Now at TEFAF: Unique copy of the Der Blaue Reiter almanac

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This year the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, together with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, will be exhibiting a deluxe edition of the Der Blaue Reiter almanac of 1912 at its stand, no. 728, at TEFAF. Support from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund has made it possible to restore this unique copy and put it on display. This is the first time that the almanac acquired by the RKD and the museums will be presented to the public at large.

Der Blaue Reiter almanac
It is a unique, numbered copy of the deluxe edition of the 1912 Der Blaue Reiter almanac, together with its original slipcase. It is bound in blue Morocco leather, and on its front cover it has a blind-stamped vignette by Wassily Kandinsky which was then gold stamped. At the front of this edition are two original autographed, coloured woodcuts by Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky.

Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc started preparing the contents of the Der Blaue Reiter almanac in 1911-1912, and their work was supplemented with contributions by August Macke, Arnold Schönberg and others. The edition was published by Reinhard Piper in Munich. It was meant to be the first in an annual series compiled entirely by artists that would chart innovations in art and cast a look ahead to the future. Der Blaue Reiter was not searching for a formal development but for greater spiritual depth. This idea of innovation and leadership is symbolised by the almanac’s figurehead of a triumphant horseman leaping forward on his mount.

Collaboration
The publication was acquired jointly by the RKD and the named museums, making it a textbook example of fertile collaboration. This combination of forces helped secure this unique copy for Dutch public art collections. The representative nature of the Der Blaue Reiter almanac supplements the Dutch Cultural Heritage Collection in several ways, and spotlights various aspects of museum collections, The purchase was supported by the Mondriaan Fund, a publicly financed fund for visual arts and cultural heritage. The almanac will be exhibited on a rotating basis, starting on 9 September 2017 in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. In the autumn of 2018 it will travel to the Alexej von Jawlensky exhibition in The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum, and after that it can be seen in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

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