In one of my earlier posts I shared a photo of a gulf of books streaming through a window of the Meermanno museum. After passing it a couple of times, I decided it was time to pay a visit.
The museum is founded in the house of the art collector Baron Van Westreenen van Tiellandt. On the first floor is his private collection of Roman and Egyptian art; several portraits and medieval panels are exhibited. But this wasn’t really what I came for. The library was incredible. The books are neatly on display in beautiful wooden bookcases behind glass doors. If ever I can afford buying a house big enough for a separate library, I wouldn’t mind such bookcases. Since the security camera was prominently present I didn’t dare make a picture of the room. (I did find one online.)
Books or Tablets
On the first floor is also a separate room that dealt with the history of books interactively including the present development of E-readers.
I’m still not warmed up to the idea of holding a tablet or e-reader instead of an actual book, but after playing around with them, my view has slightly changed. While I’m still not totally convinced to read a book on an E-reader, the book that was presented on the tablet showed me a side of digital books I hadn’t seen before.
On the tablet was a pop-up book of the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin which looked like this:
Art of Books
On the ground floor I found the exhibition I originally came to visit: Papier Biënnale 2012. Books were the prime material and subject for all the art objects exhibited.
One of the them reminded me of threads of a spinning wheel. The sentences of the book were cut out of the book and pasted behind each other like one very long long sentence.
From close up it looked like this:
Though the exhibition was not as large as I wished it would be, it was very fascinating to see to what extent the books can serve.
Bibliotheca Thurkowiana Minor
After observing the creative way of using books, my attention was drawn to the last room. There was one large cabinet, a screen and a showcase. The showcase contained several minature books. When I turned around I saw the most fascinating library ever. A pocket size library:
The film explained why and how this library was created. It even has a hidden bookcase on the left side. (Just guess what kind of books are hidden there.) This library holds over 1,500 titles.
It was a well spent afternoon – one of those exhibitions that made a lasting impression.