. For artists such as Dürer, Rembrandt and Goya this was an attractive medium to reach a larger audience.
The structure of ‘The Collection Two’ is essentially chronological, but certain art-historical periods receive particular attention. Within painting there is a focus on Rembrandt, Rubens and the Surrealists, and within drawing on Dürer, Michelangelo, Fra Bartolommeo, Rubens, Piranesi, Boucher and Cézanne. Among the highlights of the presentations of household objects are dining culture of the Renaissance, the 17th-century bourgeois interior, modernist design of the 1920s and 1930s, and contemporary design.
The displays of modern art begin with the Dutch Romantics and end with the art of the interwar years. Highlights include the French Impressionists and works on paper from around 1900, including an extraordinary mantelpiece by G.W. Dijsselhof acquired in 2007. Iconic modernist works by Magritte, Dalí and Kokoschka are combined with recent acquisitions by Yves Tanguy, Joseph Cornell and Max Beckmann.
New display cases have been designed for the prints and drawings in ‘The Collection Two’. The contents of the display cases will be changed every three months. The cases and the displays have been designed by the stylist Maarten Spruyt.
‘The Collection Two’ has been financed by the bequest of Mrs N.C. van Riemsdijk-Borsje (2006), intended for the museum’s collection of Old Masters, and contributions from the BankGiro Loterij and the Rabobank.