Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen developed the new Collection Book in close collaboration with Joost Grootens. This reconceived publication presents the museum’s extensive collection thematically.
The book opens with a series of photos of empty galleries, with which graphic designer Joost Grootens wants to show where a collection belongs, as well as how curators work. Their choosing a particular theme or arrangement means that these curators are in a position to present the collection in the empty museum spaces.
When compiling the new Collection Book, Grootens proceeded from two guiding principles: realise a catalogue of the complete collection and explain how the museum works with its collection. Rich in form and content, the book sheds light on these principles from various perspectives. The volume’s co-authors include museum director Sjarel Ex and former curator Hanneke de Man. All the museum’s curators have contributed to the description of the vast array of works.
Questions and answers
The book approaches the museum’s collection on the basis of a diversity of questions, such as: What is the story behind the key pieces in the museum's collection? Who is the glass artist whose oeuvre is the subject of a magnificent overview by the museum? Precisely how many objects 27 centimetres in height are to be found in the collection? Alongside background stories and plenty of photographs, the volume incorporates infographic indices. The new Collection Book by Joost Grootens is now available in four different languages in the museum shop and also available via the webshop.
Several museum buildings
A timeline allows the reader to trace the milestones in the museum’s history. On overview pages the collection is ordered by a work’s date of creation or by its year of procurement, sorted by colour or arranged by the creator’s birthplace. A striking detail in the book is the account of how many times the museum building’s existing floor area would be required to display each of the sub-collections.
Two different presentations
At the museum you can see the presentation ‘The New Collection Book by Joost Grootens’ that takes the book’s line of approach as its point of departure, comparing the ways in which a collection can be organised. The first display case presents objects from the ‘date of creation’ collection; in the second display case the same objects are grouped by size. The displays present objects such as calculators and sketchbooks in different contexts, showing the same collection in two different ways.