Jewish culture of ex libris in the Netherlands
text and photographs by Giuseppe Raudino
“Joodse exlibriscultuur in Nederland” (Jewish culture of ex libris in the Netherlands) is the name of the exhibition which takes place at the main library of the University of Groningen, Holland, until May 6, 2007.
This amazing exhibition is part of a very ambitious project named “Exlibris van Joden in Nederland” (Jewish ex libris in the Netherlands) promoted by Jan Aarts, a scholar affiliated to the Huizinga Institute at the University of Amsterdam, F.J. Hoogewoud, conservator at the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana and Chris Kooyman, a researcher of the University of Amsterdam who undertook an interesting social and demographic study about the Jewish presence in Holland.
The project started in 2002 and was aimed at the comprehension of several phenomena linked to a big collection of Jewish ex libris (the database increased year after year and now it reaches about 1400 exemplars), such as the analysis of social-cultural-historical background or the discovery of biographical information of the owners and the artists behind these works of art. As a matter of fact, the main purpose would be an exhaustive evaluation inherent in the Dutch panorama of Jewish ex libris.The idea took the cue from a group of two hundred ex libris, kept in the Hebrew Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, that belonged to professor Philip van Praag (1887-1942), to his son Philip van Praag Jr. (1914-2000) and his grandson Philip van Praag (1949), who is currently a researcher in political studies at the University of ...