Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Museum Shops

I like going to museums, and of course the art is the main focus of the visit. Especially in a museum as large and wonderful as the Kunstmuseum Baselwhere I went earlier this month. But the end of the visit is not as pleasing if there isn’t a well equipped museum shop to stop in. An unsatisfying assortment of items on display might even spoil the visit. Not that I always buy something, indeed, frequently I pride myself in being able to go out again without having bought anything. Yet it is nice to see a good selection of art books, many of which one probably didn’t know existed.
The shop at the Kunstmusem Basel is very well equipped. Quite a trap. And no, I did not pride myself in walking out without having bought anything, on the contrary. I do not remember ever having spent so much money in a museum store as on that occasion. First of all, they have a huge selection of postcards, and although I do have quite a few at home and am constantly working on reducing this collection by actually writing and sending them to friends, I have not yet arrived at a moratorium? forbidding me to buy. Certainly not in a situation of “buy ten and get two for free”. Secondly, there is a huge selection of wonderful art books on display. And thirdly, some of them are offered at reduced price.
Amongst the latter was a volume with prints by Joseph Albers, a book edition  of his 1972 limited edition of prints “Formulation: Articulation”. 

 As I am currently working on my pieces for the exhibition “Inspiration Bauhaus” that two friends of mine and I will have in Octover 2014 in the Fagus Works in Alfeld, Germanythat felt like a piece I really needed to include in my collection. Probably also influenced by the experience I had had when going through the museum’s collection: in one room there was a relatively small “Homage to the square” with a title “The blue call”, which I had really impressed my when seen from the other end of the long room in which it was displayed on a wall where it could easily be overlooked when you first entered the room.
But the really expensive part of my purchase was this:

Front view of
"undiscovered minimalism
Gelims from 
Northern Iran" by Parviz Tanavoli
with contributions by Heinz Meyer  and
Werner Weber
I got attracted to its neighbor first – the catalogue of the exhibition on Moroccan carpets currently on show in Munich Pinakothek der Moderne), but because I am planning to go and see that later (perhaps even this week) I did not buy that one. After putting it down, my eyes got caught by the word ‘minimalism’, and after opening the book my guts had already decided that this was a ‘must have’. When I saw the price, mind started to argue with guts, but guts won, and credit card paid for it...
Just a couple of shots of pages in the book – you have to decide for yourself wheter it’s a must-have or not. 

These gelims are absolutely fabulous! For more information on the gelims you can click here.

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