Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has been collecting Surrealist art since 1965. In something over half a century, what began with a single purchase has now grown into a world-class core collection with works by Dalí, Magritte, Man Ray, De Chirico, Ernst and many others. Surrealism, which started as a literary movement, is not a school, but rather a collective attitude or lifestyle in which automatism, chance and the subconscious are key. The museum's collection includes paintings, sculptures, objects, drawings, prints and photographs - as well as a large number of Surrealist publications, magazines, manifestos and pamphlets. This dream collection has now been brought together in a catalogue raisonné for the first time.
The catalogue raisonné contains three introductory essays. Sandra Kisters, the current Head of the Collection and Research Department, provides an outline of the Surrealist movement. Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Saskia van Kampen-Prein, explains the acquisition history and establishment of the museum's Surrealist art collection. Surrealism expert Laurens Vancrevel examines the museum's unique, often neglected collection of Surrealist publications. The essays are followed by the catalogue, consisting of 108 short texts about the artworks. Most of the texts were written by Marijke Peyser, who was awarded her doctorate in 2008 with her dissertation on the Zodiaque, a circle of patrons around Salvador Dalí. The Duchamp texts are by Bert Jansen, who obtained his doctorate with his thesis on Marcel Duchamp in 2015.