The summer exhibition of Museum Meermanno The Hague shows a very interesting selection of Ex-Libris from the collection Jansen-Ebing. In 2001, this collection was added to the museum’s collection of ex-libris. The museum already had an extensive collection. It now owns over 350,000 ex-libris and this must be one of the largest collections in the world.
At this exhibition’s opening, I expected it to be quite dull. Like so many people, I presumed ex-libris to be not that interesting, not that exciting. How wrong I was! In just a few rooms, this exhibition manages to give a short impression of the history of ex-libris with examples of early ones by for instance Dürer. In another room, themes from the collection are illustrated, like ex-libris with Don Quichot. Yet another room shows ex-libris used by famous people like Golda Meir, Garbo, royalty, politicians. Yet other case shows ex-libris from various countries ranging from the US to Japan and then there are of course cases showing ex-libris designed by artists like Klimt, Escher, Beardsley, and others. A few cases also contain erotic ex-libris, so parents may want to steer children away from these.
This should not be a problem, as the exhibition is on the ground floor level. The permanent collection of books, antiques, paintings and more, can be visited on the first and second floor. The Bibliotheca Thurkowiana Minor,– an imitation of a library – containing miniature books is of course one of the museum’s show pieces, liked by grown-ups and children alike. The original study in the former home of Baron Van Westreenen van Tiellandt (1783-1848) gives a perfect impression of what a library of the wealthy of that era looked like. And if the sun is out, there is nothing keeping you from visiting the small graves of the Baron’s dogs or having coffee or tea in the museum’s quiet garden while your children play in the “Letter Garden”.
The museum’s ex-libris summer exhibition “Van Dürer tot Escher” will run till the 17th of August 2014.
For more information visit the museum website: Museum Meermanno