Hein (fub) wrote,

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Plantin-Moretus and FoMu

So, we went to Antwerp for a few days last week. I really like it there: it's a beautiful city (well, the city centre is) and the culture is similar enough that you're not making an ass of yourself unintended, but different enough to know that you're not in the Netherlands anymore. The beer and food helps too!

The main attraction was a visit to the Museum Plantin-Moretus, in the building where 400 years of printing and publishing history is kept. You know we are book-nerds, so it was like being in a candy store. We saw stuff like illuminated manuscripts, translation notes of a self-taught student of Latin scribbled on ancient manuscripts, the last remaining set of stamps carved by Garamont himself, old humanist libraries, a copy of the 42-line Gutenberg Bible and a copy of the 36-line Gutenberg Bible, copper engravings made from anatomical drawings in the 1600s, the oldest remaining printing presses in the world...
There is a reason the museum was the first to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. If you have any interest in books, printing, book-art or even the spread of knowledge from 1600 onwards, this museum is of interest to you!

We also visited the Fotomuseum. The exhibition that struck us the most was the work of Rinko Kawauchi. This Japanese photographer is more concerned with the light and the moment the photo was taken than with composition. Her work spoke to us, because she seems to go for the same esthethic that klik tries to capture with her work for kliktikfix. Her book 'Illuminance' was on display in the gallery, but was not available in the shop -- but when we visited the Copyright Bookshop later that day, we managed to buy the last copy they had available!

Good times were had by all involved.

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