The Huis van het boek new exhibition

An exhibition ‘Full of stories’

Huis van het boek (House of the book)
Prinsessegracht 30
The Hague, The Netherlands
10 October 2020 – 06 March 2021

For the new autumn exhibition Full of Stories the Huis van het boek is showing many masterpieces from its collections. This time the Museum is looking at its exceptional collection through different eyes. The curators did not start out from the form of the books, but rather from the stories that lie behind them. Masterpieces are also shown in special combinations with other works. On display is work by the contemporary Swedish graphic artist Richard Årlin, who was inspired by the first book printed in Italy in 1465. The work of the Swiss artist Romano Hänni dovetails seamlessly with the centuries-long tradition of the Koppermaandagprent. The House of the Book is showing the work of these modern masters alongside their centuries-old sources of inspiration. In addition, there are many variants of the same books each of which tells its own story. No fewer than seven editions of The ballad of Reading gaol, Oscar Wilde’s last book, are on display. And three adaptations of the biblical history of Petrus Comestor written in the twelfth century. This text formed the basis of the world-famous Rhyme Bible by Jacob van Maerlant.

Jacob van Maerlant, Rijmbijbel, 1271/1332 [10 B 21, 152v]. (Museum Meermanno Huis van het boek.)

Romano Hänni, It is bitter to leave your home : a true story depicted in typographic images, Basel, 2017. (Museum Meermanno Huis van het boek. Foto: Frank Jansen.)

An inexhaustible source

House of Books focuses on the love of making books. Unique medieval manuscripts and the earliest printed books (incunabula) collected by founder Baron van Westreenen form the basis of the collection. Special modern prints and contemporary books were added later. The enormous collection of very different books turns out to be an inexhaustible source of stories. That is why the museum will focus on revealing the stories behind all these books, both in exhibitions and in (online) activities.