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A dream collection - Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Straight to

Sjarel Ex
Director Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

This is a rather tricky foreword, something of a cadavre exquis, full of questions that are not that easy to answer. Question number one. In the early 1960s Salvador Dalí made a video with the photographer Philippe Halsman. You see Dalí in a film studio that looks like Piet Mondrian’s studio in Paris; he tugs at his moustache, points to a Mondrianesque composition on a painter’s easel, looks wide-eyed at the camera and says: ‘Pyet, Pyet? Pyet Nyet!’ Then he turns to the viewer and says charmingly, questioningly: ‘Dalí? Dalí? Dalí Si!’ What prompted Dalí, hardly deprived of fame or attention himself, to ridicule Mondrian, one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, in such a grotesque way more than fifteen years after his death?

Another question. Another time, another place. Sigmund Freud, practising psychoanalyst in Vienna before the First World War and during the interwar years, inventor of the therapy generally known as the interpretation of dreams. Could Freud ever have imagined that his method would be hijacked by the practitioners of the last great avant-garde ‘ism’ of the twentieth century? Which focused on the subconscious and dug for treasure in the human mind? To the benefit of all? This because of the need for a new world order, the abolition of hierarchy, the revolt against bourgeois attitudes and the reassessment of irrationality and chance – like Dada in reaction to the inhuman events on the battlefields of the First World War?

And what then – another shift in time and place – prompted head curator Renilde Hammacher-Van den Brande and director J.C. Ebbinge Wubben in the 1960s and 70s to focus the museum’s attention on the south – on Surrealism? Being mindful of the grand definition the American museum director Alfred H. Barr Jr formulated in 1936 – to strive for a collection of publications and artworks by artists in the circle of André Breton, and at the same time establish the broader connection between Surrealism and art history, from Jheronimus Bosch to, say, the art of psychiatric patients and children? Yes, what actually makes Surrealism – irrational, unpredictable, individual, imaginative, cadavre exquis playing, automatic drawing practising, unconventional, ethnographic inspiration seeking and eroticizing Surrealism – so irresistible?

At that time something new was wanted, and Breton and his circle were at one and the same time social animals and individualists who on the whole did not warm towards the collective style limitation the Modernists stood for. Mondrian, God of Modernism? An oak that had to be felled. Freud? He looked on, I imagine, mildly amused, but also aloof. And the museum saw the gap in the Dutch public collections and began something new.

Now, after more than fifty years since the first purchase, Surrealism still enjoys our permanent attention. Over the generations the museum has put together a dream of a collection that can be described as unique. Read this magnificent catalogue raisonné for all other questions and more.

A Dream Collection

A Dream Collection

Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

€ 34,95 Order now

Sandra Kisters, the current Head of the Collection and Research Department, provides an outline of the Surrealist movement. Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Saskia van Kampen-Prein, explains the acquisition history and establishment of the museum’s Surrealist art collection. Surrealism expert Laurens Vancrevel examines the museum’s unique, often neglected collection of Surrealist publications. 

Author: Sandra Kisters

Think of something Surrealist, and the chances are that what will come to mind are self-proclaimed genius Salvador Dalí’s melting watches or René Magritte’s disconcerting illusions. Both examples come from painting, but Surrealism began with literary experiments, in which the Parisian Dadaist André Breton played a leading role. Visual art only came into the picture later. The writers and poets who initially made up the nucleus of the Surrealist movement were attracted to one another by their political radicalism, intellectual debate and their poetic experiments.1 They believed that a labour-intensive, considered technique like painting was not an appropriate means of expressing a subconscious process like automatism.2

1. A. Breton, Qu’est-ce que le surréalisme?, Brussels 1934, with cover design by Magritte. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Surrealism is not a school or a style, but rather a collective attitude that centred on automatism – associative writing or painting without the intermediary of reason, as a form of resistance to petty bourgeoisie and totalitarianism. In the early years of Surrealism, around 1924, there was a debate about the role of painting, conducted chiefly in the magazine La Révolution surréaliste (1924-29), which created the context for the exhibition Le peinture surréaliste (1925), in which Breton wanted to show that painting really could be Surrealist.3 The writer Pierre Naville, however, believed that it was only the mentality of the maker, rather than the work itself, that was Surrealist.4 And even Breton was sometimes ambivalent about the visual arts, particularly when artists developed in a direction that he did not like, as Dalí did in the second half of the nineteen-thirties. Although hailed as a new hero of Surrealism in 1929, his use of multiple images – paintings into which more than one thing can be read, such as Espagne (1938) in which a woman’s body can also be seen as a fighting army – was eventually sharply condemned by Breton (fig. 2).5 He saw it as ‘a form of diversion on a par with crossword puzzles’.6

The relationship between word and image was extremely important to many Surrealist artists, among them Jean (Hans) Arp, who was a poet as well as a sculptor and painter, and Magritte, who played with the titles of his works of art and, in the period from 1927 to 1931, made language an integral part of his paintings.7

2. Man Ray, André Breton, 1930. © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP - Pictoright / Telimage

An Artists’ Collective

Surrealism was one of the last movements to have been called the historical avant-garde: movements of artists who drew up a programme collectively, often in the form of manifestos in which they proclaimed their ideas about art, and about the relationship between art and society.8 These literary and art movements campaigned against the idea of art for art’s sake that had become fashionable in the nineteenth century; the idea that art was autonomous and could be produced free from a moral, didactic or other compelling message.9 The whole point of art was to mean something, unleash a revolution or at least ridicule the prevailing norms, as Dada started to do in 1916.

With hindsight, we can see that the historical avant-garde (1909-40) began with the Italian Futurist manifesto written and published by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909, in which he called for the overthrow of existing institutions like museums and libraries and urged people to embrace the political revolution.10 But the First World War confronted artists, and not only them, of course, with the horrors and senselessness of war and violence. Dada, founded by Hugo Ball, his lover Emmy Hennings and others in the famous Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in 1916, consequently expressly broke with its Futurist predecessors and preached anti-art. With humour, irony and nonsense, expressed in performances and noise concerts, artists like Tristan Tzara and Arp protested against the insanity of war.

Towards the end of the First World War, Dada’s ideas were taken to New York, Berlin, Paris and elsewhere by Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Richard Huelsenbeck, Raoul Hausmann and Tzara. Dada’s focus was different in each city. In Paris, for instance, their activities were chiefly outward-looking, progressive and radical. When Surrealist ideas emerged at the beginning of the nineteen-twenties, many followed Breton, while others, such as Tzara and Picabia, went their own way.11 Irony and anarchy made way for joint activities, and Dada’s extravert, aggressive character for the relatively clear-cut principles of Surrealism, where psychic automatism and the poetic image were key.12

3. Max Ernst, Au rendez-vous des amis (A Friends’ Reunion), 1922, oil on canvas, 130 x 195 cm. Cologne, Museum Ludwig © Rheinisches Bildarchiv

The transition from Dada to Surrealism can be seen in the ideological and substantive shifts towards Surrealism in the second series of the originally Dada magazine Littérature (1922-24), edited by Breton. Dada artists like Picabia and Arp were also involved in Littérature’s move towards Surrealism. The first series, edited by Breton, Philippe Soupault and Louis Aragon, appeared between 1919 and 1921. In September 1922, Breton, Aragon, Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, Benjamin Péret and others began to experiment with self-induced hypnotic trances, which they called sommeils, that sometimes resulted in poetic writings.13 On 1 November 1922, in ‘Entree des médiums’ published in the journal Littérature, Breton described the sommeils thus:

We know to a certain point, my friends and I, what we understand by surrealism. This word, which is not our invention and which could so easily have been abandoned to the vaguest critical vocabulary, is used by us in a precise sense. By it we have agreed to designate a certain psychic automatism which corresponds quite closely to the dream state, a state which it is today extremely difficult to delimit.14

Ernst, a German Dadaist artist who had arrived in Paris in 1922 and lived with Paul and Gala Éluard, was so struck by these sessions that he made a painting of the group. In this work, Au rendez-vous des amis (1922), which is set during a solar eclipse, Ernst himself sits on the lap of the writer Dostoyevsky (fig. 3). Some of the other members make gestures that appear to symbolize their solidarity. Breton, a red cape flung over his shoulder, proclaims the new ideas. As well as holding communal meetings, the Surrealists explicitly presented themselves to the outside world as a collective movement, as we see in photographs like Man Ray’s Waking Dream Seance (1924) and Magritte’s photo montage Je ne vois pas la [femme] cachée dans la forêt, which was published in La Révolution surréaliste of 15 December 1929 (fig. 4).

4. René Magritte, Je ne vois pas la [femme] cachée dans la forêt (I Do Not See the [Woman] Hidden in the Forest), photomontage with passport photographs of Surrealists, in La Révolution surréaliste, no. 12 (15 December 1929), p. 73. Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

As early as 1919, Breton and Soupault were experimenting with automatic writing, producing poetic texts without the intermediary of reason, some of which they published in the first series of Littérature (1919-21). This resulted in 1920 in the book Les champs magnétiques. During the First World War Breton had worked as an orderly in a psychiatric hospital, where he encountered the thinking of the Viennese neurologist and father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, and was inspired by his ground-breaking ideas about the subconscious. Beneath their consciousness, said Freud, human beings had a much greater subconscious, full of fears, passions and fantasies, which were kept in check by reason, but could lead to numerous neuroses and other psychological problems.15 One of the conversation techniques Freud used with his patients, free association – where he got patients to talk freely and without inhibition about their feelings, fears and frustrations – was appropriated by Breton and Soupault in the literary technique of automatic writing. The interest in psychic automatism, the meaning of dreams and the effects of trance were thus inspired by psychoanalysis – but used as a means of liberating the mind, not curing it.16

Alongside the écriture automatique, Littérature also published puns and word play by, for instance, Duchamp, sometimes under the name of his ‘female’ alter ego Rrose Sélavy. One of the first visual artists to experiment with automatic writing around 1924 was André Masson. In that same year Breton published the Manifeste du surréalisme.17 In it he explained, not coherently, but rather associatively, that Surrealism wanted to free not just art, but society too, from rationalism, logic and bourgeois thinking. In the manifesto, Breton stressed physical automatism, the expression of true thought, free of control by reason or moral and aesthetic notions, and the importance of the dream, and named those whom he believed belonged to the Surrealists. Breton wrote almost as if it were a confession of faith:

I believe in the future resolution of those two seemingly contradictory states, dream and reality, into a sort of absolute reality, of surreality, so to speak. I look forward to its consummation, certain that I shall never share in it but too indifferent to my death not to taste, at least slightly, the joys of such possession.18

It was the poet Guillaume Apollinaire who actually coined the word surrealism. He used the term ‘sur-réalisme’ for the first time in 1917 and Breton adopted it soon afterwards. Later in the manifesto Breton gave a much-quoted definition of Surrealism:

SURREALISM, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which it is intended to express, verbally, in writing, or by other means, the real functioning of thought. The dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.19

Surrealism as a collective art movement can be described as erratic. Collaboration proved a rocky road, the Surrealists held different opinions about what was and was not Surrealist and whether a direct connection between creative actions and political activism was or was not permissible. An initiative like the Bureau des recherches surréalistes (Surrealist Research Bureau, 1924-25) at 15 Rue de Grenelle in Paris, where the Surrealists wanted to get together to debate and to coordinate Surrealist activities, was wound up because in practice it proved difficult to keep the office manned at all times. Little by little Breton emerged as the absolute leader, and he decided who could and who could not be regarded as belonging to the movement. In 1929, for instance, when he published the Second manifeste du surréalisme in the last issue of La Révolution surréaliste, he excommunicated some members without pardon because they no longer wanted to conform to his conception of Surrealism.20 Paradoxically, Surrealist thinking was non-conformist, against any form of consistency. Among other things, in the manifesto Pour un art révolutionnaire indépendant he compiled in 1938 with Leon Trotsky and the Mexican mural painter and Communist Diego Rivera, Breton fiercely opposed both rising Fascism and the Communism of the USSR, even though in earlier years he himself had been a member of the Communist Party.21 The manifesto ends with two demands: independent art for the revolution and revolution for the total liberation of art.22 It is therefore all the more remarkable that he was so prescriptive as to what and who could and could not be regarded as Surrealist. Inevitably the composition of the group changed continually.


Although Surrealism had (and still has) adherents in the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, the former Czechoslovakia, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Denmark, the United States, Latin America and even Japan, for a very long time the movement was centred on Paris, with Breton as the pivotal figure. Surrealism as a collective movement was at its height between 1924 and 1939, when a great many Surrealists fled to the United States to escape the Second World War. After Breton’s death, Jean Schuster, who joined the Paris group in 1948, saw himself as the potential successor although he was not supported in this by all the members of the group. In 1969, however, Schuster came to the conclusion that it was impossible to continue Surrealism as a collective movement.23 Nevertheless the movement still had – and has – many followers, particularly in South America and Eastern Europe, and in the United States automatism had a major impact on the emergence of Abstract Expressionism.24

All the same, it is difficult to give a definition of Surrealism.25 There is no common pictorial vocabulary, no comparable working method and no shared use of the same materials or similar subjects. Essentially it is a common attitude or activity. What marks out Surrealism, more than any of the other historical avant-gardes, are collective activities, the séance-like sessions the editors of Littérature held to activate the subconscious through sommeils, Surrealist exercises like the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse), which could be both word and image, seeking unexpected associations, as well as more practical collaborations such as the exhibitions staged by the Surrealists.

Surrealist tendencies can be found everywhere – in contemporary art, too – and surreal as a concept is used in everyday speech to refer to anything out of the ordinary, alienating.26 In the visual arts Surrealism is characterized by innovative uses of materials and techniques, mixing different disciplines and other unexpected and alienating crossovers. In the early years the automatic drawing that derived from automatic writing was usually practised by artists like Masson and, in the Netherlands, Kristians Tonny. This technique involved the artist allowing his hand to move freely over the paper without the intermediary of reason. Another widely used technique, and one that is very popular with children, is the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse). Here, a part of a body, for instance, is drawn, starting with a head, then the sheet of paper is folded over and passed to the next player, who continues the drawing, without having seen the first element, on the basis of just a few visible lines. This creates the weirdest shapes and combinations. Ernst came up, more or less by chance, with several Surrealist techniques, including frottage and grattage. In the former, the artist rubs charcoal or pencil over a sheet of paper lying on a rough surface, such as wood or stone, creating a pattern. In grattage, a canvas covered in oil paint is likewise placed on a textured surface and the paint is scraped off with a palette knife so that the texture can be seen in the paint. All these associative techniques, in which reason and technical skill are deliberately suppressed, are still popular in art education.

In painting there was both a figurative and an abstract development in Surrealism. Most familiar are Dalí’s hyper-realistic dream images, where ponderous elephants can walk on gossamer-thin legs and a body can be made of drawers that refer to the subconscious. The abstract side of Surrealism is represented by artists like Picabia, Miró and Tanguy. Painting, however is just one of the components of the Surrealists’ expressive universe – collages, for instance, were frequently used to create strange compositions like Ernst’s famous 1934 novel Une semaine de bonté ou Les sept éléments capitaux (A Week of Kindness).

The Surrealists also experimented with new media like photography and film and developed a wholly individual form of sculpture, where found objects or materials were combined in the same associative way. This resulted in completely irrational objects, like the famous fur-covered cup and saucer Meret Oppenheim made in 1936, which must have produced a quite extraordinary mouthfeel, and Man Ray’s flatiron studded with sharp nails, titled Cadeau (1921).

Most Surrealists were very versatile. Dalí, for instance, worked with film, photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking, alone and in collaboration with others. Among the successful examples of his cooperative works are the avant-garde experiment Un chien andalou (1929) in association with Louis Buñuel, the Dream sequence in the Hollywood film Spellbound (1945) by Alfred Hitchcock, his collaboration with fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, resulting among other things in the Lobster Dress and a Shoe Hat (both 1937), and a long-lasting partnership with the photographer Philippe Halsman (see Métronome, Midsummer Night’s Mare and Le Roy Soleil). Like the oft-quoted line about the beauty of a chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table from Les chants des Maldoror (1868), the poem by the Comte de Lautréamont (pseudonym of Isidore Ducasse) that was a major source of inspiration for many Surrealists, they were constantly on the cutting edge between disciplines. This was perhaps most evident at Surrealist exhibitions.

A Performance of Surrealism

A distinction can be made between the exhibitions the Surrealists staged themselves, which anticipated both installation and performance art in their design and content, and exhibitions about Surrealism, such as Alfred H. Barr Jr’s Fantastic Art. Dada, Surrealism in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1936-37.27 The Surrealists organized exhibitions for the first time in 1925, a year after the publication of Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto, starting with La peinture surréaliste in Galerie Pierre in Paris.28 At the end of the nineteen-twenties the exhibitions became more important and more ambitious, in part because of the development of the Surrealist object, which occupied a central place in the shows.29 Some of the most important exhibitions staged by the Surrealists took place in the nineteen-thirties and early forties, a period that saw the rise of Fascism and the notorious Entartete Kunst exhibition (1937) in which modernist art was branded as suspect and degenerate by the Nazis. Visual art had meanwhile emerged as the Surrealists’ most powerful public instrument and the exhibitions were a total, immersive experience: a performance of Surrealism.

The most remarkable of them, perhaps, were the 1938 Exposition internationale du surréalisme staged both in Paris, at the Galerie Beaux-Arts, and in London, and the 1942 First Papers of Surrealism at 451 Madison Avenue in New York.30 The Surrealists certainly did not make it easy for visitors: in Paris they had to find their way through the exhibition in the dark with the aid of a torch with faulty batteries – Man Ray was appointed the ‘Maître des Lumières’ – and in New York they were impeded by ‘sixteen miles of string’ – a tangle of threads Duchamp stretched across the exhibition space which denied them both access to and a view of most of the artworks (fig. 5).31

5. John D. Schiff, First Papers of Surrealism with Duchamp’s installation of stretched cords, New York 1942. Photo Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library & Archives, Gift of Jacqueline, Paul and Peter Matisse in memory of their mother Alexina Duchamp
5. John D. Schiff, First Papers of Surrealism with Duchamp’s installation of stretched cords, New York 1942. Photo Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library & Archives, Gift of Jacqueline, Paul and Peter Matisse in memory of their mother Alexina Duchamp
6. Denise Bellon, Salvador Dalí with mannequin at the Exposition internationale du surréalisme, Paris 1938
6. Denise Bellon, Salvador Dalí with mannequin at the Exposition internationale du surréalisme, Paris 1938

As well as the objects exhibited, like Dalí’s Taxi pluvieux (Rainy Taxi) with two tailor’s mannequins in it – a blonde and a chauffeur with a shark’s head over which live snails crawled on lettuce leaves – in the Exposition internationale du surréalisme, the venue itself was invariably an element of the show. In 1938 the exhibition-goers in Paris went down a long corridor (rue surréaliste) with mannequins decorated by the artists (fig. 6), to arrive in a space where the ceiling was covered with coal sacks filled with paper and coal dust that drifted down on their heads. In the centre of the gallery stood a burning stove. Paintings were fastened to walls and graphic art to doors erected in the space, there were some beds, a small pool (in which the dancer Hélène Vanel gave a performance during the opening) and twigs and leaves on the floor. The aroma of roasting coffee filled the space and there was sound, although opinions as to its nature vary – from a gramophone playing hysterical laughter to the sound of marching soldiers.32

Although Duchamp is known to many as the forerunner of conceptual art and is not necessarily associated with Surrealism because of his individualistic attitude, he was closely involved with the movement and with the installation of the exhibitions in Paris in 1938 and in New York in 1942. In the two publications that accompanied the exhibitions he was described respectively as ‘Générateur-Arbitre’ (referee) (1938) and as the ‘twin brother’ of André Breton (1942), whatever that might mean.33 At the opening in New York he also had children running around bouncing balls.34 The idea behind this was to disorient, confuse and unnerve the visitors.

Barr’s exhibition Fantastic Art. Dada, Surrealism, by contrast, provided an art historical context for Dadaism and Surrealism and was a pendant to the influential exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art staged earlier in 1936. It contained some seven hundred works of art by around a hundred artists. The emphasis was on the fantastical element of Surrealism. Alongside the work of the movement’s pioneers, the exhibition explored their art historical influences, including Jheronimus Bosch, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Henri Fuseli and William Blake, and work by children and the mentally ill. A considerable proportion of the works of art were for sale, as a gesture to the lenders. MoMA did not ask for any commission on the sales.35

Surrealism as Brand

After the MoMA exhibition in 1936, Surrealism was seen in a different light, closer to everyday modern life. Barr’s design of the exhibition and the offer of works for sale meant that the Surrealists’ output could be translated to the public sphere.36 Soon after the opening, advertisements for women’s evening dresses designed by Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico and Pavel Tchelitchew appeared in Vogue.37 Some Surrealist artists deliberately overstepped the boundary between art, publicity and commerce, and were criticized for it, particularly Dalí.38 In 1939 he designed a very successful Surrealist window display for the Bonwit Teller department store in New York, a week later, with a great deal of fuss and to-do, opening an exhibition of his work at Julien Levy’s gallery, which sold out almost entirely at exorbitant prices.39 Dalí’s craving for sensation, publicity and commercial success clashed with everything Breton stood for, but also meant that Dalí became the face of Surrealism in the United States; in 1936 he even made it on to the cover of LIFE Magazine.

The conflict between Dalí and Breton, who threw Dalí out of the group in 1939 and referred to him by his anagram Avida Dollars (greedy for dollars), illustrates the critical reception of the Surrealist movement (fig. 7.): embraced by the public at large, but with a complex position among art critics. Although Dalí’s actions can be seen as a precursor of the work of Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, the way he linked art and commerce was often problematic. In 1936, moreover, the artist and art collector Katherine Dreier was already flagging up the risk that Surrealism would not be taken seriously as an art movement. She was angry at Barr because he had included the work of children and psychiatric patients in Fantastic Art. Dada, Surrealism – the American public could easily misinterpret this link to the Surrealists’ fascination with creative madness and childhood innocence.40

Nowadays the general public associates Surrealism not with committed left-wing artists who chafe against Marxism and Communism, but with the recognizable pictorial idiom of a few figureheads of Surrealism, especially Dalí, Magritte, Ernst and Tanguy.41 From a subversive art movement, Surrealism has become a brand, a concept from which everyone can learn – not just the general public but a great many writers and artists as well. In the Second Surrealist Manifesto (1929), Breton himself criticized others for using the concept of Surrealism whether it was appropriate or not. Can we still really describe today’s artists who base their work on the fundamental principles of Surrealism as Surrealists? Who decides, now Breton is no longer with us to induct people and expel them? He, after all, counted as Surrealists people who never thought of themselves as such. There are, moreover, as in other historical avant-garde movements, also artists who were only briefly a part of the group, joined it late or had an influence on the group and took part in exhibitions but never associated themselves with the Surrealists. There is only one possible conclusion: despite the commercial success, and its acceptance by a large audience, Surrealism remains an intangible movement, a many-headed monster, which both repels and seduces its public.


7. Philippe Halsman, Dalí, 1954

Author: Saskia van Kampen-Prein

The Creation of a Collection of Surrealist Art



1. View of the exhibition Collection – Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2017. Photo Lotte Stekelenburg
1. View of the exhibition Collection – Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2017. Photo Lotte Stekelenburg

‘Early Magritte Goes to Boijmans,’ read the headlines in Dutch newspapers in January 2016.42 Since the purchase of René Magritte’s Le miroir vivant (The Living Mirror, 1928) in 2015, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s renowned Surrealism collection has boasted yet another masterpiece. What many readers may not know, however, is that the acquisition of important works of art of this kind by public institutions is often preceded by a long search and a period of negotiation and decision-making. If there is one thing that the compilers of such collections have in common, it is boundless patience – like former museum director J.C. Ebbinge Wubben and senior curator of modern art, Renilde Hammacher-Van den Brande, who were there at the start of the Surrealism collection in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.43

It all began on 1 September 1963, when Ebbinge Wubben appointed the museum’s first senior curator of modern art. Hammacher was tasked with setting up a collection of modern and contemporary art and staging exhibitions featuring this new part of the museum’s collection two or three times a year.44 The fact that Ebbinge Wubben created a department of modern art did not, though, mean that there had been no purchases in that area in previous years. Several important paintings, among them De schiettent (The Shooting Gallery, 1931) by Pyke Koch, Ober-Weimar (1921) by Lyonel Feininger and Lyrisches (The Lyrical, 1911) by Vasili Kandinsky, had come to Rotterdam before Ebbinge Wubben took up the post of director. Soon after his appointment in 1950, Ebbinge Wubben himself bought the Expressionist masterpiece The Mandrill (1926) by the Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka. Their outstanding artistic quality notwithstanding, however, these earlier acquisitions can still be described as incidental. Ebbinge Wubben set up the modern art department because he believed that a dynamic city like Rotterdam could not be without a showcase for this kind of art.45 He thought it would be interesting to show old and modern art together under one roof, as he had previously seen done in the Kunstmuseum Basel, where between 1939 and 1961 the Swiss art historian and museum director Georg Schmidt had focused almost exclusively on acquiring modern works of art (fig. 2). In so doing he aimed to widen the scope of the collection, which chiefly consisted of old art.46 With this goal in mind he added important early twentieth-century paintings by Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Jean (Hans) Arp and other avant-garde artists to the museum’s holdings. Some were donated or lent by private collectors like Raoul La Roche and the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation. In Ebbinge Wubben’s view, Schmidt’s independent-minded collection policy had swiftly resulted in the ‘most magnificent and convincing example of the integration of old and modern art’.47

2. Georg Schmidt, director of the Kunstmuseum Basel leading a guided tour, 1962. Photo Maria Netter, SIK-ISEA, courtesy Fotostiftung Schweiz
2. Georg Schmidt, director of the Kunstmuseum Basel leading a guided tour, 1962. Photo Maria Netter, SIK-ISEA, courtesy Fotostiftung Schweiz
3. Bertie and Gigi Urvater at the opening of their exhibition in the Tate Gallery, London 1958. Photo Alan Vines
3. Bertie and Gigi Urvater at the opening of their exhibition in the Tate Gallery, London 1958. Photo Alan Vines

The Museum’s First Surrealist Gems

Ebbinge Wubben wanted to create a collection in Rotterdam that was just as spectacular. It had to include old and modern art which would be hung side by side, emulating the Kunstmuseum Basel. To achieve this, he needed works of art that could have a ‘connecting’ effect,48 and around 1965 he believed he could find such works in the famous collection of the Belgian couple Joseph Berthold (Bertie) and Gaëtane (Gigi) Urvater (fig. 3). Bertie Urvater was a wealthy Antwerp diamond merchant, who had started to collect art by predominantly Belgian artists like James Ensor, Constant Permeke and Edgard Tytgat when he was in his twenties. After his marriage in 1948, he and his wife added to the collection together. Influenced by their good friend E.L.T. (Edouard Léon Théodore) Mesens – whom they probably first met in the early nineteen-fifties – they gradually shifted the emphasis towards Surrealism.49 An artist, collector, gallery owner and publisher, Mesens was also one of the most prominent promotors of Surrealism and he regularly tipped off the Urvaters when important paintings came up for sale. He also sold the couple a number of pieces from his own collection, including Le thérapeute (The Healer, 1937), a painting that is part of a series of well-known works in Magritte’s oeuvre.50 Bertie and Gigi Urvater rapidly amassed a collection that contained many Surrealist masterpieces. They owned paintings by the likes of Dalí, Ernst, Magritte, Joan Miró and Yves Tanguy. At the beginning of the nineteen-sixties there were significant changes in their circumstances that impacted on their collecting practices. To begin with, Bertie retired from his business as a diamond merchant. Soon afterwards he and his wife moved from the town of Sint-Genesius-Rode in Belgium to Paris, where they became enthralled by the French abstract art being produced by artists like Roger Bissière and Pierre Soulages. In 1965, with no more earnings coming in to fund new purchases, combined with the fact that they maintained ‘a luxurious champagne lifestyle’, the couple decided to sell their Surrealist works.51

Like Ebbinge Wubben, Hammacher must immediately have recognized the significance of the opportunity to acquire this collection. Before she was appointed senior curator in Rotterdam, she had already built up a considerable body of knowledge about Surrealism in another job. In 1947 Hammacher won a competition and was rewarded with the offer of a job as a research assistant with the Belgian ‘Dienst voor Kunstpropaganda’, a department to promote art, headed by Emile Langui.52 He was an expert on Expressionism and Surrealism and introduced Hammacher to the most important artists and collectors in the run-up to exhibitions.53 The network she built up during her ten years working at the department had a primarily Belgian focus, because the organization was chiefly concerned with promoting the country’s ‘own’ art. For this reason, the department staged a travelling exhibition about the Urvaters’ collection in 1957.54 It was one of a series of exhibitions titled De grote Belgische verzamelingen (The Great Belgian Collections). From 29 June to 2 September 1957 the exhibition ran at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, where Hammacher’s husband, Bram, had been in charge since 1947.55 Renilde Hammacher was consequently well acquainted with the Urvaters’ collection long before 1965.56

The Surrealists were well represented at this exhibition, with paintings by Dalí, Ernst, Magritte, Miró, Delvaux, Giorgio de Chirico, Oscar Domínguez, Victor Brauner and others. No one could have suspected then that two of the works in the show would later play an important role in the construction of the Surrealism collection in Rotterdam – Ernst’s Le couple (1923) and Au seuil de la liberté (On the Threshold of Liberty, 1930) by Magritte.57 Accompanying the exhibition was a small, practical catalogue, for which Hammacher compiled all the object data and Langui wrote the introduction.58 In it he remarked  that the couple had ‘brought together in less than no time, with the love, the passion, the daring and the flair of youthful “aficionados”, an ensemble before which even the most indulged had to doff their hats in awe’.59

When these Surrealist gems suddenly came on to the market eight years later, Ebbinge Wubben and Hammacher realized that they had to do everything in their power to bring them to Rotterdam. The first obstacle that had to be overcome was to gain the approval of the supervisory committee – the ‘Commissie van Toezicht op het Museum Boymans-van Beuningen’. At that time the museum was still a municipal department, which meant that it had to obtain permission to acquire expensive works and was dependent on city council money to do it.60 Since it was the committee’s job to advise the council about everything to do with the museum, it was important for them to be just as enthusiastic about the plan to buy the collection. To this end, Ebbinge Wubben and Hammacher invited the members of the committee to come and see the collection in the Urvaters’ imposing modernist villa (fig. 4).61 However, the members were so concerned about the fact that the city council would have to make an additional grant available for these potential purchases that they were not even willing to go and look.62 Ebbinge Wubben and Hammacher must have been hugely disappointed, for of course they would have liked nothing better than to add these masterpieces to the modern art collection at a stroke. It was also sad for the Urvaters that the sale to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen did not go ahead. They had originally planned to establish a trust so that their collection would remain intact. When this came to grief, they hoped to anchor their collection in a museum.63

4. The Urvaters’ villa with Max Ernst’s painting Le couple (1923, no. 54) on the right of the back wall; the painting came to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 1966. Photo Henri Kessels

A Helping Hand

Regrettably, Ebbinge Wubben and Hammacher could not purchase the works themselves because the resources they had at their disposal in 1965 were insufficient. Eventually they decided to call on the help of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation in the hope that they would make it possible to purchase at least a couple of works from the Urvaters’ collection. The goal of this foundation, set up on 17 July 1939 by five wealthy private individuals and the then mayor of Rotterdam, was to promote the museum by staging exhibitions, increasing visitor numbers and financing, at least in part, the purchase of expensive artworks.64 And so the members of the ‘Curatorium’ – which was responsible for managing the foundation – met on 29 November 1965 to discuss three paintings in the Urvaters’ collection. For this occasion, the works in question – Magritte’s Au seuil de la liberté, Ernst’s Le couple and Il trovatore (The Troubadour, c. 1924) by De Chirico, whose ‘pittura metafisica’ (metaphysical painting) fascinated the Surrealists – hung on the walls of the committee’s board room in the museum.65 A rumour was circulating that another potential buyer had already approached the Urvaters, so the board had taken action before this meeting and drafted an acquisition proposal.66 The members were convinced that these three paintings could fuel the continued growth of the museum’s modern art collection.67 They consequently proposed that the foundation should buy the three works and give them to the museum on permanent loan. A year later, in 1966, the museum would probably have sufficient resources in its acquisitions budget to buy two of the three pieces. The third work would probably still be beyond the museum’s financial grasp at that point, so the foundation would give it to the museum on permanent loan. In the end, the committee agreed to this creative solution. It was also decided at the end of the meeting that Il trovatore would remain in the foundation’s possession for good. Although Ebbinge Wubben was elated by these new acquisitions, long after he stepped down from his post he still stressed in interviews how much he regretted the fact that the Urvaters’ collection had almost entirely eluded the museum.68

A Surrealist Accent

In 1967 the ‘Commissie van toezicht op het Museum Boymans-van Beuningen’ felt the need to get a clear view of the museum’s modern art acquisitions policy. Over the years, members of the committee had come and gone, so not everyone was familiar with all the agreements that had been made. Some wondered what plan was actually being pursued in terms of purchases. They also raised the question as to what the director had in mind for the future of the modern art collection.69 Ebbinge Wubben suspected that these doubts had arisen because since 1963 the resources he had available had been spent almost exclusively on modern art, while lack of space meant that virtually none of it could be seen in the galleries. In September 1968, to ensure that the committee unanimously backed the museum policy, he wrote a policy statement. Besides the integration of old and modern art, he wanted to create the broadest possible overview of modern art. In his view, the emphasis should be placed on postwar art because the budget would not stretch to making up the arrears in the area of the historical avant-garde. This was not to say, however, that no purchases of pre-war art would be made in the future. However, these acquisitions would form a small nucleus, which would consist solely of representative works by the most eminent artists. Some steps towards this had been taken in previous years, including the purchases from the Urvaters’ collection.

In February 1970 – just two years after Ebbinge Wubben had submitted his policy statement – the museum suddenly wanted to pursue a different course. This change may have been related to the fact that by now Hammacher had been working at the museum for several years. As time passed, she had increasingly come to realize what she felt was needed. Hammacher believed that Surrealism should be a focal point in the museum’s collection and tried to persuade the city council of this in a new policy statement. One of her most important arguments was that Surrealism was almost wholly absent from Dutch museum collections – with a few exceptions, including Ernst’s painting La horde (The Horde, 1927), which museum director Willem Sandberg had purchased for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1949, and Miró’s Composition avec des cordes (Composition with Strings, 1950), which had been in the collection of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven since 1960.70 Moreover, argued Hammacher, the museums maintained a clear division of tasks: the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag concentrated chiefly on Piet Mondrian’s oeuvre, the Van Abbemuseum focused on pre-war abstract art and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam followed the latest trends in Pop Art. She therefore felt that it made sense ‘to focus attention where it was lacking’.71 Over and above this, Hammacher reasoned, it was unrealistic to think that a representative collection of Cubism or Expressionism could still be put together at that time. Masterpieces were as good as impossible to find, and anything that did come on to the market was generally too expensive.72

Another important argument, according to Hammacher, was that Surrealism was not a closed historical period. This meant that it would be possible to create an ongoing line in the collection – precisely what Ebbinge Wubben had been seeking since his visit to the Kunstmuseum Basel. To illustrate her point, Hammacher cited Jheronimus Bosch. The museum was the only Dutch public institution to hold any of the artist’s work and, echoing Alfred H. Barr Jr, founder and former director of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), she regarded him as one of the Surrealists’ most important ‘forefathers’.73 In 1936-37 Barr had staged the legendary exhibition Fantastic Art. Dada, Surrealism at MoMA, in which he had presented several ‘old masters’ as predecessors of the Surrealists. Over and above this thread, Hammacher was interested in the way Surrealism had also evolved into later schools of art, such as Cobra.74 She therefore wanted to broaden the scope of what Dutch museums offered by devoting regular exhibitions to Surrealism – and she wanted extra financial resources from the city council so that she could realize her vision in the acquisitions policy.

5. View of the exhibition René Magritte. Het mysterie van de werkelijkheid in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 1967. Photo Dick Wolters
5. View of the exhibition René Magritte. Het mysterie van de werkelijkheid in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 1967. Photo Dick Wolters

The initial response to Hammacher’s policy statement was to reject it. The council thought that the Dutch people were too Calvinist for this type of art.75 This may have been prompted by the Magritte exhibition Hammacher mounted in the museum in the summer of 1967, which had attracted a rather disappointing number of visitors (fig. 5).76 Almost immediately after her appointment, Hammacher had suggested devoting an exhibition to Magritte. The artist was one of her personal favourites who, she believed, had ‘produced … the most rich and varied oeuvre’.77 Nevertheless it was to be some years before René Magritte. Het mysterie van de werkelijkheid (René Magritte: The Mystery of Reality) opened. This was because not one, but two Magritte retrospectives took place in the United States in the early nineteen-sixties, so the paintings were not available for Rotterdam.78 The retrospective MoMA put together in 1965 was particularly warmly received by the press and established Magritte’s name in the United States.79 This was not to say, however, that the artist enjoyed the same sort of recognition in Europe. In 1967, when Hammacher endeavoured to change this situation with an exhibition, it appeared that it was still too soon for the Dutch public.80 Three years later, visitors were able to summon up considerably more enthusiasm for Surrealism. In November 1970, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen opened the first European retrospective devoted to Dalí. It generated a huge stream of visitors: in the space of eight weeks more than 190,000 people came to see the exhibition. In the face of this overwhelming success, the city council no longer had any reason to doubt the tenor of Hammacher’s policy statement. When the exhibition closed and the museum actually proved to have made a profit, Ebbinge Wubben and Hammacher bought Dalí’s white-painted bronze statue Vénus de Milo aux tiroirs (Venus of Milo with Drawers, 1936/1964). At the same time, the city council used funds from the G.J. Verijssel Estate – which had been established to boost the purchase of modern fine art – to buy Dalí’s painting Le visage de la guerre (The Face of War, 1940) for the museum collection. Dalí’s work was in fact already represented in the Rotterdam collection by then: in 1969 the museum had purchased his gouache Shirley Temple, le plus jeune monstre sacré du cinéma de son temps (Shirley Temple, The Youngest, Most Sacred Monster of the Cinema in Her Time, 1939), which had been seen a year earlier at a group exhibition, Hedendaagse Spaanse kunst van Picasso tot Genovés (Contemporary Spanish Art from Picasso to Genovés), in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Rotterdam had actually scored a first here, because it was the first work by Dalí in a Dutch museum collection.

A Unique Opportunity

In the run-up to the Dalí exhibition, Hammacher used her contacts in the gallery world to meet the immensely wealthy and eccentric British poet Edward James, who loaned her no fewer than twenty-eight paintings, drawings and objects.81 James had been Dalí’s most important client and patron in the nineteen-thirties, acquiring almost all his artistic output between June 1937 and June 1938 in return for a monthly allowance. When James agreed to loan some of these works, Hammacher could not have imagined that this was just the start of intensive cooperation between the museum, the collector and the Edward James Foundation he set up in 1964, that would continue for many years (fig. 6).82 Some months after the exhibition closed, for instance, he loaned the museum twelve paintings, two drawings and one object by Dalí. The loan was prompted by the construction of the new wing designed by architect Alexander Bodon, which was intended first and foremost to show modern art. When this wing opened to the public in 1972, the works from James’s collection were among those shown in the first-floor galleries. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was given custody of these works for five years, provided it was willing to loan them out for important exhibitions elsewhere at all times. A few months later, in March 1972, James added two more works to the loan: Magritte’s painted object L’avenir des statues (The Future of Statues, 1937) and Dalí’s monumental triptych Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope (1936), which he owned jointly with the Edward James Foundation.

6. Edward James and Renilde Hammacher-Van den Brande at James’s estate, West Dean in Sussex, 1972

In 1976, when the loan agreement was almost at an end, Hammacher wrote to James, asking him to extend the loan. She also let it be known in passing that she hoped the museum would get first refusal were the works ever to be put on the market.83 Contrary to all expectations, this remark bore fruit in May 1977. It appeared that the Edward James Foundation was in financial difficulties and believed it could turn the tide by selling some of its works of art. Ebbinge Wubben and Hammacher seized the opportunity. A few weeks later, with alderman Jan Riezenkamp in tow, they went to the south of England, where the collection was kept in a large country house. There they negotiated for two paintings by Dalí and five by Magritte: Dalí’s Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope and Table solaire (Sun Table, 1936) and Magritte's La jeunesse illustrée (Youth Illustrated, 1937), La reproduction interdite (Not to be Reproduced, 1937), La saignée (The Blood-Letting, 1939), Le poison (The Poison, 1939) and La maison de verre (The Glass House, 1939).84 The focus was on Magritte because at that time the museum had only one of his paintings – Au seuil de la liberté, which the museum had acquired from Bertie and Gigi Urvater. Almost two months after the negotiations, both the trustees of the Edward James Foundation and Rotterdam city council reached an agreement, and all seven works came to Rotterdam. They were financed by an additional grant furnished by the city council.

Despite this sale, the Edward James Foundation was still having problems a year later, so the trustees decided to offer to sell some more works to the museum. This time, there were works on offer that had previously been off limits. For a while it looked as if the museum would miss out on this chance because one of the councillors thought that the museum should pay part of the purchase price itself. He suggested that the museum could sell a work of art and use the proceeds to fund a number of new acquisitions. Ebbinge Wubben had stepped down as director in 1978 and Hammacher had retired at the same time, so the newly appointed director, Wim Beeren, was faced with a thorny issue as soon as he took up his post. He was so keen to buy Magritte’s Le modèle rouge III (The Red Model III, 1937) that he briefly considered selling La jeunesse illustrée. Fortunately, he succeeded in getting the necessary grants, so in the end he was not compelled to sell this important painting. Eventually, in 1979, the city council agreed to the purchase proposal and the financial contribution, and the museum acquired Magritte’s Le modèle rouge III and Dalí’s Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages (Couple with their Heads Full of Clouds, 1936), Le grand paranoïaque (The Great Paranoiac, 1936), Espagne (Spain, 1938), Impressions d’Afrique (Impressions of Africa, 1938) and two preparatory sketches.

Once they arrived in Rotterdam, the new acquisitions were displayed with all the works that Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen had been lent by Edward James and his foundation. Soon afterwards, however, at the end of 1980, there was a sudden shock when Beeren received a handwritten letter from James requesting the return of all the works he had loaned to the museum. James wanted to sell the works at auction to raise money to expand his life’s work, Las Pozas (The Pools) in the Mexican jungle (fig. 7). Since the nineteen-forties he had owned more than thirty-five acres of land there, which with the help of the local people he had transformed into a Surrealist paradise full of sculptures and follies of his own design. Because, he said, it had never been his intention to amass an art collection and his Surrealist garden in Mexico was a rather expensive undertaking, he planned to sell part of his collection at auction. At this sale, held on 31 March 1981 at Christie’s in London, various institutions dug deep into their pockets to acquire works. Tate, for instance, bought among other things Dalí’s famous Téléphone-Homard (Aphrodisiac Telephone, 1936) which had been in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen since the opening of the Bodon Wing.

7. Vincent Mentzel, Sir Edward James, Xilitla, Mexico, 1980, Ilfochrome print on Cibachrome paper, 159 x 105.5 cm. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, gift of Dr J. Riezenkamp 2005

The fact that Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen was not in a financial position to bid at this sale did not mean that a stop was put to building up the Surrealism collection or that there was no longer any interest in James’s striking personality and his collection. In succeeding years, other works that had once been owned by James or reflected his artistic legacy in other ways were acquired. In 1995, for example, the museum acquired a white version of the lobster telephone that had once stood in James’s London house. As well as this White Aphrodisiac Telephone (1936), in 2003 the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation bought Dalí’s iconic Mae West Lips Sofa (1938) for the museum collection. James owned several versions of this famous ‘paranoiac’ piece of furniture, which looks like a sensual red-lipsticked mouth and functions as a sofa. In 2012 the museum also acquired the video work Xilitla (2010) from the British- born artist Melanie Smith. This video was shot in Las Pozas and provides a unique view of James’s Surrealist garden. Another special purchase was made in December 2016. At a sale at Christie’s in London, the museum bought the small, undated watercolour Young Man Carrying a Lantern (fig. 8) by James himself.85

8. Edward James, Young Man Carrying a Lantern, pencil, pen and blue ink, watercolour and bodycolour on two joined sheets, 342 x 203 mm. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Time to Expand the Collection

What began as a couple of incidental purchases in the nineteen-sixties has grown over more than half a century into a world-class core collection. There are still plenty of desirable acquisitions out there, however. Ebbinge Wubben felt the same in 1987, when he looked back over his years with the museum. He explained in an interview that there were some holes in the Surrealism collection that he and Hammacher had sadly been unable to fill: ‘Of course we should have had Tanguy. And … Miró. The two big gaps are Tanguy and Miró, and I’m afraid that they’ll never be filled.’86 What he thought would no longer be possible nonetheless came to pass in 2007: Tanguy’s fabulous painting Paysage avec nuages roses (Landscape with Pink Clouds, 1928) was purchased for the Rotterdam collection. It is a classic example of patience, or, as current director Sjarel Ex put it: ‘As soon as we know what we want, we have time. If need be, we can wait five generations for a particular painting.’87 When the museum suddenly got on to the trail of one of Tanguy’s ‘dream landscapes’ almost thirty years after Ebbinge Wubben stepped down, Ex did not hesitate for a moment and did everything possible to get hold of the coveted painting. Support was sought from all the important funds, and a benefit gala dinner was held to fund the acquisition of this work – so valuable in more than one way. When, not much later, Paysage avec nuages roses hung in the museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen had another first: it was the first Tanguy purchased for the Dutch national collection.

Other wishes were also fulfilled over the years. In 2008, for instance, the museum bought Untitled (for Chiarina) (c. 1958) by the self-taught American artist Joseph Cornell. The work, a white wooden box filled with all sorts of found objects, was acquired because, among other things, it creates a bridge between the Surrealism and Pop Art collections.88 Although Cornell never took part in the activities of the Surrealist group, he did show his work at a number of Surrealist exhibitions. The Surrealists invited him to take part because they approved of his work. At the same time, his little boxes had a considerable influence on Pop Art practitioners. The recent acquisition Le miroir vivant (1928), one of a small group of word and image paintings by Magritte, is both a masterpiece and a link. It as it were threads together the Dada, Surrealism and Pop Art collections. It was this key position that led Ex to ask, in an article he wrote for the Vereniging Rembrandt in 2015, why Hammacher had not collected an early work by Magritte of this kind. ‘Did she overlook it? Was she exclusively fixated by his paintings for the English collector Edward James?’89 Ex concluded that it was probably because building a collection is a gradual process and you look forward as well as back. And so it is. With patience, powers of persuasion, a number of setbacks and a bit of luck, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has collected more than a hundred pieces related to Surrealism since the nineteen-sixties. Today, this part of the collection is of inestimable worth – and not only in terms of artistic merit, quality, value and art historical importance. It is also a bargaining chip in international loan traffic. The museum recently mapped out a Surrealism policy line in which the plans and wishes for this part of the collection are formulated more precisely. One of the first aims has been achieved here: to compile a full catalogue in which the museum’s Surrealism collection is presented to the public in all its diversity.

9. View of the permanent collection in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2016. Photo Lotte Stekelenburg
9. View of the permanent collection in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2016. Photo Lotte Stekelenburg

Surrealist Publications and Documents in the Museum Library

Laurens Vancrevel


Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s unique and eclectic Surrealism collection includes a select group of paintings, objects and works on paper by luminaries like Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí and Yves Tanguy, supported by an important collection of bibliophilic publications, magazines, manifestos and pamphlets produced by the Surrealist movement. The Surrealists’ countless publications are extraordinary in the diversity of their typography and their content. Many of the publications express specific ideas about art, creativity, society, politics and philosophy – ideas that the Surrealists jointly developed into a wide-ranging ‘Surrealist civilisation’, as they sometimes described it.90

From its genesis in Paris at the beginning of the nineteen-twenties, the Surrealist movement was a close-knit group of artists, poets and thinkers who met virtually every day. The group was open to new members, but there were sometimes departures, too, as internal conflicts prompted some members to leave. The daily meetings continued until 1969 (with an interruption during the Second World War), and after that the collaboration became both looser and more international. Most of the artists among them also had literary talents –Magritte and Dalí, in particular, but Francis Picabia, Jean (Hans) Arp, Leonora Carrington, Eugenio Granell and Yves Elléouët also produced works of literature – while the poets and essayists sometimes made drawings and other visual work. Almost all of them took part in collective works and games, such as the famous cadavre exquis or exquisite corpse game, to provide the greatest possible opportunity for collective creativity and poetic spontaneity to flourish. These many forms of close collaboration stimulated creative interaction in art and literary work alike. The key word in the cross-boundary art forms is poetic. Magritte expressed it as follows in the foreword of the catalogue to his first European retrospective, René Magritte. Het mysterie van de werkelijkheid (René Magritte: The Mystery of Reality), which was staged in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 1967: ‘I occupy myself solely with poetic painting, which one must not confuse with the “literary painting” that focuses on pseudo-expressions of ideas and emotions by means of conventional symbols.’91

Magazines, ultimate forms of collective expression, are the connecting thread that makes it possible to trace the ongoing development of the Surrealist movement. Several hundred Surrealist magazines appeared in the last century – only in Paris and Brussels at first, but very soon in other cities all over the world. These journals seldom survived for more than a few years, if that long, but each had an unmistakable character of its own. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s library holds a number of the most important Surrealist magazines, including La Révolution surréaliste (1924-29) (fig. 1), Minotaure. Revue artistique et littéraire (1933-39), VVV (1942-44), Médium. Communication surréaliste (1953-55) and La Brèche. Action surréaliste (1961-65).

If a museum’s collection of Surrealism is to be representative, it must include a selection of printed works alongside a collection of visual art. Only then can the Surrealists’ very different forms of expression be understood as a shared artistic and intellectual adventure. Surrealism is not, after all, an artistic style or aesthetic art movement – it is first and foremost a critical attitude to life, a way of poetic thinking and poetic seeing. It is in this that Surrealism differs fundamentally from the other major avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century, such as Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism and Constructivism. Following in the footsteps of the Dada revolt against academism and bourgeois notions of culture, which took place between 1916 and 1922, the Surrealists opted for a revolutionary psychological and philosophical starting point that used automatism, chance, humour and games to keep innovating in art and change the world. It is precisely for this reason that the Surrealists’ own writings are essential to a proper understanding of their visual work.

1. Cover of the first issue of La Révolution surréaliste, December 1924

Surrealist Libraries

The early collectors of Surrealist art, almost without exception, collected paintings and sculptures, as well as Surrealist books and writings. One of the first great collectors was the French fashion tycoon and patron Jacques Doucet. He was also the ‘silent’ financier of a number of publications, including the journal Littérature (1919-24), which began as a Dada magazine but gradually transformed into the first Surrealism journal. In 1916 Doucet conceived the idea of building up a library of work by modern poets and writers and their immediate predecessors to accompany his famous collection of paintings, and turned to various avant-garde writers for advice. In 1920 he appointed the Dadaists/Surrealists André Breton and Louis Aragon as his librarians. They drew up a plan for the structure of the content of the library – the guiding criterion would be to collect publications that would reflect ‘the origin of the poetic mentality of our generation’.92 On his death in 1929, Doucet bequeathed this unique library of extremely rare Dada documents, Surrealist publications and the principal works of the philosophers and poets who are regarded as the intellectual forerunners of the Surrealists (among them the Marquis de Sade, Emanuel Swedenborg, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Charles Fourier) to the University of Paris, where it remains, is still being added to and is accessible for research.

There were other legendary libraries of Surrealist publications – one belonging to the Belgian writer and collector René Gaffé, who acted as patron to Paul Éluard and Breton for years, and one amassed by Daniel Filippacchi, the great French collector and magazine publisher, whose titles included Paris Match and Lui. The library of the French antiquarian bookseller and art dealer Jacques Matarasso was a monument to his friendship with Surrealists like Breton, Picasso and Miró.93 That of the American grande dame Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of the powerful oil, steel and property magnate John D. Rockefeller Jr, was a declaration of love to avant-garde artists.94 She was also one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 1929 – the first museum in the world for contemporary art, and consequently for Surrealist works, too.95 The avant-garde library of the American collector and automobile tycoon Walter P. Chrysler Jr,96 and that of the patron and collector Peggy Guggenheim were also renowned. The English poet Edward James, who was a very important collector and patron of Dalí, Magritte and others, and was one of the financiers of the magazine Minotaure. Revue artistique et littéraire, likewise amassed an exceptional bibliophilic collection. Gaffé, who increasingly focused his collecting activities on modem painting and African tribal objects, put his library up for auction in 1956. The sale attracted immense interest, and the prices of historical publications of Dada and Surrealism multiplied worldwide at a stroke. Years later, in 2004, Filippacchi’s library was sold at auction and fetched record prices, as did Matarasso’s in 2012. Peggy Guggenheim left her library to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The collections of books and documents belonging to the Surrealists themselves, with inscribed and dedicated copies and other personal items, are obviously the most interesting, but very few of them have survived: most were sold or dispersed after their owners’ deaths. Part of the library that belonged to Dalí, a passionate reader and writer, eventually went to the Centre d’Estudis Dalinians in Figueres, Catalonia, which was established after his death.97 The book collection, which had suffered losses over time, has since been augmented with books about which Dalí wrote or on which he collaborated.

Breton’s legendary private collection of artworks and books, which was kept by his widow Elisa in their apartment at 42 Rue Fontaine in Paris after his death in 1966, remained intact until her death in 2000. Attempts by friends in France and abroad to establish a separate Surrealism museum in which Breton’s collection could be housed received no support from the French government. In 1989 President François Mitterand, at the urging of culture minister Jack Lang, actually took the trouble to go and see for himself what was there, but on leaving Breton’s studio he uttered the historic words: ‘What a lot of bric-a-brac!’, then and there putting paid to any chance of a museum.98 The French tax authorities, as usual, levied an astronomical sum in death duties on Breton’s sole heir, his daughter Aube Breton-Elléouët. The sale of the collection was inevitable so that she could pay this tax demand. Breton-Elléouët made any sale conditional on the creation of a detailed description and digital record of each and every work of art, document and publication so that the collection could still be studied in its entirety in virtual form.99 It was done – and in exemplary fashion. Certain elements of the estate, such as Breton’s extensive correspondence, were donated beforehand to public bodies, including the Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet. The French state demanded option rights on countless artworks, which meant that French public institutions could acquire these works at the final price offered by the highest bidder. Several French museums took advantage of this opportunity. The sale, which took place in 2003, fetched a record total of around thirty million euros.100

The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen library was able to acquire a number of exceptional books and documents at this renowned sale, including Breton’s own copy of the Petite Anthologie poétique du surréalisme (1934) (fig. 2), which was compiled by Georges Hugnet, a handwritten postcard from Magritte dating from 1937 in response to Breton’s book L’amour fou (1937), and a handwritten note from Duchamp dated 1958, in which he praises Breton for what he calls the highly successful international Surrealist exhibition E.R.O.S. in Paris. This has created a personal symbolic link between Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the leader of Surrealism, who did more than anyone else to shape the movement.

2. Georges Hugnet (ed.), Petite anthologie poétique du surréalisme, Paris 1934
2. Georges Hugnet (ed.), Petite anthologie poétique du surréalisme, Paris 1934
3. Tristan Tzara (ed.), Anthologie Dada, Zurich 1919
3. Tristan Tzara (ed.), Anthologie Dada, Zurich 1919

The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Library

In a wry twist of fate, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen gave its first impressive sign of opening its doors to Surrealism with the Magritte retrospective in 1967, the year the artist died. Breton had died the year before. In her introduction to the exhibition catalogue, Renilde Hammacher-Van den Brande, then the curator of modern art, wrote: ‘The hesitant attitude of the Dutch towards Surrealism seems to have been overtaken by a more positive interest in recent years.’101 Looking back at that time many years later, she said: ‘As a Belgian I grew up with the Surrealists in the nineteen-thirties and forties, and I was astonished that none of the Dutch museums had a special collection of Surrealists.’102 Staging exhibitions of Magritte, Dalí and Man Ray and making important purchases for this part of the collection, she changed the museum’s course for good.

The museum library held virtually no Dadaist or Surrealist titles before 1967, and the situation changed little during Hammacher’s tenure as curator from 1962 to 1978. Some books of general historical interest were acquired in this period, including Breton’s Manifestes du surréalisme (1965 edition) and Entretiens (1969 edition), the 1919 Anthologie Dada compiled by Tristan Tzara (fig. 3), and Raoul Hausmann’s Dada memoires Courrier Dada of 1958, along with a number of books by and about Dalí, but that was the sum of it. It was not until the nineteen-eighties and nineties that the collection of Surrealist documents grew to become a wide-ranging thematic collection covering the most important moments in the early decades of the Surrealist movement.

An artists’ movement like Surrealism, where collaboration between visual artists and poets always played an important part, brought out numerous beautifully executed, illustrated collections of poems, many of which they published themselves, sometimes using the quasi-publishers’ name ‘Éditions Surréalistes’. The library holds a considerable number of these publications, including Picabia’s archetypal Dada poem Pensées sans language of 1919, with a special cover illustration by the artist himself. The rare collection Quelques écrits et quelques dessins by the Walloon poet Paul Nougé of 1927, with drawings by Magritte, is an early example of Surrealist humour. Nougé manipulated quotations from the moralistic educational work for young girls by the then successful writer Clarisse Juranville, to create bizarre poems. The drawings Magritte made for it complete the joke. Éluard’s 1935 collection of poems, Facile, is spectacular in its design and in Man Ray’s experimental photography. One of the most famous bibliophilic poetry publications is the edition of the collected works of the Comte de Lautréamont, the nineteenth-century forerunner of Surrealism, issued in 1938 by the GLM bibliophilic publishing house, with a foreword by Breton and illustrations by twelve Surrealists who were engaged in the movement’s collective activities at that time: Victor Brauner, Oscar Domínguez, Max Ernst, Agustín Espinosa, Magritte, André Masson, Matta Echaurren, Joan Miró, Wolfgang Paalen, Man Ray, Kurt Seligmann and Tanguy.103 This work is currently one of the Surrealist objects most sought-after by collectors, so the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen library is extraordinarily fortunate to have acquired a copy in 2000. The library also holds two collage novels by Ernst – Rêve d’une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel of 1930 and Une semaine de bonté ou Les sept éléments capitaux of 1934 (fig. 4). Ernst’s fantastical collages, cut with immense skill from nineteenth-century steel engravings, had a huge influence thanks to the many reproductions of pages from these works that appeared in art magazines all over the world.

4. Max Ernst, Une semaine de bonté ou Les sept éléments capitaux, five-part collage novel, Paris 1934

Collective occasional publications are a separate category of Surrealist literature. They include programmes for stage performances and film screenings, and pamphlets about events on which the Surrealist group wanted to express its opinion publicly. Improvised works like this appeared in small editions and did not go through the book trade, so they are extremely rare. The library has a number of them, including the programme for the première of Luis Buñuel’s notorious film L’Âge d’or (scenario by Dalí) of 1930, with contributions by Breton, Ernst, Arp, René Crevel, Tanguy, Éluard, Man Ray, Aragon, Miró, Dalí and André Thirion. This film – although not until some weeks after the première – gave ultranationalists and Fascists an excuse to cause a riot and damage the exhibition space in the Studio 28 cinema in Paris. The 1933 pamphlet Violette Nozières, full of drawings and texts by Breton, Dalí, Tanguy, Ernst, Brauner, Magritte, Arp, Alberto Giacometti, Man Ray and others, supported the cause of a young woman, Violette Nozières, who was to be executed for the murder of her father after he had forced her to commit incest. Another example is the programme for the performance Ubu Enchaîné in 1937, a humorous play by Alfred Jarry, one of the most inspiring forerunners of Surrealism. Almost all the members of the Surrealist group in that period – Breton, Éluard, Magritte, Miró, Paalen, Benjamin Péret, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Tanguy and many others – contributed writings or drawings. The witty occasional publication accompanying the Exposition internationale du surréalisme in 1938, titled Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme, with ironic entries by the group on a great many themes and concepts, is likewise a remarkable piece (fig. 5). Another unique occasional product in the collection is the 1950 Almanach surréaliste du demi-siècle, a sort of Surrealist book of hours edited by Breton and Péret, with a calendar of ‘tolerable inventions’, essays on great minds like De Sade, Jarry and Arthur Cravan, a chronology of Surrealism up to 1950, drawings by Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Toyen (the artist’s name of Marie Cerminová), Enrico Donati and others, and poems and stories by writers including Octavio Paz, Julien Gracq and Breton. This surprising book was published as a special issue of the cultural magazine La Nef, and has consequently become almost impossible to find, in part because of the poor quality of the wood-pulp paper. Fortunately, 115 numbered copies were printed especially for collectors on more durable paper and with two signed colour lithographs by Ernst. The library has one of these deluxe copies.

5. André Breton, Paul Éluard (eds.), pages from Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme, Paris 1938
5. André Breton, Paul Éluard (eds.), pages from Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme, Paris 1938

There are many, many more treasures in the Surrealism collection, such as the small flyers known as papillons (butterflies), and the pamphlets, which are usually called ‘tracts’ (fig. 6). The library has seven of the rare papillons of 1924, which were handed out to passers-by in the street. The Surrealists were calling on the public to start thinking surrealistically, as a selection of their appeals reveals: ‘You who cannot see, think about those who can’; ‘If you love love, you will also love Surrealism’; ‘You who have lead in your heads, melt it to make Surrealist gold.’ Among the tracts in the collection, the savage anti-colonial manifesto Ne visitez pas l’Exposition Coloniale of 1931 is particularly worthy of mention, as is the anti-Fascist manifesto Appel à la lutte of 1934, in a period of heated political demonstrations and fights on the streets of Paris between Fascists and Communists in the shadow of the events in Nazi Germany. It testifies to the Surrealists’ great revolutionary engagement – a constant in the history of the movement.

6. Papillons surréalistes, Paris 1924

As well as an extensive collection of Surrealist paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen owns more than 1,500 prints by Surrealist artists, including Jean (Hans) Arp, Enrico Baj, Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dalí, Paul Delvaux, Max Ernst, Wout van Heusden, Konrad Klapheck, Félix Labisse, Willem van Leusden, Wifredo Lam, René Magritte, André Masson, Joan Miró, J.H. Moesman, Meret Oppenheim and Pablo Picasso. This does not include prints in books, magazines and bibliophilic publications. The present small selection gives an impression of the diversity of this collection. With regard to the years of production, this anthology covers the same strict time period as in the rest of the catalogue raisonné – 1924-1966. Enrico Baj’s graphic oeuvre runs to 759 prints – almost half of the collection of Surrealist graphic art. In 1974 Baj gave his entire body of graphic work to the museum. Another large cluster consists of some 400 prints by Pablo Picasso. By far the majority of it was purchased between 1954 and 1969 thanks to a subscription to the Galerie Louise Leiris in Paris. The museum has more than 200 sheets, most from the period after 1966, by Eduardo Paolozzi, who is often regarded as a precursor of Pop Art, but who considered himself to be a Surrealist.

Surrealist Publications and Documents


A. Breton, P. Soupault, Les champs magnétiques, Paris 1920
Numbered copy, first edition (114/150 on Vergé d’Arches paper; total edition 180). Contains a portrait of Breton and Soupault by Francis Picabia.


Papillons surréalistes, Paris [1924]
Present: ‘Parents! // racontez vos rêves à vos enfants’
‘Vous qui ne voyez pas // pensez à ceux qui voient’
‘Si vous aimez l’amour // vous aimerez // le Surréalisme’
‘Ouvrez la bouche comme un four, // il en sortira des noisettes.’
‘Vous qui avez du plomb dans la tête // fondez-le pour en faire de l’or surréaliste’
‘Le Surréalisme // est à la portée // de tous les inconscients // On le trouve au Bureau de Recherches Surréalistes’
‘Le Surréalisme // est à la portée // de tous les inconscients // On le trouve au Bureau de Recherches Surréalistes’

A. Breton, Les pas perdus (Documents bleus, vol. 6), Paris 1924
Inscription in pencil in French on the title page: ‘exemplaire appartenant à Elisa Breton’.


A. Breton, Manifeste du surréalisme – poisson soluble, Paris 1924

T. Tzara, Sept manifestes Dada, quelques dessins de Francis Picabia, Paris [1924]


P. van Ostaijen, Het bordeel van Ika Loch (Cahiers van de Driehoek, vol. 5), Antwerp [1926]
With frontispiece by René Magritte.


A.D. [P. Naville], La révolution et les intellectuels. Que peuvent faire les surréalistes? Position de la question, Paris 1926

P. Éluard, Les dessous d’une vie, ou, la pyramide humaine (Collection poètes, vol. 3), Marseille 1926
With portrait (illustration) of Paul Éluard and Gala Éluard by Max Ernst.

R. Sélavy [M. Duchamp], Catalogue des tableaux aquarelles et dessins par Francis Picabia appartenant à M. Marcel Duchamp et dont la vente aux enchères publiques aura lieu à Paris, Hotel Drouot, salle no. 10, Paris 1926
Contains a loose-leaf introduction by Rrose Sélavy entitled: ‘80 Picabias’.


P. Nougé (ed.), Catalogue Samuel, [Brussels 1927]
Catalogue to promote fur coats made by the firm of Samuel for the year 1928, illustrated with photo collages by René Magritte.

L. Aragon, A. Breton, P. Éluard et al., Au grand jour, Paris 1927

B. Péret, Dormir, dormir dans les pierres. Poème, Paris 1927
With illustrations by Yves Tanguy, a number of which, like the cover and the title sheet, are hand-coloured. Fig. 1

C. Juranville, P. Nougé, R. Magritte, Quelques écrits et quelques dessins, Brussels 1927
With illustrations by René Magritte.


A. Breton, Nadja, Paris 1928

W. George, Chirico. Avec des fragments littéraires de l’artiste (Les maîtres nouveaux, vol. 5), Paris 1928



A. Breton, Manifeste du surréalisme. Poisson soluble (Les documentaires), Paris 1929
Originally published in in 1924. With frontispiece by Max Ernst. Fig. 2

K. de Montparnasse [A. Prin], T. Foujita, Kiki, souvenirs. Les souvenirs de Kiki, Paris 1929
With photographs by Man Ray and illustrations by Kiki de Montparnasse.

G. de Chirico, Hebdomeros (Bifur Collection), Paris 1929

M. Ernst, La femme 100 têtes, Paris 1929
With a foreword by André Breton. Numbered copy (69/1000). Deluxe binding (transparent glass) not original, original paperback cover present.


L’age d’or. Studio 28 Revue-programme, Paris 1930

A. Breton, P. Éluard, L’immaculée conception, Paris 1930
Vignette on the title page from a design by Salvador Dalí.

M. Ernst, Rêve d’une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel, Paris 1930

F. Picabia, L. Rosenberg, Exposition Francis Picabia. Trente ans de peinture, Paris 1930

C. Cahun, Aveux non avenus, Paris 1930
With héliogravures by Marcel Moore [S. Malherbe] to Claude Cahun [L. Schwob]

M. Eemans, Vergeten te worden. 10 lijnvormen beïnvloed door 10 woordvormen, Brussels 1930

L. Aragon, La peinture au défi. Exposition de collages, Arp, Braque, Dalí, Duchamp, Ernst, Gris, Miró, Magritte, Man-Ray, Picabia, Picasso, Tanguy, Paris 1930

E. de Haulleville, Le genre épique: autobiographie, Paris [c. 1930]
With four illustrations by Kristians Tonny. Signed on printing information page in (fountain) pen by the author and illustrator; numbered copy (76/500). Enclosed two letters from Georges [Hugnet] to Eric [de Haulleville], on the publisher’s letterhead.

Le groupe surréaliste. Catalogue de livres en vente a la Librairie José Corti, 6, Rue de Clichy, Paris – I X, Paris [1930]


A. Breton, P. Éluard, B. Péret et al., Ne visitez pas l’Exposition Coloniale, [Paris 1931]

Y. Tanguy, G. Sadoul, Aragon et al., Premier bilan de l’Exposition Coloniale, [Paris 1931]

R. Crevel, Dalí ou l’anti-obscurantisme, Paris 1931

Collection André Breton et Paul Éluard. Sculptures d’Afrique, d’Amerique, d’Oceanie, exh. cat. Paris (Hôtel Drouot), Paris 1931

S. Dalí, L’amour et la mémoire, Paris 1931
With a photo montage by Salvador Dalí.



R. Char, R. Crevel, S. Dalí et al., Paillasse! Fin de ‘L’affaire Aragon’, Paris 1932

A. Breton, Misère de la poésie. ‘L’affaire Aragon’ devant l’opinion publique, Paris 1932

Exposition de dessins par Francis Picabia, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie Léonce Rosenberg), Paris 1932
The foreword is in the form of a poem by Gertrude Stein, translated into French by Marcel Duchamp.

T. Tzara, Où boivent les loups, Paris 1932
With the dedication: ‘à Tilly // le vieux souvenir // de // Tristan Tzara // [Où boivent les loups] // Amsterdam le 23 Décembre 1958’.

M. Duchamp, V. Halberstadt, Opposition et les cases conjuguées sont réconciliées par Duchamp et Halberstadt. Opposition und Schwesterfelder sind durch Duchamp und Halberstadt versöhnt. Opposition and sister squares are reconciled by Duchamp and Halberstadt, Paris 1932

A. Breton, Les vases communicants, Paris 1932
Cover design by Max Ernst. Fig. 3

S. Dalí, Babaouo. Scénario inédit. Précédé d’un abrégé d’une histoire critique du cinéma et suivi de Guillaume Tell, ballet portugais, Paris 1932



A. Breton, R. Caillois, R. Char et al., La mobilisation contre la guerre n’est pas la paix. Les raisons de notre adhésion au Congrès International contre la guerre, Paris [1933]

E.L.T. Mesens, Femme complète, Brussels 1933
Signed by E.L.T. Mesens and with an illustration by René Magritte. Fig. 4

T. Tzara, L’antitête, Paris 1933
With the dedication: ‘à Tilly Visser // de tout ♡ // Paris 1930 – Amsterdam 1958’ [L’Antitête] [drawing of a plant]

Le monde des échecs, série no. 1, Brussels 1933
Folder with sixteen portrait photographs of chess players. The photograph of Marcel Duchamp and Vitaly Halberstadt was by Studio Man Ray, Paris.

A. Breton, R. Char, P. Éluard et al., Violette Nozières, Brussels 1933
With illustrations by Jean (Hans) Arp, Victor Brauner, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Marcel Jean, René Magritte and Yves Tanguy. Fig. 5



Drawings and Etchings to Illustrate Lautréamont’s ‘Chants de Maldoror’ by Dalí, New York [1934]
Invitation from the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. Fig. 6

A. Breton, Qu’est-ce que le surréalisme?, Brussels 1934
Cover design by René Magritte.

G. Hugnet (ed.), Petite anthologie poétique du surréalisme, Paris 1934

B. Péret, De derrière les fagots, Paris 1934
Contains promotional folder for this book with text by Paul Éluard.

Comte de Lautréamont [I. Ducasse], Les chants de Maldoror. Eaux-fortes originales de Salvador Dalí, Paris 1934
Numbered copy: 119/210. Signed by Salvador Dalí. Book binding design by Rose Adler.
See Illustrations for 'The Songs of Maldoror'.

M. Alain, J. Alain, Y. Alexandre, Appel à la lutte, Paris 1934

M. Ernst, Une semaine de bonté ou Les sept éléments capitaux, collage novel, Paris 1934
Five volumes in original cardboard cover with collage illustration by Max Ernst.
Volume 1 with the dedication: ‘Au Capitaine Poinas // à l’occasion de mes adieux du // Camp des Milles // le 22 Décembre 1939 // Max Ernst’. Fig. 7



S. Dalí, La conquête de l’irrationnel, Paris 1935

A. Breton, Position politique du surréalisme (Les documentaires), Paris 1935
Vignette on the cover to a design by Salvador Dalí.

A. Breton, Cycle systématique de conférences sur les plus récentes positions du surréalisme, [Paris] 1935
Programme for four conferences with text by André Breton and registration slip (attached to the programme). This slip to be returned to ‘Madame Lise Deharme, 3 quai Voltaire, Paris (VIIe)’. With margin illustrations by Salvador Dalí, Óscar Domínguez and others. Fig. 8

P. Éluard, M. Ray, Facile, Paris 1935
With the dedication: ‘à Pierre Fontaine // très sympathiquement, // Paul Éluard // Man Ray’. Fig. 9

T. Tzara, Grains et issues, Paris 1935
With the dedication: ‘à Tilly // ce vieux livre // avec l’amitié toujours // [illegible] // [Grains et issues] // de Tristan Tzara // le 25.XII.58 // [drawing of a flower in a vase].’


Souvenir-catalogue. Dalí Paints the ‘invisible straight from nature’, exh. cat. New York (Julien Levy Gallery) [1936]
Catalogue and invitation together, design by Salvador Dalí of a woman with a ‘drawers head’ and fold-up breasts behind which two concertina folders; on the back a list of exhibited works.

H. Read (ed.), Surrealism, London 1936
With contributions by André Breton, Paul Éluard, Georges Hugnet and others.

A. Breton, P. Éluard, Notes sur la poésie, Paris 1936
With a fold-out illustration by Salvador Dalí. Fig. 10

A. Breton, H. Read, The International Surrealist Exhibition, London 1936
Inscription on the title page: ‘l’exemplaire de // Sheila Legge. George Reavy // David Gascoyne Roland Penrose. Humphrey Jennings // [illegible] Bress Jacqueline B // Mesens’.
Also contains the invitation card to the exhibition. Cover design by Max Ernst.

J. Levy (ed.), Surrealism, New York 1936
Cover design to a design by Joseph Cornell. Fig. 11


M. Ray, La photographie n’est pas l’art, [Paris] 1937
Fig. 12

P. Éluard, L’évidence poétique (Habitude de la poésie, vol. 14), Paris 1937

S. Dalí, Metamorphosis of Narcissus, New York 1937
Cover photograph by Cecil Beaton of Gala in front of Couple aux têtes pleines de nuages (no. 18, pp. 76-77) by Salvador Dalí. Fig. 13

E.L.T. Mesens, Trois peintres surréalistes. René Magritte, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, Brussels 1937

R. Blin, A. Breton, L. Coutaud et al., Ubu enchainé, Paris 1937
With illustrations by René Magritte and others.

A. Breton, L’amour fou, Paris 1937
This publication from the sale of Breton’s estate contains a note from René Magritte to André Breton, in which he states that he intended to make a painting which is also titled L’amour fou.
Signed: ‘Magritte // 20 mai 1937’.

C. Bryen, H. Baranger, Affichez vos poèmes – Affichez vos images, 1937
With a photograph of Raoul Michelet (pseudonym of Raoul Ubac).

G. Hugnet, L’Apocalypse (Habitude de la poésie, vol. 13), Paris 1937
Text written for a series of etchings by Stanley William Hayter, entitled L’Apocalypse.

G. Hugnet, La carte surréaliste, Paris 1937
Set of 21 postcards with illustrations of work by twenty Surrealists, among them Jean (Hans) Arp, Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray and Yves Tanguy.


Exposition internationale du surréalisme, printemps 1938, exh. cat. Amsterdam (Galerie Robert), Amsterdam 1938

Comte de Lautréamont [I. Ducasse], Oeuvres complètes, contenant Les chants de Maldoror, les Poésies, les Lettres, Paris 1938
With illustrations by Victor Brauner, Óscar Domínguez, Max Ernst and others.

Comte de Lautréamont [I. Ducasse], Oeuvres complètes. Les chants de Maldoror. Poésies, lettres, Paris 1938
With a frontispiece by Salvador Dalí and a list of Surrealist publications issued by the publisher Librairie José Corti bound in.

Francis Picabia, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie de Beaune), Paris 1938

G. Hugnet, Surréalistische schilderkunst. Inleiding bij de internationale tentoonstelling van het surréalisme gehouden in de Galerie Robert Keizersgracht 527 te Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1938

L. Carrington, La maison de la peur (Collection ‘Un divertissement’, vol. 4), Paris 1938
With an introduction and collages by Max Ernst. Fig. 14

A. Breton, P. Éluard (eds.), Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme, Paris 1938
Published to coincide with the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, 1938. The catalogue for this exhibition is bound in at the back. Cover design by Yves Tanguy.



L. Carrington, La dame ovale, Paris 1939
With collages by Max Ernst. Fig. 15

S. Dalí, Salvador Dalí: The Endless Enigma, New York 1939

M. Duchamp, Rrose Sélavy (Biens nouveaux, vol. 4), Paris 1939


A. Breton, Anthologie de l’humour noir, Paris 1940
Contains a card with the inscription: ‘M. Duchamp étant actuellement en Amérique, la couverture des exemplaires de luxe est de M. Domínguez.’ N.B. this is not a deluxe edition)

S. Hurok, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Season 1940-1941, New York 1940
With synopsis of the ballets, including Bacchanale with scenario and costumes by Salvador Dalí.


P. Nougé, Exposition Raoul Ubac, Brussels 1941

G. Hugnet, Au ‘Depends des mots’, Paris 1941



S. Dalí, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (fourth edition), New York 1942

A. Breton, M. Duchamp (eds.), First Papers of Surrealism, Hanging by André Breton, His Twine Marcel Duchamp, New York 1942
Cover design by Marcel Duchamp. Fig. 16


P. Nougé, René Magritte ou Les images défendues, Brussels 1943

M. Ernst, P. Éluard, Misfortunes of the Immortals, New York 1943
The original French edition, Les malheurs des immortels, was published in a very small print run in 1922 (in the acknowledments it incorrectly states 1920). This English edition was enlarged with ‘Three Drawings Twenty Years After’. The second French edition was published in 1945. Fig. 17

M. Mariën, Magritte, Brussels 1943
With the dedication: ‘à André Fourès [?] en toute harmonie // Magritte’.

M. Mariën, Les poids et les mesures, Brussels 1943
Contains a loose postcard, Sayan: el elefante macho, written by Marcel Mariën and addressed to: M. et Mme Amdré De Rache, Rue de la Station, Aalter.


René Magritte, Brussels [c. 1945]
Set of eight picture postcards of works by Magritte: La danse; Le premier jour; La troisième dimension; La Magie noire; Rêverie de Monsieur James; L’appel des cimes; Le jockey perdu; L’île au trésor.

A. Breton, Le surréalisme et la peinture. Suivi de génèse et perspective artistiques du surréalisme et de fragments inédits, New York 1945. Fig. 18

Surrealist Diversity, 1915-1945. Exhibition at the Arcade Gallery, exh. cat. London (Arcade Gallery), London 1945

P. Éluard, M. Ernst, Les malheurs des immortels (1922), Paris 1945 (2e ed.) Fig. 19

M. Sandoz, The Maze, Garden City, NY 1945
With illustrations by Salvador Dalí.

M. Nadeau, Histoire du surréalisme (Pierres vives, 2 vols.), Paris 1945-48


B. Péret, Main forte (Collection l’Âge d’or), Paris 1946
With illustrations by Victor Brauner.

A. Masson, Mythologies (Collection l’Âge d’or), Paris 1946
Only contains illustrations.

A. Breton, Young Cherry Trees Secured Against Hares. Jeunes cérisiers garantis contre les lièvres, New York 1946
Cover design by Marcel Duchamp, illustrations by Arshile Gorky. Fig. 20

T. Tzara, Terre sur terre, Genève 1946
With illustrations by André Masson.

P. Nougé, Dix tableaux de Magritte, Jette-Bruxelles 1946



M. Baskin, F. Bouvet, R. Chenon et al., Da Costa. Le memento universel. Le Da Costa encyclopédie, 3 vols., Paris 1947-48

H. Richter, Dreams That Money Can Buy, New York 1947
Promotional booklet for the film Dreams That Money Can Buy by Hans Richter. Cover design by Max Ernst (collage from Une semaine de bonté). Fig. 21

B. Péret, Feu central (Collection le quadrangle, vol. 2), Paris 1947
With the dedication ‘A Elisa Breton // Viva al Chila! // Benjamin Péret’. With illustrations by Yves Tanguy.

A. Breton, Ode à Charles Fourier (L’Âge d’or), Paris 1947
Design by Frederick John Kiesler.

L. Rosenberg, Ser Vranckx, Brussels 1947

A. Breton, M. Duchamp, Le surréalisme en 1947: exposition internationale du surréalisme, Paris 1947
With 25 sheets of original prints by Jean (Hans) Arp, Hans Bellmer, Alexander Calder, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy and others. All the prints were printed in Paris by Mourlot Frères, apart from the etchings printed by Lacourière.


M. Ray, Alphabet for Adults, Beverly Hills, CA 1948
Only contains illustrations. Fig. 22

P. Éluard, Voir. Poèmes, peintures, dessins, Geneva 1948

R. Vailland, Le surréalisme contre la révolution (Problèmes), Paris 1948

Comte de Lautréamont [I. Ducasse], Les chants de Maldoror, Brussels 1948
With illustrations by René Magritte. Fig. 23

T. Tzara, Le surréalisme et l’après-guerre (Littérature), Paris 1948

M. Ernst, R. Motherwell (ed.), Max Ernst. Beyond Painting and Other Writings by the Artist and His Friends (The Documents of Modern Art, vol. 7), New York 1948



B. Péret, M. Ernst, La brébis galante, Paris 1949
With three etchings and 21 pochoirs by Max Ernst.

Max Ernst. 30 Years of His Work: A Survey, exh. cat. Beverly Hills, CA (Copley Galleries), 1949
Cover design by Max Ernst.


A. Masson, Le plaisir de peindre (Histoire des idées, vol. 2), Nice 1950
With woodcuts by Blaise Monod after André Masson.

A. Breton, B. Péret, Almanach surréaliste du demi-siècle (La Nef, 63-64, special edition), Paris 1950
With two colour lithographs by Max Ernst. Signed by Ernst and André Breton.


A. Breton, La clé des champs, Paris 1953
Cover design by Joan Miró.

A. Kyrou, Le surréalisme au cinéma (Ombres blanches), Paris 1953
Cover design by Man Ray.

T. Tzara, La face intérieur, Paris 1953
With the dedication: ‘à Tilly Visser // de tout // ♡ // Tristan Tzara // [La face intérieure] // 30 oct. 54.’


M. Henry, Les métamorphoses du Vide, Paris [c. 1955]
Fig. 24

A. Breton, Les manifestes du surréalisme suivis de Prolégomènes a un troisième Manifeste du surréalisme ou non. Du surréalisme en ses oeuvres vives et d’éphémérides surréalistes, Paris 1955
Contains original wrapper: ‘André Breton Les Manifestes du Surréalisme. Déchiffrez à la loupe l’objet est à l’intérieur.’
With a magnifying glass attached to a cord in page cutouts at the back of the publication.


J. Prévert, G. Ribemont-Dessaignes, Joan Miró, Paris 1956
With six lithographs by Joan Miró, printed by Mourlot Frères, Paris.

S. Dalí, Les cocus du vieil art moderne (Libelles), Paris 1956
Contains wrapper with text: ‘Tous cocus sauf Dalí’.

M. Ernst, La femme 100 têtes, Paris 1956
With a foreword by André Breton. Original edition 1929. Numbered copy (37/1000). Signed in pencil by Ernst, with a pencil drawing.



Hommage à Eric von Stroheim, Brussels 1957
Invitiation card to the Ecran du Séminaire des Arts Bruxelles with a portrait of Eric von Stroheim by René Magritte.

G. Hugnet, L’Aventure Dada (1916-1922), Paris 1957
Cover design by Marcel Duchamp.


R. Hausmann, Courrier Dada, Paris 1958

P. Waldberg, Max Ernst, Paris 1958
The initials of each chapter were designed by Max Ernst.

M. Sanouillet (ed.), Marchand du Sel. Écrits de Marcel Duchamp (Collection ‘391’, vol. 1), Paris 1958
Contains a ‘rhodoïd translucide’ of Le Grand Verre and a letter from Duchamp to Breton: ‘28 West 10th Street // NewYork // 18 Jan 1960 // Cher André // J’ai bien reçu d’abord le catalogue [...] Affectueusement à Elisa et a vous même de nous deux // Marcel’.


R. Benayoun, La science met bas [et autres pièces] (Lycanthrope, vol. 1), Paris 1959
With the dedication ‘pour André Breton // On a dit que Shakespeare // écrivait à la mine de plomb. // c’est sans doute significatif, // mais de quoi? // R Benayoun // mai 59’.


R. Lacôte, G. Haldas, Tristan Tzara. Choix de textes, bibliographie, dessins, portraits, fac-similés, poèmes inédits (Poètes d’aujourd’hui, vol. 32), Paris 1960 (1952)
With dedication by Tzara [?] ‘à Tilly Visser // en souvenir de notre cher // Tristan Tzara // et de // René Lacôte.’


S. Dalí, M. Reynolds, Impressions and Private Memoirs of Salvador Dali, January 1920. A Dali Journal, 1920, Cleveland, OH 1962


Man Ray, Paintings, Drawings, Watercolors, etcetera, Cordier & Ekstrom, inc., New York 1963
Invitation card from the Cordier & Ekstrom gallery.

S. Dalí, Le mythe tragique de l’Angélus de Millet. Interprétation paranoïaque-critique, Paris 1963

Marcel Duchamp: A Retrospective Exhibition, exh. cat. Pasadena, CA (Pasadena Art Museum), 1963


W. Hopps, U. Linde, A. Schwarz, Marcel Duchamp, Ready-Mades etc. (1913-1964), Milan 1964
Printed in a run of 100 numbered copies. This is a copy hors commerce signed by Marcel Duchamp. Together with the original signed ‘Piston de courant d’air’ in a slip-case.
See Marcel Duchamp, Ready-Mades etc. (1913-1964).


R. Benayoun, Erotique du surréalisme (Bibliothèque internationale d’érotologie, vol. 15), Paris 1965
Contains two lists by the publisher J.J. Pauvert, one of them illustrated by Max Ernst.
With the dedication ‘à André Breton, // sans qui, grâce auquel, dont l’exemple, à l’amitié de qui, etc. // avec toute mon affection // Robert Benayoun.’

A. Breton, Manifestes du surréalisme: Manifeste du surréalisme, Second manifeste du surréalisme, Poisson soluble, Lettre aux voyantes, Position politique du surréalisme: extraits, Prolégomènes a un troisième manifeste du surréalisme ou non, Du surréalisme en ses oeuvres vives, Paris 1965 [1962]


L’affaire Aragon, s.l, s.a.
Cover folder with 5 loose sheets. The folder contains
M. Alexandre, L’affaire Aragon, s.l., s.a.
P. Éluard, Certificat, s.l., s.a.
Stencil: Aragon a publié un poème. Ce poème s’appelle ‘Le Front rouge’, s.l., s.a.
J. Aulit, Protestation, s.l. 1932
R. Magritte, La poésie transfigurée, s.l. 1932



Time. The Weekly News-Magazine, New York 1923-
Present: vol. 28, no. 24 (14 December 1936)
On the cover a portrait photograph of Salvador Dalí.

C. Goemans, M. Lecomte, P. Nougé (eds.), Correspondance, Brussels 1924-26
Present: no. 1 (1924) – no. 22 (1925)

P. Naville, B. Péret, A. Breton, La Révolution surréaliste, Paris 1924-29
Present: no. 1 (1924) – no. 12 (1929), complete

Cahiers d’art, Paris 1926-
Present: vol. 1, no. 1 (1926) – vol. 15 no. 1/2 (1940); vol. 23, no. 1 (1948); vol. 25, no. 1 (1950)
With prints by Joan Miró (1934 and 1937) and others, a photograph by Man Ray (1935) and a rotorelief by Marcel Duchamp (1936).

E.L.T. Mesens, Marie. Journal bimensuel pour la belle jeunesse, Brussels 1926-27
Present: no. 1 (1926) – no. 2/3 (1926)

E. Jolas, E. Paul (eds.), Transition, Paris etc. 1927-38
Present: no. 1 (1927) – no. 27 (1938), complete
The covers for this magazine were designed by Jean (Hans) Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Man Ray, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Kurt Schwitters and others. Fig. 25


J.-H. Lévesque, O. de Carné (eds.), Orbes, Paris 1928-35
Present: no. 3 (1932) a second series, no. 4 (1935/1936) the back cover of which was designed by Marcel Duchamp.

P.G. van Hecke (ed.), Variétés. Revue mensuelle illustrée de l’esprit contemporain, Brussels 1928-30
Present: vol. 1, no. 1 (1928) – vol. 2, no. 12 (1930), complete (without covers)

C. Goemans, R. Magritte, Le sens propre, Paris 1929
Present: no. 1 (1929) – no. 4 (1929). In total between 16 February and 16 March 1929 five sheets were published consisting of a reproduction of a painting by René Magritte and a prose poem by Camille Goemans.

A. Breton (ed.), Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution, Paris 1930-33
Present no. 1 (1930) – no. 6 (1933), complete (without covers)

Il milione. Bollettino della Galleria del Milione, Milan 1932-
Present: no. 56 (1937) – no. 61 (1939), no. 64 (1940) – no. 66 (1940)
The issues of this bulletin also functioned as catalogues for exhibitions of work by such artists as Jean (Hans) Arp, Giorgio de Chirico and Gino Severini.

L. Deharme (ed.), Le Phare de Neuilly. Revue mensuelle, Neuilly-sur-Seine 1933
Present: vol. 1, no. 1 – no. 3/4 (1933), complete
Cover of all issues with (identical) photograph by Man Ray.

E.L.T. Mesens (ed.), Documents 34, Brussels 1933-35
Present: nouvelle série, no. 1 (1934) – no. 2 (1934)

E. Tériade (ed.), Minotaure. Revue artistique et littéraire, Paris 1933-39
Present: no. 1 (1933) – no. 12/13 (1939), complete
Cover designs by Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí, Henri Matisse, René Magritte, Max Ernst, André Masson and others. Fig. 26

A. Chavée, L. Deraive, J. Dieu et al., Mauvais temps. Cahier annuel du Groupe ‘Rupture’, La Louvière 1935
Present: no. 1 (1935), complete

Bulletin internationale du surréalisme. International surrealist bulletin. Mezinarodni buletin surrealismu, Prague etc. 1935-36
Present: no. 1 (Prague 1935), no. 3 (Brussels 1935) – no. 4 (London 1936)


G. Lévis-Mano, Cahiers G.L.M., Paris 1936-39
Present: no. 1 (1936) – no. 9 (1939), complete

E.L.T. Mesens, R. Penrose (ed.), London Bulletin, London 1938-40
Present: no. 1 (April 1938) – no. 18/20 (June 1940)
The cover design of no. 1 is an illustration by René Magritte. Issue 18/20 contains an etching by Stanley William Hayter, a black-and-white and a colour woodcut by John Buckland Wright and a colour woodcut by John Banting. Fig. 27

XXe siècle. Chroniques du jour, Paris 1938-81
Present: vol. 1, no. 1 (1938) – vol. 1, no.4 (1938); N.S. no.7 (1956) – no. 8 (1957); vol. 26, no. 23 (1964) – vol. 41, no. 53 (1980).
Volume 1, no. 4 (1938) contains original engravings by Giorgio de Chirico, Jean Hélion, Henri Laurens, Alberto Magnelli, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró and Ossip Zadkine, and a colour lithograph by Marcel Duchamp (Obligation de Monte Carlo, See no. 39, pp. 120-21) and by Max Bill.

G. Hugnet (ed.), L’Usage de la parole, Paris 1939-40
Present: vol. 1, no. 1 (1939) – vol. 1, no. 2 (1940)
Published as a supplement to the magazine Cahiers d’art with contributions by Jean (Hans) Arp, Jacques Baron, Salvador Dalí and others.

C.H. Ford (ed.), View: The Modern Magazine, New York 1940-47
Present: Series II, no. 1 (1942); series III, no. 3 (1943); series IV, no. 4 (1944); series V, no. 1 (1945), series V, no. 5 (1945); series VII, no. 2 (1946)
With cover designs by Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Esteban Francès, René Magritte and André Masson. Fig. 28


D. Hare (ed.), VVV. Poetry, Plastic Arts, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, New York 1942-44
Present: no. 2/3 (1943) – no. 4 (1944)
The front cover design of no. 2/3 (Almanac for 1943) is by Marcel Duchamp; the text in the magazine states that the back cover (chicken wire in the shape of a woman) is by Frederick John Kiesler (N.B. in literature it is usually attributed to Duchamp). Fig. 29
The cover design of no. 4 (1944) is by Roberto Matta. This issue also contains the work Allégorie de genre by Duchamp.

E. de Rouvre (ed.), Vrille. La peinture et la littérature libres, Mantes 1945
Present: no. 1 (1945), complete? (probably not published after this)

American Fabrics, New York 1946-65
Present: no. 15 (1950) with a cover design by Salvador Dalí.

N. Arnaud (ed.), Le Surréalisme révolutionnaire. Revue bimestrielle, Paris 1948
Present: vol. 1, no. 1 (1948), complete


R. Magritte (ed.), La Carte d’après nature, Jette-Bruxelles 1952-54
Present: no. 1 (1952) – no. 10 (1956) including two special editions January 1954, June 1954. Fig. 30

J. Schuster (ed.), Medium. Communication surréaliste, Paris 1952-55
Present: second series, no. 1 (1953) – no. 4 (1955)

A. Blavier (ed.), Temps mêlés, Verviers 1952-77
Present: nos. 31-33 (1958). This was a special issue titled Parade pour Picabia [et] Pansaers.

A. Breton (ed.), Le Surréalisme, même. Revue trimestrielle, Paris 1956-59
Present: no. 1 (1956) – no. 3 (1957)

J. Lacomblez (ed.), edda: Cahier international de documentation sur la poésie et l’art d’avant-garde, Brussels 1958-1964

A. Breton, R. Benayoun (ed.), La Brèche. Action surréaliste, Paris 1961-65
Present: no. 1 (1961) – no. 8 (1965), complete

A. Bosmans (ed.), Rhétorique, Tilleur-lez-Liège 1961-66
Present: no. 1 (1961) – no. 13 (1966), complete

A Dream Collection

A Dream Collection

Surrealism in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

€ 34,95 Order now

Editorial Supervision
Saskia van Kampen-Prein
Sandra Kisters

Katinka Duffhuis
Bert Jansen
Saskia van Kampen-Prein
Sandra Kisters
Marijke Peyser
Esmee Postma
Laurens Vancrevel

Text Editing
Esmee Postma

Erik van Boxtel
Katinka Duffhuis
Maarten van ’t Klooster
Susan Veldmeijer
Renée Volkers

Photo Editing Assistance
Lonneke Visser

Translation Dutch-English
Lynne Richards
Philip Clarke

Production online collection catalogue
Eefje Breugem
Saskia van Kampen-Prein
Sandra Kisters
Xin Ming
Laura Morison
Máté Pacsika
Esmee Postma
Marieke van Santen
Rianne Schoonderbeek
Sabine Terra

Thanks to
Julia van den Berg, Ria Bonten, Helmy Frank, Luuk Hoogewerf, Maartje de Jong, Vera Jorissen, Noor Mertens, Jacqueline Rapmund, Dingenus van de Vrie, Margreet Wafelbakker, Patty Wageman, Clara von Waldhausen, Roelie Zijlstra

© 2017 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam / the artists, the authors and the photographers

ISBN printed collection catalogue:
English: 978-90-6918-298-8
Dutch: 978-90-6918-293-3

The museum has endeavoured to trace all copyright holders. Anyone who believes they may have rights is requested to contact the publisher.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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The Netherlands
T +31 (0)10 4419400


This publication was made possible in part by:
Stichting dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds
Boekenfonds Elisabeth Grent / F.J.A.M. van der Helm

Adelaar 1989
D. Adelaar ‘Utrecht, brandpunt van het surrealisme in Nederland’, in Deurne/Leiden/Leeuwarden 1989

Adelaar 2001
D. Adelaar, Het surrealistisch universum van Willem Wagenaar, Utrecht (Centraal Museum) 2001

Adelaar/Van Asperen/Roding 1990
D. Adelaar, J. van Asperen, M. Roding, Willem van Leusden. Essays over een verhard romanticus, Utrecht 1990

Ades 1982
D. Ades, Dalí, London 1982

Ades 1994
D. Ades, André Masson, Paris 1994

Ades 1995
D. Ades, Dalí, London 1995

Ades 2000
D. Ades (ed.), Dalí’s Optical Illusions, New Haven 2000

Ades 2006
D. Ades, The Dada Reader, A Critical Anthology, London 2006

Ades/Bradley 1998
D. Ades, F. Bradley,Salvador Dalí: A Mythology, Liverpool (Tate Gallery), 1998

Van Adrichem 1994
J. van Adrichem, ‘De hand van de arbeider. Over de fotografie van Wally Elenbaas’, Metropolis M, 15 (April 1994) 2, pp. 22-27

Alechinsky/Jacqmain/Roberts-Jones 2013
P. Alechinsky, A. Jacqmain, P. Roberts-Jones et al., Urvater. Het verhaal van een kunstverzameling, Oostkamp 2013

Algemeen Dagblad 2006
Expositie Erwin Blumenfeld’, Algemeen Dagblad (7 September 2006), p. 26

Allmer 2009
P. Allmer, René Magritte: Beyond painting, Manchester 2009

Van Alphen 1998
Ernst van Alphen, ‘Duchamp in travestie’, De Witte Raaf, 76 (November-December 1998), pp. 14-15

Amstelveen 2009
V. Baar, K. Wetering, B. Jansen, Piet Ouborg. Solist. Zicht op een eigenzinnig oeuvre, exh. cat. Amstelveen (Cobra Museum for Modern Art), Zwolle 2009

Amsterdam 1938
Exposition internationale du surréalisme, printemps 1938, exh. cat. Amsterdam (Galerie Robert), 1938

Amsterdam 1964
Matta, exh. cat. Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum), 1964

Amsterdam 1970
Hans Bellmer: tekeningen, Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam), 1970

Amsterdam 1971
Ouborg: Schilderijen, gouaches en tekeningen, exh. cat. Amsterdam (Kunsthistorisch Instituut Amsterdam), 1971

Amsterdam 1975
Willem van Leusden, exh. cat. Amsterdam (Collection d’Art), vol. 7, no. 3, 1975

Amsterdam 1990
Modern and Contemporary Art: Including the Property of The Corporate Collection of USX, Pittsburgh, sale catalogue Christie’s, Amsterdam 1990

Ander/Cottingham/Snauwaert 1997
H. Ander, L. Cottingham, D. Snauwaert, Claude Cahun: Bilder, Munich1997

Andringa/Walgenbach/Van de Vrie 2013
H. Andringa, H. Walgenbach, D. van de Vrie (eds.), Wally Elenbaas 1912-2008: Grafiek, Rotterdam 2013

Antwerp 1994
R. van de Velde, Man Ray 1890-1976, exh. cat. Antwerp (Galerie Ronny van de Velde), 1994

Arnauld 2002
P. Arnauld, Francis Picabia: la peinture sans aura, Paris 2002

Arnhem/Uppsala/Helsinki 1997
E. Ebersberger, Meret Oppenheim: eine andere Retrospektive – Meret Oppenheim: a different retrospective, exh. cat. Arnhem (Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem), Uppsala (Upplands Konstmuseum), Helsinki (Helsinki Kaupungin Taidemuseo), 1997

Atlanta 2010
E.H. King (ed), Salvador Dalí: The Late Work, exh. cat. Atlanta (High Museum of Art), New Haven 2010

Baker 2007
G. Baker, The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris, Cambridge (MA) 2007

Ballo 1971
G. Ballo, ‘La mostra antologica di Baj al Palazzo Grassi’, Ottagono, no. 23 (December 1971)

Baldwin 1988
N. Baldwin, Man Ray: American Artist, New York 1988

Barcelona 1988
Obra de Joan Miró: dibuixos, pintura, escultura, ceràmica, tèxtils, cat. rais. Barcelona (Fundació Joan Miró), 1988

Barcelona/Madrid/St Petersburg 2004-05
Salvador Dalí & Mass Culture, exh. cat. Barcelona (Fundacío La Caixa), Madrid (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia), St Petersburg (Salvador Dalí Museum), 2004-05

Barr 1937
A.H. Barr Jr, ‘Surrealism: What it is in Literature and in the Arts, its Origin and Future’, The World Today, 4 (1937), no. 4, p. 4

Basel 1982
J. Zutter, M. Stucky (eds.), Hans Arp. Nach dem Gesetz des Zufalls geordnet. Bestände und Deposita im Kunstmuseum Basel, exh. cat. Basel (Kunstmuseum Basel), 1982

Belém 1997
C. Boulbès, P. Lapa, A. Pierre, Francis Picabia: antologia – anthology, exh. cat. Belém (Centro Cultural de Belém), 1997

Beeren 1978
W. Beeren, ‘Gesprek met mevrouw dr. R. Hammacher-Van den Brande’ in Berlage 1978, pp. 19-22

Bellmer 1949
H. Bellmer, Les jeux de la poupée, Paris 1949

Bellmer 1962
H. Bellmer, Die Puppe, Berlin 1962

Bellmer 1977
H. Bellmer, Petite anatomie de l’inconscient physique ou l’anatomie de l’image (1957), Paris 1977

Berger 1979
P. Berger, Pieter Ouborg: van hobbyist tot gewijde, The Hague 1979

Berlage 1978
T. Berlage (ed.), in association with J. van der Wolk and P. Hoogstrate, De collectie moderne kunst van Museum Boymans-van Beuningen Rotterdam 1946-1978, Rotterdam 1978

Von Berswordt-Wallrabe 2003
K. von Berswordt-Wallrabe, Marcel Duchamp: Die Schweriner Sammlung, Schwerin 2003

Blavier 1985
B. Blavier, Max Ernst, Murals for the Home of Paul and Gala Eluard, Eaubonne, 1923, MA Thesis, Houston (Rice University), 1985

Blotkamp/Visser 1987
C. Blotkamp, M. Visser, ‘Een gesprek met J.C. Ebbinge Wubben’, Jong Holland, 3 (May 1987), no. 2, pp. 20-29

Bonk 1989
E. Bonk, Marcel Duchamp: The Box in a Valise de ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Rrose Sélavy. Inventory of an Edition, New York 1989

Bool/Van Sinderen 2015
F. Bool, W. van Sinderen, Wally Elenbaas en Esther Hartog Foto’s/Photos, Rotterdam 2015

Borràs 1985
M.L. Borràs, Picabia, London 1985

Borràs 1996
M.L. Borràs, Cravan, Une stratégie du scandale, Paris 1996

Boulbès 1998
C. Boulbès, Picabia, le saint masqué, Paris 1998

Bounoure 1976
V. Bounoure (ed.), La civilisation surréaliste, Paris 1976

Bourgeade 1972
P. Bourgeade, Bonsoir, Man Ray, Paris 1972

Breton 1938
A. Breton, Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme, Paris 1938

Breton 1955
A. Breton, Les Manifestes du surréalisme suivis de prolégomènes a un troisième manifeste du surréalisme ou non du surréalisme en ses oeuvres vives et d’éphémérides surréalistes (1946), Paris 1955

Breton 1963
A. Breton, ‘Manifeste du Surréalisme’, in Enschede 1990, p. 36

Breton 1965
A. Breton, Le surréalisme et la peinture (1928), Paris 1965

Breton 1988
A. Breton, Oeuvres complètes, vol. 1, Paris 1988

Breton 1989
A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings (1978), ed. F. Rosemont, London 1989

Brighton 1998
N. Coleby, A Surreal Life: Edward James 1907-1984, exh. cat. Brighton (Brighton Museum & Art Gallery), 1998

Brinkmann/Helmes/Knapp 1998
E. Brinkmann, R. Helmes, W. Knapp, Unica Zürn: Bilder 1953-1970, Berlin 1998

Brussels 1974
J. Matheson, Enrico Baj, exh. cat. Brussels (Palais de Beaux-Arts), 1974

Brussels 1978
J. Clair, L. Scutenaire, D. Sylvester, Rétrospective Magritte, exh. cat. Brussels (Paleis voor Schone Kunsten), 1978

Brussels 1997
G. Ollinger-Zinque (ed.), Paul Delvaux 1897-1994, exh. cat. Brussels (Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten), 1997

Brussels 1998
G. Ollinger-Zinque, F. Leen, (ed.), René Magritte 1898-1967, exh. cat. Brussels (Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België), 1998

Brussels 2004
B. Costermans, P. Gunst (ed.), Hans Arp. De uitvinding van de vorm, exh. cat. Brussels (Paleis voor Schone Kunsten), Antwerp/Brussels 2004

Butor/Clair/Hubart-Wilkin 1975
M. Butor, J. Clair, S. Hubart-Wilkin, Paul Delvaux. Catalogue de l’oeuvre peint, Brussels 1975

Cabanne 1991
P. Cabanne, Gesprekken met Marcel Duchamp (1967), trans. C. van de Poel, Louvain 1991

Camfield 1979
W.A. Camfield, Francis Picabia, His Art, Life and Times, Princeton (NJ) 1979

Camfield/Calté/Clements 2016
W.A. Camfield, B. Calté, C. Clements et al., Francis Picabia. Catalogue raisonné, volume II 1915-1927, Brussels 2016

Cassou 1979
J. Cassou, Labisse: catalogue de l’oeuvre peint, 1927-1979, Brussels 1979

Castleman 1994
R. Castleman, A Century of Artist Books, New York 1994

Caws 2004
M.A. Caws, Surrealism, New York 2004

Ceuleers 1999
Jan Ceuleers, René Magritte, 135 rue Esseghem, Jette-Brussels, London 1999

Chadwick 1985
W. Chadwick, Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement, London 1985

Chadwick 1994
W. Chadwick, Myth in Surrealist Painting 1929-1939: Dalí, Ernst, Masson, Michigan 1994

Charleroi 1969
Rétrospective Félix Labisse, exh. cat. Charleroi (Palais des Beaux-Arts), 1969

Chicago 1985
D. Ades, T.A.R. Neff (eds.), In the Mind’s Eye: Dada and Surrealism, exh. cat. Chicago (Museum of Contemporary Art), New York 1985

Cirici/Marrast 1977
A. Cirici, R. Marrast, Miró et son temps, Paris 1977

Clearwater 1991
B. Clearwater (ed.), West Coast Duchamp, Miami Beach 1991

Cologne 1987
G. Moure (ed.), Miró. Der Bildhauer, exh. cat. Cologne (Museum Ludwig), 1987

Colville 1999
G. Colville, Scandaleusement d’elles. Trente-quatre femmes surrealists, Paris 1999

Conley 1996
K. Conley, Automatic Woman, The Representation of Woman in Surrealism, Lincoln/London 1996

Crispolti 1973
E. Crispolti, Catalogo generale Bolaffi dell’opera di Enrico Baj, Turin 1973

Curiger 1989
B. Curiger, Meret Oppenheim: Defiance in the Face of Freedom, Zurich 1989

Dalí 1931
S. Dalí, ‘Objets surréalistes’, Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution, 1 (December 1931), p. 16

Dalí 1934
S. Dalí, ‘Les Nouvelles Couleurs du Sex-Appeal Spectral’, Minotaure. Revue artistique et littéraire, no. 5 (1934), pp. 20-22

Dalí 1942
S. Dalí, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, New York 1942

Dalí 1952
S. Dalí, La vie secrète de Salvador Dalí, Paris 1952

Dalí/Pauvert 1978
S. Dalí, J. Pauvert, Le mythe tragique de l’Angélus de Millet. Interpretation paranoïaque-critique, Paris 1978

Dalrymple Henderson 1998
L. Dalrymple Henderson, Duchamp in context: Science and Technology in the Large Glass and Related Works, New Jersey 1998

Daniels 1992
D. Daniels, Duchamp und die Anderen, Cologne 1992

Descharnes 1962
R. Descharnes, Dalí de Gala, Lausanne 1962 

Descharnes 1984
R. Descharnes, Salvador Dalí: The Work, the Man, trans. E.R. Morse, New York 1984

Descharnes 1997
R. Descharnes, Dalí: Die Eroberung des Irrationalen; Sein Werk – Sein Leben, Cologne 1997

Descharnes/N. Descharnes 2003
R. Descharnes, N. Descharnes, Dalí, le dur et le mou: sortilege et magie des formes: sculptures & objets, Azay-le-Rideau 2003

Descharnes/Néret 1994
R. Descharnes, G. Néret, Salvador Dalí, 1904-1989, het geschilderde werk, Cologne 1994

Descharnes/Néret 2005
R. Descharnes, G. Néret, Salvador Dalí, L’œuvre peint, vol. 1, Cologne 2005

Deurne/Leiden/Leeuwarden 1989
A. Grondman, J. Steen, L. Vancrevel (eds.), De automatische verbeelding. Nederlandse surrealisten, exh. cat. Deurne (Gemeentemuseum De Wieger), Leiden (Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal), Leeuwarden (Fries Museum), Amsterdam 1989

Donker/Reijden/Soons 2016
B. Donker, M. van der Reijden, C. Soons (eds.), Mondriaan Fonds. Aanwinsten, Amsterdam 2016

Dourthe 1999
P. Dourthe, Bellmer, le principe de perversion, Paris 1999

Downie 2006
L. Downie, Don’t Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, London 2006

Drachten 1998
J. Bruintjes, Man Ray, Dada is mijn natuur, exh. cat. Drachten (Museum Smallingerland), 1998

Drijkoningen/Fontijn 1982
F. Drijkoningen, J. Fontijn et al., Historische Avantgarde. Programmatische teksten van het Italiaans Futurisme, het Russisch Futurisme, Dada, het Constructivisme, het Surrealisme, het Tsjechisch Poëtisme, Amsterdam 1982

Duchamp/Buwalda 1998
M. Duchamp, De bruid gestript door haar vrijgezellen, zelfs (De groene doos) & In de onbepaalde wijs (De witte doos), trans. M. Buwalda, Amsterdam/Ghent 1998

Dunlop 1972
J. Dunlop, ‘De Internationale Surrealisten Tentoonstelling’, in J. Dunlop, Kunst die de wereld schokte. Zeven opzienbarende kunsttentoonstellingen 1868-1937, Bussum 1972

Dupuis 2003
J. Dupuis, ‘Histoire secrète d’une vente surrealiste’, L’Express, 20 February 2003

Durozoi 2002
G. Durozoi, History of the Surrealist Movement (1997), trans. Alison Anderson, Chicago/London 2002

Düsseldorf/Hamburg 1988
P. Gaudibert (ed.), Wifredo Lam, exh. cat. Düsseldorf (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen), Hamburg (Kunstverein), 1988

Ebbinge Wubben 1964/1978
J.C. Ebbinge Wubben, ‘Nota over de mogelijkheden te komen tot een museum voor moderne kunst te Rotterdam in samenwerking met, en met steun van het Rijk’ (14 February 1964), in Berlage 1978, pp. 27-28 

Ebbinge Wubben 1968/1978
J.C. Ebbinge Wubben, ‘De opbouw van een verzameling moderne kunst in het museum Boymans-Van Beuningen’ (policy statement September 1968), in Berlage 1978, pp. 29-30

Edinburgh 2016
A. Görgen, K. Hartley, S. van Kampen-Prein, Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous, exh. cat. Edinburgh (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art), 2016

Eindhoven 1965
Ouborg, exh. cat. Eindhoven (Stedelijk van Abbemuseum), 1965

Éluard 1984
P. Éluard, Lettres à Gala, Paris 1984

Emerson 1985
B. Emerson, Delvaux, Antwerp 1985

Enschede 1990
L. ten Duis, A. Haase, Ouborg: schilder, exh. cat. Enschede (Rijksmuseum Twenthe), The Hague 1990

Entrop 1988
M. Entrop, ‘“Je suis contre tout et tous” I.K. Bonset en Tristan Tzara's Dadaglobe’, Jong Holland, 4 (1988), 3, pp. 23-32

Ewing/Schinz 1999
W.A. Ewing, M. Schinz, Blumenfeld 1897-1969, A Fetish for Beauty, London 1999

Ex 2015
K.M.T. Ex, ‘De zoektocht naar een vroege Magritte. Na twee jaar succes voor Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’, Bulletin Vereniging Rembrandt, 25 (autumn 2015), no. 3, pp. 32-35

Feldhaus 2015
A. Feldhaus, Salvador Dalí & Philippe Halsman. Das Gemeinsame Werk, Berlin 2015

Fernández-Miró/Ortega Chapel 2006
E. Fernández-Miró, P. Ortega Chapel, Joan Miró Sculptures: Catalogue Raisonné 1928-1982, Paris 2006

Figueres 2004-present
Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí (Figueres), ‘Salvador Dalí, Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings 1910-1964’, http://www.salvador-dali.org

Finkelstein 1996
H. Finkelstein, Salvador Dali’s Art and Writing, 1927-1942: The Metamorphoses of Narcissus, Cambridge 1996

Finkelstein 1998
H. Finkelstein, The Collected Writings of Salvador Dalí, Cambridge 1998

Fouchet 1976
M. Fouchet, Wifredo Lam, Paris 1976

Fox 2001
D. Fox, ‘The Lyrical Heavyweight: Arthur Cravan’, Frieze: Contemporary Art and Culture, 61 (September 2001)

Frankfurt 2011
I. Pfeiffer, M. Hollein (eds.), Three-Dimensional Objects from Dalí to Man Ray, exh. cat. Frankfurt (Schirn Kunsthalle), 2011

Freud 1919
S. Freud, ‘Das Unheimliche’, Imago. Zeitschrift für Anwendung der Psychoanalyse auf die Geisteswissenschaften V (1919), pp. 297-324

Gablik 1971
S. Gablik, Magritte, London 1971

Gaillemin 2002
J.-L. Gaillemin, Salvador Dalí. Désirs inassouvis: du purisme au surréalisme 1925-1935, Paris/New York 2002

Gale 1997
M. Gale, Dada & Surrealism, London 1997

Gautier 1971
X. Gautier, Surréalisme et la sexualité, Paris 1971

Gateau 1982
J.-C. Gateau, Paul Éluard et la peinture surréaliste, Geneva 1982

Gibson 1997a
I. Gibson, Federico García Lorca: A Life (1989), New York 1997

Gibson 1997b
I. Gibson, The Shameful Life of Salvador Dalí, London 1997

Giroud 1999
V. Giroud, ‘Georges Hugnet at Yale’, The Yale University Library Gazette, 73 (April 1999), 3/4

Grunenberg/Pih 2011
C. Grunenberg, D. Pih (eds.), Magritte A to Z, London 2011

Hall 1992
J. Hall, Hall’s Iconografisch handboek, onderwerpen, symbolen en motieven in de beeldende kunst, Leiden 1992

Hamburg/Rotterdam 1997-98
S. Cochran, R. Ohrt, F. Arnault, Francis Picabia: The Late Works 1933-1953, exh. cat. Hamburg (Deichtorhallen), Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), Rotterdam 1998

Hammacher 1973
A.M. Hammacher, René Magritte, New York 1973

Hammacher 1995
A.M. Hammacher, Magritte, New York 1995

Hamilton/Duchamp 1960
R. Hamilton, The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even; A typographic version by Richard Hamilton of Marcel Duchamp’s Green Box, translated by George Heard Hamilton, New York 1960

Harris 2004
S. Harris, Surrealist Art and Thought in the 1930’s: Art, Politics and the Psyche, Cambridge 2004

Henry 1971
R. Henry, ‘Postface: rencontre avec Unica Zürn’, in U. Zürn, Sombre Printemps, Paris 1971, pp. 101-20

Hoctin/Berdoy 1962
L. Hoctin, P. Berdoy, ‘Une maison pour des tableux’, L’Oeil, 88 (April 1962)

Hopkins 2014
D. Hopkins, ‘Duchamp, Childhood, Work and Play: The Vernissage for First Papers of Surrealism, New York, 1942’, Tate Papers no. 22 (autumn 2014), http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/22/duchamp-childhood-work-and-play-the-vernissage-for-first-papers-of-surrealism-new-york-1942 consulted on 14 May 2016

Hopmans 2000
A. Hopmans, ‘Een “prikkel” collectie: De doorbraak van de moderne kunst onder het directoraat Ebbinge Wubben’, folder no. 061 Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2000

Huelsenbeck/Sheppard 1982
R. Huelsenbeck, R. Sheppard (eds.), Zürich-Dadaco-Dadaglobe: The Correspondence between Richard Huelsenbeck, Tristan Tzara and Kurt Wolff, 1916-1924, Tayport 1982

Humlebaek 2012
R. Hemus, M. Marcus, K. Degel, Women of the Avant-Garde, 1929-1940, exh. cat. Humlebaek (Louisiana Museum of Modern Art), 2012

Jaccard 1967
P.H. Jaccard, Jaarverslag VVV Rotterdam, Rotterdam 1967

Janis 1944
S. Janis, Abstract and Surrealist Art in America, New York 1944

Jansen/Rogier 1983
T. Jansen, J.P. Rogier, Kunstbeleid in Amsterdam 1920-1940: Dr. E. Boekman en de socialistische gemeentepolitiek, Nijmegen 1983

Jean 1959
M. Jean, Histoire de la peinture surréaliste, Paris 1959

Jelenski 1966
C. Jelenski, Les dessins de Hans Bellmer, Paris 1966

Jianou 1973
I. Jianou, Jean Arp, Paris 1973

De Jong/Vancrevel 1979
F. de Jong, L. Vancrevel, Kristians Tonny, Amsterdam 1979

De Jonge 1995
F. De Jonge, ‘Duchamp in Rotterdam’, Kunst en Museumjournaal 6 (1995), 2, pp. 49-57

Jouffroy/Teixidor 1973
A. Jouffroy, J. Teixidor, Miró. Sculptures, Paris 1973

Juffermans 1996
J. Juffermans, Met stille trom. Beeldende kunst en Utrecht sinds 1900, Utrecht 1996

Kamien-Kazhdan 2012
A. Kamien-Kazhdan, ‘Duchamp, Man Ray, and Replication’, in Germano Celant (ed.), The Small Utopia: Ars Multiplicata, exh. cat. Venice (The Prada Foundation), 2012, pp. 97-113

Van Kampen-Prein 2013
S. van Kampen-Prein (ed.), De stad, de kunstenaars en het museum: 25 jaar Stadscollectie Rotterdam, Rotterdam 2013

Klar 2007
A. Klar, Surreal People: Surrealism and Collaboration, London 2007

Königswinter 1982
H.G. Tuchel, H. Wünsche, Salvador Dalí: Literarische Zyklen: Graphische Werke, exh. cat. Königswinter (Schloss Drachenburg), 1982

Kuni 1995
V. Kuni, Victor Brauner: Der Künstler als Seher, Magier und Alchimist, Frankfurt am Main et al, 1995

De Lange 2006
H. de Lange, ‘In de burgerprut van Nederland legde Erwin Blumenfeld de basis van zijn carrière’, Trouw (6 October 2006)

Langui 1957
E. Langui, ‘Inleiding’, in Emile Langui, Verzameling Urvater in het Museum Kröller-Müller Otterlo. De grote Belgische verzamelingen, exh. cat. Otterlo (Kröller-Müller Museum), Brussels 1957

Laren 1993
L. Brons, B. van Rossum (ed.), Moesman, een compleet overzicht in beeld van alle olieverfschilderijen en het klavecimbel van de surrealist J.H. Moesman, exh. cat. Laren (Singer Museum), Amsterdam 1993

Lautréamont/Mano 1938
Comte de Lautréamont, G.L. Mano (ed.), Oeuvres complètes, Paris 1938

Leperlier 1992
François Leperlier, Claude Cahun: L’écart et la métamorphose, Paris 1992

Levy 2003
S. Levy, The Scandalous Eye, the Surrealism of Conroy Maddox, Liverpool 2003

Lewis 1990
H. Lewis, Dada Turns Red: The Politics of Surrealism (1988), Edinburgh 1990

Limburg 2013
D. Limburg, ‘Dalí was een showman’, NRC Handelsblad, 2 May 2013

Liverpool 1988
Surrealism in the Tate Gallery Collection, exh. cat. Liverpool (Tate Gallery), 1988

London 1973
L. Scutenaire, E. Langui, Magritte: Retrospective Loan Exhibition, exh. cat. London (Marlborough Fine Art), 1973

London 1978
D. Ades, D. Sylvester, E. Cowling, Dada and Surrealism Reviewed, exh. cat. London (Hayward Gallery), 1978

London 1990
E. Cowling, J. Mundy, On Classic Ground: Picasso, Léger, de Chirico, and the New Classicism, 1910-1930, exh. cat. London (Tate Gallery), 1990

London 2008
J. Mundy (ed.), Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, exh. cat. London (Tate Modern), 2008

London/Leiden 2009
G. Fabre, D. Wintgens Hötte (eds.), Van Doesburg & the International Avant-Garde: Constructing a New World, exh. cat. London (Tate Modern), Leiden (Stedelijk Museum de Lakenhal), London 2009

London/Los Angeles/St Petersburg/New York 2007-08
M. Gale (ed.), Dalí & Film, exh. cat. London (Tate Modern), Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), St Petersburg (Salvador Dalí Museum), New York (The Museum of Modern Art), London 2007

London/New York 2001-02
J. Mundy (ed.), Surrealism: Desire unbound, exh. cat. London (Tate Modern), New York (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), London 2001

London/Rotterdam/Bilbao 2007-08
G. Wood (ed.), Surreal Things; Surrealism and Design, exh. cat. London (Victoria and Albert Museum), Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), Bilbao (Guggenheim Museum), London 2007

London/Vienna 2015-16
Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust / Fernweh, exh. cat. London (Royal Academy of Arts), Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum), 2015

Löpsinger/Michler 1994
L.W. Löpsinger, R. Michler, Dalí: Catalogue raisonné of Etchings and Mixed-Media Prints, 1924-1980, vol. 1, Munich 1994

Los Angeles 2011
Ch. Green, Modern Antiquity, Picasso, de Chirico, Léger, Picabia, exh. cat. Los Angeles (The J. Paul Getty Museum), 2011

Lusty 2007
N. Lusty, Surrealism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, Oxford 2007

Magi 2011
P. Magi, Treasure Hunt with Marcel Duchamp, Milan 2011

Magritte 1929
R. Magritte, ‘Les mots et les images’, La Révolution surréaliste, no. 12 (December 1929), pp. 32-33

Magritte 1938
R. Magritte, ‘La Ligne de vie’, in G. Ollinger-Zinque, Magritte 1898-1967, Ghent 1998, p. 112

Magritte 1979
R. Magritte, ‘L’Empire de Lumières’, in Magritte/Blavier 1979, pp. 422-23

Magritte/Blavier 1979
R. Magritte, A. Blavier (ed.), Écrits complets, Paris 1979

De Man 1996
H. de Man, ‘De collectie surrealisme in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’ in T. Schoon, Surrealisme uit de Collectie Nederland, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Kunsthal Rotterdam in collaboration with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1996, pp. 4-17

Man Ray 1963
Man Ray, Self Portrait, London 1963

Man Ray 1980
J. Man Ray (ed.), Man Ray: The Photographic Image, London 1980

Man Ray/J. Man Ray/Foresta 1988
Man Ray, J. Man Ray, M.A. Foresta, Self Portrait, London 1988

Man Ray/Martin 1983
Man Ray, J.H. Martin, Man Ray: Objets de mon affection, Paris 1983

Marcadé 2007
B. Marcadé, Marcel Duchamp. La vie à crédit, Paris 2007

Martin-Vivier 2006
P.E. Martin-Vivier, Jean-Michel Frank, l’étrange luxe du rien, Paris 2006

Masson 1941 
A. Masson, ‘Peindre est une gageure’, Les cahiers du Sud, no. 233 (March 1941), pp. 134-40

Masson 1956
A. Masson, Métamorphose de l’artiste, vol. 1, Geneva 1956

Von Maur 2001
K. von Maur, Yves Tanguy and Surrealism, Ostfildern-Ruit 2001

Miami 1985
J. van der Marck, Enrico Baj, General Crisis, exh. cat. Miami (Center for the Fine Arts), 1985

Milan 2010-11
V. Trione, Salvador Dalí. Il sogno si avvicina, exh. cat. Milan (Palazzo Reale), 2010-11

Mink 1995
J. Mink, Marcel Duchamp 1998-1968, kunst als anti-kunst, Cologne 1995

Minneapolis/Cleveland/Chicago 1971-72
Miró Sculptures, exh. cat. Minneapolis (Walker Art Center), Cleveland (The Cleveland Museum of Art), Chicago (The Art Institute of Chicago), Minneapolis 1971

Ter Molen 1993
J. ter Molen, Arti & urbi. De Stichting Museum Boymans-van Beuningen als steunpilaar onder een Rotterdams museum, Rotterdam 1993

Van Moorsel 2000
W. van Moorsel, Nelly van Doesburg 1899-1975. De doorsnee is mij niet goed genoeg, Nijmegen 2000

Mühleis 2005
V. Mühleis, Kunst im Sehverlust, Munich 2005

Munich 1973-74
New York Dada: Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, exh. cat. Munich (Städtische Galerie), 1973-74

Munich 1989
R. Hammacher-Van den Brande, Paul Delvaux, exh. cat. Munich (Hypo Kulturstiftung), 1989

Nantes 2010
B. Chavanne, C. David, A. Tronche, Wifredo Lam: voyages entre Caraïbes et avant-garde, exh. cat. Nantes (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes), 2010

Naumann 1999
F.M. Naumann, Marcel Duchamp of de kunst om [niet] in herhalingen te vervallen, trans. J. Groot, Antwerp 1999

Naville 1925
P. Naville, ‘Beaux-Arts’, La Révolution surréaliste, no. 3 (1925), p. 27

Nesselroth 1969
P.W. Nesselroth, Lautréamont’s Imagery: A Stylistic Approach, Paris 1969

New York 1936
A.H. Barr Jr, G. Hugnet, Fantastic Art. Dada, Surrealism, exh. cat. New York (The Museum of Modern Art), 1936

New York 1942
First Papers of Surrealism, exh. cat. New York (Whitelaw Reid Mansion), 1942

New York 1945
Man Ray: Objects of My Affection, exh. cat. New York (Julien Levy Gallery), 1945

New York 1975
D. Waldman, Max Ernst. A Retrospective, exh. cat. New York (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), 1975

New York 1992
G.V. Blanc, Wifredo Lam and his Contemporaries 1938-1952, exh. cat. New York (Studio Museum), 1992

New York 1999
F.M. Naumann, Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Making Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: an Exhibition Catalogue, exh. cat. New York (Achim Moeller Fine Art), 1999

New York 2001
T. Lichtenstein, Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer, exh. cat. New York (International Center of Photography), Berkeley/Los Angeles 2001

New York 2009a
M. Klein, Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention, exh. cat. New York (The Jewish Museum), New York/New Haven 2009

New York 2009b
J. Ribas, M.A. Caws, Unica Zürn: Dark Spring, exh. cat. New York (The Drawing Center), 2009

New York/Chicago/Miami Beach/Omaha 1996-97
J. Burckhardt, Meret Oppenheim, Beyond the Teacup, exh. cat. New York (Solomon Guggenheim Museum), Chicago ((The Museum of Contemporary Art), Miami Beach (Bass Museum of Art), Omaha (Joslyn Art Museum), New York 1996

New York/Houston/Chicago 1993
W.A. Camfield, Max Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism, exh. cat. New York (The Museum of Modern Art), Houston (The Menil collection), Chicago (The Art Institute of Chicago), Munich 1993

New York/Houston/Chicago 2013-14
A. Umland (ed.), Magritte. The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926-1938, exh. cat. New York (The Museum of Modern Art), Houston (The Menil Collection), Chicago (The Art Institute of Chicago), New York 2013

New York/Los Angeles/Chicago 1968
W.S. Rubin, Dada, Surrealism and Their Heritage, exh. cat. New York (The Museum of Modern Art), Los Angeles (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Chicago (The Art Institute of Chicago), 1968

New York/Miami 1999-2000
S. Rice (ed.), Inverted Odysseys, Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, Cindy Sherman, exh. cat. New York (New York University Grey Art Gallery), Miami (The Museum of Contemporary Art), New York/Miami 1999

New York/Philadelphia 1973
A. D’Harnoncourt, K. McShine, Marcel Duchamp, exh. cat. New York (The Museum of Modern Art), Philadelphia (Philadelphia Museum of Art), 1973

Paris 1933
Exposition surréaliste, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie Pierre Colle), 1933

Paris 1938
Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie Beaux-Arts), 1938

Paris 1971
Bellmer, exh. cat. Paris (Centre National d’Art Contemporain) 1971

Paris 1976
André Masson, exh. cat. Paris (Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris), 1976

Paris 1979
D. Abadie, J. Green, P. Hultén, Salvador Dalí: rétrospective 1920-1980, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), 1979

Paris 1980
D. Abadie, J. Green, P. Hultén, La vie publique de Salvador Dalí, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), 1980

Paris 1981-82
J.H. Martin, P. Sers, J. Man Ray et al., Man Ray, Photographe, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), 1981-82

Paris 1983-84
Hans Bellmer, photographe, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), 1983-84 

Paris 1985
D. Bozo, Matta, exh. cat. Paris 1985 (Centre Georges Pompidou), 1985

Paris 1992
R.L. Conover, M.L. Borràs, J.P. Begot et al., Arthur Cravan: poète et boxeur, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie 1900-2000), 1992

Paris 1995
Claude Cahun, photographe, exh. cat. Paris (Musée d’art Moderne de la ville de Paris), 1995

Paris 1998
E. de L’Ecotais (ed.), Man Ray, Photography and its Double, exh. cat. Paris (Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais), 1998

Paris 2002
W.A. Camfield et al., Francis Picabia, Singulier idéal, exh. cat. Paris (Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris), 2002

Paris 2004
D. Blum, Elsa Schiaparelli, exh. cat. Paris (Musée de la Mode et du Textile), 2004

Paris 2010
J. Storsve, M. Wiegel, M. van der Jagt et al., Hommage à l’art du dessin: une sélection de dessins de la Collection Frits Lugt par Paul van der Eerden, complétée d’un choix de dessins contemporains, exh. cat. Paris (l’Institut Néerlandais), 2010

Paris 2011
P. Le Blan, Victor Brauner, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie Malingue), 2011

Paris/Baden-Baden 1982-83
A. de la Beaumelle, Yves Tanguy: Rétrospective 1925-1955, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), Baden-Baden (Staatliche Kunsthalle), Paris 1982

Paris/Madrid 2012-13
J.-H. Martin et al., Dalí: ouvrage publié à l’occasion de l’exposition présentée à Paris, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), Madrid (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía), Paris 2012 

Paris/Madrid/London 2015-16
C. David (ed.), Wifredo Lam, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), Madrid (Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía), London (Tate Modern), 2015-2016

Paris/Moscow 2013-14
N. Edwards, Erwin Blumenfeld: Photographs, Drawings and Photomontages, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume), Moscow (Multimedia Art Museum), New Haven/London 2013

Paris/Munich/London 2006
M. Semff, A. Spira (eds.), Hans Bellmer, exh. cat. Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), Munich (Staatliche Graphische Sammlungen), London (Whitechapel Art Gallery), Ostfildern-Ruit 2006

Parkinson 2015
G. Parkinson, Futures of Surrealism, Myth, Science, Fiction and Fantastic Art in France 1936-1969, New Haven/London 2015

Penrose 1975
R. Penrose, Man Ray, London 1975

Peterson 2001
E. Peterson (ed.), Paris Dada: The Barbarians Storm the Gates, New York 2001

Peyser 2013
M. Peyser, Il Divino en de dame. Renilde Hammacher en het surrealisme in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam 2013

Peyser-Verhaar 2008
M. Peyser-Verhaar, Salvador Dalí et le mécénat du Zodiaque, diss., University of Utrecht, Utrecht 2008

Philadelphia 2003
D. Blum, Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli, exh. cat. Philadelphia (Philadelphia Museum of Art), New Haven 2003

Pierre 1980
J. Pierre (ed.), Tracts surréalistes et déclarations collectives (1922/1969), vol. 1, Paris 1980

Pieters 2009
D. Pieters, ‘Kunst van wereldniveau. Nieuwe collectiepresentatie in Museum Boijmans’, Museumtijdschrift, no. 3 (April-May 2009), p. 15

Prinz 1986
U. Prinz, Androgyn. Sehnsucht nach Vollkommenheit, Berlin 1986

De Puydt 2010
R.M. de Puydt, Felix De Boeck en de pioniers van de abstracte kunst, 1920-1930. Alkema, Delaunay, Huszar, Kandinsky, Kupka, Malevitch, Moholy-Nagy, Mondriaan, Servranckx, Seuphor, Van Doesburg, Ghent 2010

Radford 1997
R. Radford, Dalí, London 1997

Rheims 1966
M. Rheims, Catalogue Bolaffi d’art moderne le marché de Paris, Paris/Turin 1966

Roegiers 2003
P. Roegiers, ‘René Magritte à l’épreuve de lui-même’, in D. Abadie, P. Roegiers, R. Hammacher et al., Magritte, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume), 2003

Rome 2009-2010
A. Schwarz, Dada e Surrealismo riscoperti, exh. cat. Rome (Complesso Monumentale del Vittoriano), Milan 2009

Roodenburg-Schadd 2004
C. Roodenburg-Schadd, Expressie En Ordening. Het verzamelbeleid van Willem Sandberg voor het Stedelijk Museum, 1945-1962, Amsterdam/Rotterdam 2004

Rotterdam 1962
C. Doelman, Wout van Heusden, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boymans-van Beuningen), 1962

Rotterdam 1967
René Magritte. Het mysterie van de werkelijkheid, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1967

Rotterdam 1970
J. Conrad, J.C. Ebbinge Wubben, R. Hammacher-Van den Brande, Dalí, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1970

Rotterdam 1972
Salvador Dalí. Bruikleen uit de collectie Edward F.W. James, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1972

Rotterdam 1973a
E. Langui, L. Brandt Corstius, R. Hammacher-Van den Brande, Paul Delvaux, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1973

Rotterdam 1973b
E. Langui, J. Cassou, Félix Labisse, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1973

Rotterdam 1973c
Enrico Baj. De begrafenis van de anarchist Pinelli, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1973

Rotterdam 1989
J. van Adrichem, E. Brinkman (eds.), Verzameld werk 1: stadscollectie 1988, cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1989

Rotterdam 1995
P. de Jonge, G. Forde, Album: de fotoverzameling van Museum Boymans-van Beuningen Rotterdam, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 1995

Rotterdam 2006
M. Draguet, Voici Magritte: gouaches, collages, tekeningen, studies, schilderijen, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2006

Rotterdam 2007
G. Wood, T. te Duits (eds.), Vreemde dingen: Surrealisme en design, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2007

Rotterdam 2009
J. Teunissen (ed.), The Art of Fashion: Installing Allusions, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2009

Rotterdam 2012
J. van Es (ed.), Collectieboek Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2012

Rotterdam 2014
P. van der Coelen, F. Stocchi, Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray: Framing Sculpture, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2014

Rotterdam 2015
La La La Human Steps, exh. brochure Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2015

Rotterdam 2017
S. van Kampen-Prein (ed.), Gek van surrealisme. Dalí, Ernst, Magritte, Miró… uit de collecties van Roland Penrose, Edward James, Gabrielle Keiller en Ulla en Heiner Pietzsch, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), 2017

Rotterdam/Barcelona/Madrid 2005
J. Guldemond (ed.), Alles Dalí, film, mode, fotografie, design, reclame, schilderkunst, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), Barcelona (Caixa Forum), Madrid (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia), Rotterdam 2005

Rotterdam/Paris/Humlebaek 1971-72
R. Hammacher-Van den Brande, A. Jouffroy, A. Schwarz, Man Ray, exh. cat. Rotterdam (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen), Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou), Humlebaek (Louisiana Museum of Modern Art), Rotterdam 1971

Roudaut 2003
J. Roudaut, ‘Une Grande Illusion’, in D. Abadie, P. Roegiers, R. Hammacher et al., Magritte, exh. cat. Paris (Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume), 2003

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P. Rouve, ‘Space Conquered’, Art and Artists (August 1968), pp. 24-27

Sanouillet 1966
M. Sanouillet, Francis Picabia et 391, vol. 3, Paris 1966

São Paulo 1985
W. Beeren, P. de Jonge, G. Kalksma, G. van Tuyl, Dutch contribution to the 1985 São Paulo Biennale – A participaçao neerlandesa na Bienal de São Paulo 1985: Ouborg, Ansuya Blom, Marlene Dumas, Gea Kalksma, Rob Scholte, Emo Verkerk, exh. cat. São Paulo (Biennale), 1985

Schmied/Schilling 1990
W. Schmied, J. Schilling, Gegenwart Ewigkeit: Spuren des Transzendenten in der Kunst unserer Zeit, Berlin/Stuttgart 1990

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J. Scholten, ‘Kleur bekennen. Favoriete kunstwerken: Francis Picabia: le boxeur-poète’, Tableau Fine Arts Magazine: tijdschrift voor beeldende kunst en antiek, 27 (2005), pp. 64-65

Schwarz 1977
A. Schwarz, Man Ray: The Rigour of Imagination, New York 1977

Schwarz 1980
A. Schwarz, Man Ray, Milan 1980

Schwarz 2000
A. Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, New York 2000

Scott 1992
D. Scott, Paul Delvaux: Surrealizing the Nude, London 1992

Seattle/Dallas/Denver 2014-15
C.A. Aparico, Miró, The Experience of Seeing, Late Works, 1963-1981, exh. cat. Seattle (The Seattle Art Museum), Durham (The Nasher Museum of Art), Denver (The Denver Art Museum), 2014-2015

Secrest 1986
M. Secrest, Salvador Dalí, Surrealist Jester, London 1986

Shaw 2003
J. Shaw, ‘Singular Plural. Collaborative Self-Images in Claude Cahun’s Aveux non avenus’, in W. Chadwick, T. True Latimer (ed.) The Modern Woman Revisited. Paris Between the Wars, New Brunswick/New Jersey/London 2003, pp. 155-168

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E. Siepmann, Montage: John Heartfield, vom Club Dada zur Arbeiter-illustrierten Zeitung: Dokumente, Analysen, Berichte, Berlin 1977

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L.S. Sims, Wifredo Lam and the international avant-garde, 1923-1982, Austin 2002

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J.T. Soby, Salvador Dalí: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, New York 1941

Soby 1946
J.T. Soby, Salvador Dalí, New York 1946

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J.T. Soby, The Early Chirico, New York 1969

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J. Sojcher, Paul Delvaux, Paris 1991

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W. Spies, Max Ernst Collages: The Invention of the Surrealist Universe, trans. J.W. Gabriel, New York 1991

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W. Spies, G. Metken, Max Ernst: Oeuvre-Katalog: Dl.2. Werke 1906-1925, Cologne 1976

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S. Stauffer, Marcel Duchamp. Interviews und Statements, Stuttgart 1991

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J. Steen, Moesman, monografie. Catalogus van schilderijen en objecten, Zwolle 1998

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F. Stiemer, Wout van Heusden: graficus en schilder in Rotterdam, Rotterdam 1992

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C. Strinati, P. Picozza, Giorgio de Chirico: catalogo generale – opere dal 1912 al 1976, vol. 1, Dogana 2014

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K. von Maur, Salvador Dalí, 1904-1989, exh. cat. Stuttgart (Staatsgalerie Stuttgart), Zurich (Kunsthaus), Stuttgart 1989

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J.J. Sweeney, ‘Eleven Europeans in America’, Museum of Modern Art Bulletin 13 (1946), no. 4-5, pp. 20 ff.

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D. Sylvester, Magritte, London 1992

Sylvester 1992b
D. Sylvester, S. Whitfield, René Magritte, catalogue raisonné vol. I, Oil Paintings 1916-1930, Antwerp 1992

Sylvester 1993a
D. Sylvester, S. Whitfield, René Magritte, catalogue raisonné, vol. II, Oil Paintings and Objects 1931-1948, Antwerp 1993

Sylvester 1993b
D. Sylvester, S. Whitfield, M. Raeburn, René Magritte, catalogue raisonné, vol. III, Oil Paintings, Objects and Bronzes 1949-1967, Antwerp 1993

Sylvester 1994
D. Sylvester, S. Whitfield, M Raeburn, René Magritte, catalogue raisonné, vol. IV, Gouaches, Temperas, Watercolours and Papiers Collés 1918-1967, Antwerp 1994

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Y. Tanguy, K. Sage, A. Breton et al., Yves Tanguy: un recueil de ses œuvres. A Summary of his Works, New York 1963

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S. Taylor, The Anatomy of Anxiety, Massachusetts 2000

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Wouter van Heusden, exh. cat. The Hague (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag), 1970

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C. Tomkins, Duchamp. A Biography, London 1997

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E. Trier, Jean Arp: Sculpture 1957-1966, Teufen 1968

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R. Tubbs, Mathematics in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art: Content, Form, Meaning, Baltimore 2014

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M. Tuijn, Mon cher ami, Lieber Does… Theo van Doesburg en de praktijk van de internationale avant-garde, diss. University of Amsterdam 2003

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Hans Bellmer. Photographs, exh. cat. Urbana-Champaign (Kranner Art Museum), 1991

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The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art, exh. cat. Vancouver (Vancouver Art Gallery), 2011

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J. Caumont, J. Gough-Cooper, Marcel Duchamp: Work and Life, exh. cat. Venice (Palazzo Grassi), 1993

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H. Eipeldauer, I. Brugger, G. Sievernich (eds.), Meret Oppenheim, Retrospective, exh. cat. Vienna (Bank Austria Kunstforum), Berlin (Martin-Gropius-Bau), Ostfildern 2013

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H. de Vries, J. van der Meulen, L. Vancrevel, Moesman: Peilingen naar het wezen van de Nederlandse surrealist Moesman in een poging hem voor het nageslacht te bewaren, Utrecht 1971

Waldberg 1970
P. Waldberg, Félix Labisse, Brussels 1970

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P. Waldberg, Yves Tanguy, Brussels 1977

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V. Fletcher (ed.), Crosscurrents of Modernism, Four Latin American Pioneers, Diego Rivera, Joaquín Torres-García, Wifredo Lam, Matta, exh. cat. Washington (Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden), 1992

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F. Will-Levaillant, André Masson. Le rebelle du surréalisme, Paris 1976

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G. Wood, The Surreal Body: Fetish and Fashion, London 2007

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S. Zalman, ‘Dalí, Magritte, Surrealism’s Legacy, New York, c. 1965’, Journal of Surrealism and the America’s, 6 (2012), no. 1, pp. 24-38

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S. Zalman, Consuming Surrealism in American Culture. Dissident Modernism, Farnham 2015

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M. Clarac-Sérou, Matta. Skulpturen und Bilder, exh. cat. Zurich (Gimpel & Hanover Galerie), 1964

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A. Iolas, René Magritte: die acht Skulpturen – The eight sculptures, exh. cat. Zurich (Gimpel & Hanover Galerie), 1972

Zurich/New York 2016
A. Umland, C. Hug (ed.), Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction, exh. cat. Zurich (Kunsthaus Zürich), New York (The Museum of Modern Art), 2016

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Archives MBVB-a
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Archives MBVB-b
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Other Sources Consulted

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S.H. Dolz (director), Conducting Boijmans, documentary, Interakt Productions – René Mendel and Mira Mendel (producers) in collaboration with RTV Rijnmond, 2015









1 D. Ades, ‘Transform the World … Change Life’, in Liverpool 1988, pp. 6-9, p. 6.

2 D. Ades, ‘Introduction. Exhibiting Surrealism’, in Vancouver 2011, pp. 15-45, p. 23.

3 Vancouver 2011, pp. 23-24. From 1925 onwards, Breton published a number of prepublications from the book he was working on, ‘Le surréalisme et la peinture’ (1928), in which he responded to the opposition.

4 Naville 1925.

5 Liverpool 1988, p. 6.

6 Breton 1965, p. 147, ‘un divertissement de l’ordre des mots croisés’.

7 See for example Le miroir vivant (1928), no. 60.

8 ‘Inleiding’, in Drijkoningen/Fontijn 1982, pp. 11-48.

9 The concept of l’art pour l’art first appeared in the novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (1834) by Théophile Gautier.

10 F.T. Marinetti, ‘Oprichting en Manifest van het Futurisme (The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism), 1909’ in Drijkoningen/Fontijn 1982, pp. 65-81, p. 68.

11 For a summary of the spread and periodization of Dada to other countries see ‘dada on the move’ at www.zuerich.com, a website created on the occasion of a century of Dada in Zurich (consulted on 8 June 2016). In the Netherlands, Kurt Schwitters and I.K. Bonset (pseudonym of Theo van Doesburg) gathered a following in Leiden.

12 D. Ades, ‘Between Dada and Surrealism: Painting in the Mouvement fou’, in Chicago 1985, pp. 23-41, p. 24.

13 Breton 1988, p. 273.

14 Ibid. English translation in Chicago 1985, p. 36.

15 Freud’s ideas, published in Die Traumdeutung (The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900) and elsewhere, were popular in several literary and artistic circles in Europe and the United States in the first two decades of the twentieth century, but the Surrealists were the first to deliberately use the techniques of psychoanalysis as a means of liberating the creative spirit. See Freud, The Essentials of Psycho-analysis (1991) for the theory, later elaborated by him, of the Es, the Ich and the Überich (the id, the ego and the super-ego), in which the id stands for the subconscious and the passions that have to be kept in check by the ego and the superego.

16 Drijkoningen/Fontijn 1982, p. 292.

17 This manifesto is usually referred to as the First Surrealist Manifesto.

18 André Breton, Manifeste du surréalisme’ (1924), in Breton 1955, p. 15. English translation in Breton 1989, p. 126. See also Breton 1988, p. 319.

19 André Breton, ‘Manifeste du surréalisme’ (1924), in Breton 1955, p. 24. English translation in Breton 1989, p. 122. See also Breton 1988, p. 328.’

20 Quoted in Durozoi 2002, p. 190.

21 Drijkoningen/Fontijn 1982, p. 331. This manifesto appears in José Pierre (ed.), Tracts surréalistes et déclarations collectives (1922-1969), vol. I, Paris 1980, pp. 335-39.

22 Drijkoningen/Fontijn 1982, p. 367.

23 ‘André Breton’s Death and Debate over the Continuation of Group Activity’, in Durozoi 2002, pp. 635-36, p. 635. See also Pierre 1980, pp. 335-39. A storm of protest greeted Schuster’s decision. This led to the establishment of a new journal Bulletin de liaison surréaliste with a strongly international slant.

24 See Parkinson 2015 and Durozoi 2002.

25 Drijkoningen/Fontijn 1982, p. 276. The question as to the definition of Surrealism was actually posed by Breton himself. Qu’est-ce que le Surréalisme? was the title of a lecture he gave on 1 June 1934 at an open meeting of Belgian Surrealists, followed soon afterwards by a pamphlet. It was also the title of an edition of Breton’s selected writings published in 1978. In fact, he focused more on the threat of Fascism than on answering the question.

26 Many authors, such as Gale 1997, explore this aspect and it underlies the exhibition and accompanying catalogue Strange Things: Surrealism and Design in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (2007-08).

27 D. Ades, ‘Exhibiting Surrealism’, in Vancouver 2011, pp. 15-45.

28 Ibid., p. 17.

29 Ibid., p. 36.

30 Part of the exhibition travelled on to London, Brussels and Amsterdam.

31 See Hopkins 2014. Nowadays it is thought that the string was nowhere near as long as this: the estimate has been reduced from sixteen to between one and three miles, or between 1.6 and 4.8 kilometres.

32 Dunlop 1972, p. 205 and Durozoi 2002, pp. 339-43.

33 See the exhibition catalogues of the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Paris 1938, and First Papers of Surrealism, New York 1942.

34 Hopkins 2014.

35 Dunlop 1972, pp. 198-223, p. 204. See also ‘List of items for sale from the exhibition’ [CE, II.1.59.1], consulted on 8 September 2016, http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2008/dadaatmoma/

36 Sandra Zalman, ‘Surrealism between avant-garde and kitsch’ in Zalman 2015, pp. 11-40. See also ‘Dada at MoMA’, csld on 19 June 2016, http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2008/dadaatmoma/.

37 Zalman 2015, p. 19.

38 London/Rotterdam/Bilbao 2007-08, p. 10.

39 Zalman 2015, p. 29.

40 See Dreier’s 1936 letter to Barr, quoted in Zalman 2015, p. 25.

41 For a study of the political aspect of Surrealism see Lewis 1990.

42 On 28 January 2016 in de Volkskrant; NRC Handelsblad; Trouw; Het Parool, Nederlands Dagblad and others.

43 Ebbinge Wubben was deputy director from May 1945 to September 1947 and from March 1949 to March 1950. On 1 March 1950 he was appointed museum director.

44 See Ebbinge Wubben’s policy memorandum dated 17 January 1963 in Berlage 1978, p. 25.

45 Ebbinge Wubben 1964/1978, p. 27.

46 When Schmidt was appointed there was virtually no modern art in the collection. He bought his first important group of works at the controversial sale held on 30 June 1939 at Theodor Fischer’s auction house in Lucerne. The works of art on offer were sold off by the Nazis as ‘entartete kunst’ (degenerate art). See Zutter 1982, p. 10.

47 Ebbinge Wubben 1968/1978, pp. 29-31.

48 Paraphrased from Hopmans 2000, unpaged.

49 See Alechinsky/Jacqmain/Roberts-Jones 2013.

50 Alechinsky/Jacqmain/Roberts-Jones 2013, p. 27.

51 Quotation and information taken from an email from PhD student and curator Tanguy Eeckhout to the author, 18 May 2016.

52 Renilde Hammacher interviewed by the author and others, 2 May 2014.

53 Paraphrase of Peyser 2013, p. 9. An exception was the Belgian artist Paul Delvaux, who Hammacher said she got to know at her parents’ kitchen table. Her father was a lover of Delvaux’s work and owned a large library that included books about Surrealism. One day he decided to invite the artist to their home. Renilde Hammacher interviewed by the author and others, 2 May 2014.

54 Langui knew this collection well, because he had been friends with the couple since 1954. See Alechinsky/Jacqmain/Roberts-Jones 2013, p. 33.

55 Bram Hammacher was director of what was then the Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller from 1947 to 1963. The exhibition went to London in 1958 and Belgrade and Zagreb in 1959.

56 She was also involved in the ground-breaking 1958 exhibition 50 Jaar Moderne Kunst, where a number of pieces from the Urvater Collection were shown.

57 Mesens bought Au seuil de la liberté directly from the artist in 1930. The Urvaters did not acquire it until 1955. For the full provenance see Sylvester 1992b, entry 326 pp. 347-48.

58 This catalogue contains an incorrect date for the painting Au seuil de la liberté: it should be 1930, not 1929.

59 Langui 1957, unpaged.

60 The museum became independent on 31 December 2005. Until 1958 it was called Museum Boymans. A major gift that year was reflected in a change of name to Museum Boymans-van Beuningen. It has been called Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen since 1996.

61 This villa was built for the couple by the Belgian architect André Jacqmain and was a cross between a house and a museum.

62 Blotkamp/Visser 1987, p. 29. The Dutch public was still unfamiliar with Surrealism at this time.

63 Information taken from an email from Tanguy Eeckhout to the author, 18 May 2016.

64 For more information about the establishment and working of the foundation see Ter Molen 1993.

65 This room was immediately adjacent to what was then the museum’s management’s wing.

66 Archives MBVB-a.

67 Ibid.

68 See for example Blotkamp/Visser 1987, p. 29.

69 Paraphrased from Ebbinge Wubben 1968/1978, p. 29.

70 In 1930, artists’ society De Onafhankelijken staged an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam with work by Magritte, De Chirico, Miró, Picabia, Giacometti and others. A few years later, the artist Kristians Tonny brought part of the Exposition internationale du surréalisme (1938) to the Netherlands. Neither show resulted in any purchases by museums. The two examples of artworks are taken from De Man 1996, p. 5.

71 Quotation taken from Beeren 1978, p. 19.

72 The real appreciation and rise in prices did not happen until around 1980, however, when there were major auctions of Surrealist works and leading magazines like October started to publish articles about Surrealism.

73 Van Kampen-Prein in Rotterdam 2017, p. 192.

74 Beeren 1978, p. 20.

75 Television interview with Hammacher in De Wereld Draait Door, 10 May 2013.

76 The museum attracted 120,080 visitors in 1967; see Jaccard 1967, p. 14. Unfortunately there is no record of how many of them went to see the Magritte exhibition. At that time the public at large was not familiar with the artist’s work. Het mysterie van de werkelijkheid was the first retrospective of Magritte’s work in Europe outside Belgium, the country of his birth. See also Peyser 2013, p. 13.

77 Limburg 2013.

78 In 1960-61 the Museum for Contemporary Arts in Dallas and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston staged a retrospective. A few years later, in 1965-66, MoMA put on a retrospective.

79 For more information about the history of the reception of Magritte’s oeuvre in the United States see Zalman 2012.

80 Beeren, 1978, p. 21.

81 Almost all these artworks were administered by the Edward James Foundation.

82 In 1964 James set up the Edward James Foundation with money he had inherited as a child. The idea was that in future this foundation would establish a school where students were taught various crafts. He also gave part of his collection to the foundation. For more information: Van Kampen-Prein in Rotterdam 2017, pp. 191-200.

83 Archives MBVB-b.

84 For more information about the background to these purchases: Van Kampen-Prein in Rotterdam 2017, pp. 195-96.

85 A number of other works from James’s former holdings were also acquired at this sale.

86 Blotkamp/Visser 1987, p. 29.

87 Quotation taken from Dolz 2015.

88 Information taken from collectie.boijmans.nl, consulted on 23 June 2016.

89 Ex 2015, p. 33.

90 The theme of the Surrealist civilisation – a recurring discussion point in the Surrealist group in the nineteen-fifties and sixties – was exhaustively studied by a number of prominent Surrealists (among them Robert Lebel, Jean-Louis Bédouin and Vralislav Effenberger) led by the poet and anthropologist Vincent Bounoure, who were in favour on principle of continuing the Surrealist movement after the controversial dissolution of the group in 1969. See Bounoure 1976.

91 Rotterdam 1967, p. 30.

92 This proposal that Breton and Aragon made to Doucet, titled Projet pour la bibliothèque de Jacques Doucet, appears in Breton 1988, pp. 631-36.

93 Gaffé began collecting books and manuscripts by Dadaists and Surrealists around 1920. His bibliophilic collection of Surrealist publications was built up in the years between the wars. Filippacchi began collecting Surrealist books as a young man in the early nineteen-thirties. Matarasso created his bibliophilic collection from the end of the thirties onwards as a bookseller and gallerist.

94 Rockefeller began collecting avant-garde art in 1925 and also bibliophilic editions, including various Surrealist publications. She gave her bibliophilic collection to the MoMA library in the nineteen-thirties.

95 Works by Jean (Hans) Arp and Max Ernst were among MoMA’s earliest acquisitions around 1930.

96 Chrysler’s Surrealist bibliophilic collection was donated to the MoMA library in 1936.

97 This institution was founded in 1992. It is housed in the Torre Galatea, where Dalí lived in the last years of his life and its mission is to conserve, catalogue and study the documentation concerning Dalí. The collection has become one of the most complete libraries on Dalí and Surrealism.

98 Reported by the art dealer and Surrealism expert Marcel Fleiss in Fleiss 2013.

99 There is a detailed description of the background to and events of the Breton sale in Dupuis 2003, and also in the article by Marcel Fleiss, see Fleiss 2013. There is a copy of the eight-volume sale catalogue in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection.

100 His book collection alone fetched seven million euros. Marcel Fleiss: ‘Every expectation was exceeded; in terms of proceeds this was probably one of the largest sales held in France in this period.’ Fleiss 2013.

101 Rotterdam 1967, p. 7.

102 Interview with Dirk Limburg, see Limburg 2013.

103 The Comte de Lautréamont was the pseudonym of Isidore Ducasse, whose fantastical story Les Chants de Maldoror was a source of inspiration for many painters and writers. He also published two volumes of aphorisms under his own name.

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