Thursday 26 April 2012

Amsterdam Library, Kitchen Sink, Research, and Art

For research into the slave trade I chugged off to the Amsterdam library near the central station. Some of the design is silly, but overall it's a big and beautiful space with sci-fi tables and lighting - the books glow because they are specially lit - central image above. Here I found great books on the slave trade. The giant kitchen sink (or parked space-ship) under construction (below) is a new Fail of modern architecture. Liesbeth Ten Houten in her apartment, is a semi-retired top agent for some of the best artists in the Netherlands. Liesbeth is also a teacher and world traveller. We met three years ago on a flight to Italy for the Bologna Children's Book Fair. She invited me to the Dutch party held at an inner city palace where I met European publishers which later brought me to Leipzig, Stockholm, and Amsterdam. I met with Liesbeth a couple times in Amsterdam and she is always enthusiastic, optimistic, and inspiring. Liesbeth passed on some wonderful advice regarding the publishing industry, which I will follow up.

Above, a shoe store in Amsterdam fails to properly light the shoes, but looks cool. In the Rembrandt House, I chatted with the artist who demonstrated how Rembrandt ground and mixed his pigments with various oils. It was fascinating. The house was well preserved, and the art, of course, was wonderful. Below are examples of stencils in the Cuyperhause Museum, Roermond. Architect Pierre Cuypers used stencils to create wonderful imagery. Another inspiring exhibit. Children get a taste for using stencils too.