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Boijmans Studies

In 2007, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen launched a series of scholarly publications about the museum’s collection: the ‘Boijmans Studies’. The aim of the publications is to document the collection and the history of the museum and to make this information available to a broad public.

The publications encompass catalogues of specific aspects of the museum’s collection, restoration reports, and collections of essays on specific subjects. Where possible, the publications are linked to an exhibition. The museum strives to publish two titles each year. The series is finances by contributions from various funding bodies and individuals.

The members of the edutorial board are: 
- dr. Peter van der Coelen, curator of prints and drawings
- dr. Albert J. Elen, senior curator of prints and drawings
- drs. Els Hoek, educational curator 
- drs. Saskia van Kampen-Prein, curator of modern and contemporary art
- dr. Sandra Kisters, head of collections and research
- MA Esmee Postma, publishing assistant
- drs. Sabine Terra, piblisher

The researchers: 
Art-historical research is carried out within the museum by the curators Peter van der Coelen, Alexandra Gaba-van Dongen, Albert J. Elen, Saskia van Kampen-Prein, Annemartine van Kesteren, Friso Lammertse, Mienke Simon Thomas and Francesco Stocchi. External experts also contribute to the Boijmans Studies as researchers and authors.

'Boijmans Studies' titles published in English:

A Contorversial Past. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Second World War by Ariëtte Dekker et al.

The story of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen during the Second World War is an emotionally charged one: a director who bent to the will of the occupying power and patrons who sold works of art to the Nazis. At the same time, the museum played an important role as a centre of art and culture and the guardian of culture in the devastated city of Rotterdam. This Boijmans Study examines the role of the museum and its patrons during the war. The story would not be complete, however, without an account of the museum’s spectacular development in the interwar years. To a significant extent, it had the Rotterdam shipping magnates D.G. van Beuningen and Willem van der Vorm and the Haarlem banker Franz Koenigs to thank for the growth of its collection. Their passion for collecting and their patronage are seen against the background of great changes in affluence, which drove a flourishing international art trade. The book ends with an account of seven special cases of research into the sometimes complicated provenance of works of art in the museum’s collection.

This publication is for sale at the webshop

An Eyckian Crucifixion Explored: Ten Essays on a Drawing by Friso Lammerts, Albert Elen et al.

In 2012 a hitherto unknown ‘Eyckian’ drawing of the Crucifixion was exhibited in The Road to Van Eyck in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Forty years earlier Wim Hofman, a psychiatrist and art collector from Groningen, had bought the drawing – as a reproduction – for just ten guilders at a local estate auction. He was convinced, however, and rightly so, that it was an original work of art, and he spent the rest of his life researching it. The Rotterdam museum acquired the drawing shortly after the exhibition. In this book leading specialists examine various aspects of this mysterious drawing – its discovery, the scientific and technical research into the materials, and the identity of the artist. Is it a work by Jan van Eyck himself or a workshop assistant, or is it a late fifteenth-century copy of a work by the famous progenitor of Netherlandish painting?

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'Please write!' Paul Thek and Franz Deckwitz: An Artists’ Friendship by Roosmarijn Homp and Adelheid Smit

In 1967 the 33-year-old American artist Paul Thek embarked on an extended stay in Europe. This represented a turning point in his career. The environments that he created between 1968 and 1973 in various European museums were made up of fantasy landscapes replete with symbolic meaning. The creative process, usually with the assistance of others, played a crucial role in these exhibitions. The Amsterdam-based artist Franz Deckwitz was one of those who assisted Thek but he was, above all, a loyal friend. Their friendship is documented in the Paul Thek archive that Deckwitz’s family gave on permanent loan to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 2011. Comprising letters, photographs and other documents, it forms the basis of this Boijmans Study, which focuses on the friendship between the two artists and Thek’s links with the Netherlands and Rotterdam.

This publication is for sale in the webshop

The essential potness - Lucie Rie and Hans Coper by Mienke Simon Thomas et al.

The vases and pots of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper occupy a central position in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s rich collection of studio ceramics. Between 1960 and 2000 the quality of the work of these two ‘English’ potters provided a benchmark for the acquisition of objects by studio potters from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany and Scandinavia. In turn Lucie Rie and Hans Coper were indebted to the attention paid to them by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The enthusiasm of the museum’s former curators Bernardine de Neeve and, above all, Dorris Kuyken-Schneider was crucial for the advancement of their illustrious careers. This Boijmans Study includes a catalogue of all the works by Rie and Coper in the museum’s collection. The introductory essay charts the history of this unique collection and highlights the significant influence that the works of Rie and Coper exerted on the museum’s acquisitions policy for applied arts.

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Van Meegeren's Vermeers. The Connoisseur's Eye and the Forger's Art by Friso Lammertse et al.

In 1937 the Supper at Emmaus was discovered in France. All the experts agreed that the painting was a masterpiece by the seventeenth-century artist Johannes Vermeer. The painting was considered to be as important as Rembrandt's Night Watch. By acting quickly Museum Boymans was able to snap it up from under the noses of other interested parties for a record sum. Eight years later, there were astounded reactions when Han van Meegeren announced that he had painted the work. It then emerged that he had been responsible for a number of other ‘Vermeers' and ‘Pieter de Hoochs', which had meanwhile been bought by a number of Rotterdam collectors, the Rijksmuseum and Hermann Goering. This Boijmans Study reconstructs the notorious story of the forgeries and tries to discover how the entire art-historical world could have been so misled.

This publication is for sale in the webshop

Come on, now, buy a Beckmann too! Portrait of the Lütjens Family in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen by Jonieke van Es et al.

This book focuses on a single painting from several points of view. Painted by Max Beckmann in 1944, thePortrait of the Lütjens Family became part of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen collection in 2009. Alongside personal recollections and documents, the book contains the results of the art-historical research into the background to the work and the technical research into the materials used. The various articles shed light on the place of the work in Beckmann's oeuvre, the historical context in which it was painted and the physical and technical aspects of the painting. The work bears witness to the special friendship between a painter and an art dealer, two Germans in the Netherlands in wartime.

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Masterpiece or Copy? Two Versions of Anthony van Dyck's St Jerome with an Angel by Friso Lammertse et al.

This Boijmans Study presents an in-depth analysis of two versions of St Jerome with an Angel. The canvases - one held by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the other by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm - were placed side by side, subjected to exhaustive scrutiny and examined with the aid of the latest scientific techniques. Are they both masterpieces by the great Flemish artist or is one of them a copy?

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Acquisition and restitution: The Toorop Case by Anita Hopmans

The German-Jewish businessman Ernst Flersheim fled to the Netherlands in 1937. Among his possessions were two works by Jan Toorop, a painting of The Thames and a drawing titled Faith in God. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen acquired the works through the art trade in 1937 and 1943 respectively and had held them ever since. This Boijmans Study describes Anita Hopmans's research into the acquisition of these works and their restitution to Flersheim's heirs.

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Miscellanea delineata. Dutch drawings 1780-1860 from the Ploos van Amstel Knoef collection by Marius van Dam

In 1998 the Cornelis Ploos van Amstel Knoef Society Foundation donated more than 4,000 drawings, sketchbooks and albums to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. This Boijmans Study includes essays on the origins and history of the collection and on the function of drawing in the nineteenth century. The catalogue of the collection can be found on the enclosed CD.

This publication is for sale in the webshop

Miscellanea delineata. Dutch drawings 1780-1860 from the Ploos van Amstel Knoef collection by Marius van Dam