Copy of Tentoonstelling Topstukken
12 july - 6 october 2019
This summer the oldest book museum in the world will display some of its most important masterpieces. The often fragile medieval manuscripts, early printed books and modern artists’ books are normally kept in dark, cool storage areas. Parchment and paper are so sensitive to light that the books can only be shown to the public on rare occasions.
The Hours of the Master of Catherine of Cleves
The visitor will see the most spectacular examples of these precious books, one of which is a Books of Hours that was illuminated c. 1460 by the Master of Catherine of Cleves. This anonymous artist is named after a similar book he made for Catherine of Cleves who married Duke Arnold of Guelders in 1430 when she was thirteen years old. The Master illuminated this exquisite book with great attention to detail and included many small, amusing images of everyday life. We know very little about him, but that is not really surprising since it is more than 650 years ago that the book was made. It is a wonder that it is so well preserved and that it still is so engaging.
Mummy of a cat
The founder of the museum did not just collect books. He also assembled an impressive collection of Greek, Egyptian and Roman antiquities. These can be seen in the 19th century rooms on the first floor of the museum. For this exhibition, we pay extra attention to a very special artifact: the mummy of a cat. In ancient Egypt cats were mummified in very large numbers. These mummies were bought by pilgrims who offered them to the goddess Bastet, the goddess of joy and music. She is usually depicted as a woman with a cat’s head. Many visitors feel sorry for the cat, but this mummy tells us a lot about ancient Egypt and its traditions and beliefs.
The house of a baron
These are just two examples of the thirty five masterpieces which can be seen this summer in the attractive residence of the founder, Baron Willem van Tiellandt van Westreenen (1783-1848). These masterpieces will also help the visitor to discover more about the history of this unique museum.
Letter summer [or, Alphabet summer?]
In addition to the exhibition of highlights from the collection, there are two exhibitions for children which focus on letters: ‘Retteketet Letterpret’ and ‘Letterland’ And if that weren’t enough, children can also play in real letter garden and paint in the Open painting workshop. www.huisvanhetboek.nl.