The Van Gogh Museum Library
Vincent van Gogh is the best documented artist in the world. Together with the Van Gogh Museum's documentation centre, the museum library forms a major source of information about his life and work. The library has collected everything about Vincent van Gogh ever published, from the earliest articles on his work to the very latest exhibition catalogues and monographs. The books Vincent discussed in his letters can also be found in the library, for Van Gogh's literary sources are an essential aspect of research into the artist.
In addition to functioning as a Van Gogh information centre, the library also serves as an important centre for research into art from the period 1800 to 1920. An excellent collection of sources, including a virtually complete series of Paris Salon catalogues, forms the core of the library. Technical works and sample books provide insights into nineteenth-century studio practice, while early monographs, exhibition catalogues and examples of art criticism are vital to researching such issues as how art was received. The nineteenth-century collection of books assembled by Arti et Amicitiae, the Amsterdam society of artists, has also been incorporated into the museum library.
The library possesses a total of more than 24,000 books and over 4,500 articles, and currently subscribes to more than 40 journals and auction catalogues. Every year the library acquires between about 1,000 publications.
The library is located at 4 Museumplein. Once the home of architect Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk (1885-1940), this villa is a fine example of ideas developed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright applied in a Dutch context.
The online catalogue provides access to the library collection. The catalogue is also available at the website of AdamNet http://www.adamnet.nl/.
A list of online catalogues of other Dutch art history libraries is available on the website of ARLIS/NL: http://www.let.uu.nl/~okbn/links/internetcatalogi.htm
For more information: BiDoc@vangoghmuseum.nl
Anita Vriend, "The Van Gogh Museum library", Van Gogh Museum Journal (1995), pp. 34-47
Anita Vriend, "De bibliotheek van het Van Gogh Museum = The library of the Van Gogh Museum", RKD Bulletin (December 2001), pp. 1-11
Anita Vriend, "De villa van Jan de Bie Leuveling Tjeenk : Amerikaanse invloeden aan het Museumplein", Jong Holland 15 ( 1999) 2, pp. 79-87