A New Beginning

The Collection Book by Joost Grootens

The collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has been presented anew in the Collection Book, which is available in Dutch, English, French and German editions. Graphic designer Joost Grootens worked in close collaboration with the museum on the unique presentation of the volume’s contents.

Visitor reads the Collection book by Joost Grootens, photo: Ernie Buts
Visitor reads the Collection book by Joost Grootens, photo: Ernie Buts

The book shows the diversity of ways in which a museum’s collection can be presented. Besides standard criteria such as alphabetical arrangement, the volumes uses eight themes to present innovative ways of organising a collection in book form. Themes such as Black and White, Tables and Collectors provide an unorthodox cross-sectional view of the collection. Another theme is 27 centimetres, the height of the Collection Book itself.

From large to small
The book’s infographical indices provide novel insights into the museum’s collection. For example, some 163 artworks are arranged by size, and an installation by Pipilotti Rist is depicted to scale alongside The Glorification of the Virgin, a 15th-century panel by Geertgen tot Sint Jans. Another means of classification that Grootens used was to select works that are solely black and white. Joost Grootens has made the organisation of information using infographical indices his speciality, an acuity for which he received the Rotterdam Design Prize in 2009.

The Collection Book by Joost Grootens is on sale at the museum shop, via the museum’s online webshop, and from selected bookshops in the Netherlands for just €25.00. Available in Dutch, English, French and German.

                      Collection Book Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

In the museum
On the occasion of the publication of the new Collection Book, Joost Grootens has devised a presentation for the museum that compares various ways in which a collection can be classified. For example, in one display case you can see objects from the collection that are arranged by their date of creation; in another display case the same objects are grouped by size. The presentation in the museum continues until 10 February 2013.