Pasha of Glass. Travelling Collector Anne Tjibbes van der Meulen
20 May 2009 until 3 January 2010
"I was in Magelang, let's just say I was hunting. Not with powder and shot to shorten the lives of innocent creatures, but for antiquities, for beauty."
The Frisian teacher Anne Tijibbes van der Meulen gathered a precious collection of glass from classical antiquity and industrial art from the Dutch East Indies at the turn of the last century. Weapons, jewellery, Chinese porcelain, perfume bottles and amulets comprise an especially lovely collection. The highlights are being presented together for the first time in this exhibition. The hundreds of fragments of mosaic glass are the most extraordinary: true miniature artworks made of glass.
The oldest piece from Van der Meulen's collection is an Egyptian earring from 1300 B.C. He also collected glass kitchen items such as bottles, jars, cups and bowls. The exhibition also shows which production techniques were part of making glass. The exceptional craftsmanship of the glass makers from antiquity is also on display. A good example is the mosaic glass from the period 100 B.C. - 100 A.D. that was made of different colours of glass using a combination of techniques.
Passion for Glass
From 1886, Van der Meulen worked as a government-hired teacher in the Dutch East Indies. There he started collecting industrial art. Later he founded the Indonesian Museum in Burgum that laid the groundwork for the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof (Princessehof Ceramics Museum) in Leeuwarden. At this exhibition, there are also various objects from the collection of industrial art from the Princessehof to admire. Van der Meulen spent the last eight years of his life in Egypt, where he developed a great passion for glass work from antiquity. At the time of his death in 1934, his precious collection of glass hailed from Rome, Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Greece became the possession of the National Museum of Antiquities.
Exhibition book 'Pasha of Glass'
An exhibition book about the collection of Anne Tjibbes van der Meulen is appearing with "Pasha of Glass". It was written by Jill Hendriks, who compiled the exhibition and did graduate research on Van der Meulen's glass collection. As an expert in this area, she tells the story of the man behind the collector and makes a selection from his extensive collection. The book is richly illustrated with old photos and images of the collection. It also contains a lot of diary entries and quotes from the Frisian teacher.
» "Pasha of Glass", 104 pages, in Dutch and English, price: €9.50, on sale in the museum shop.