This summer De Hallen Haarlem
presents an exhibition on Godfried Bomans. For years he was the most-read author in The Netherlands. The exhibition gives a picture of Bomanss multifaceted talent: as a writer, as a composer and as a TV personality. It also shows original illustrations for his books and work by artists who were among his friends, including Mari Andriessen, Anton Heyboer and Kees Verwey. The exhibition Bomans in De Hallen Haarlem runs from 19 June through 5 September, 2010.
Godfried Bomans (1913 1971) was first and foremost a versatile writer. His literary range was broad: he wrote for adults and children, both fiction and non-fiction. More than 400,000 copies of his best known book, Eric in the Land of Insects (1940), have been sold.
Many of the writer's books and original manuscripts will be on show in the exhibition. Familiar characters such as Pa Pinkelman and Tante Pollewop pass in review, and a special children's gallery has been arranged around Eric in the Land of Insects. Thus enabling a younger generation to become acquainted with the colourful main characters from Bomanss most famous book.
Lesser-known expressions of Bomans's talent, such as his musical compositions, also come under the spotlight. Several of his songs, with piano accompaniment, are to be heard in the exhibition.
With his numerous television appearances, Godfried Bomans acquired real stardom. From the 1950s he regularly worked for radio, and since the 1960s for television. Continuous loops of fragments from programmes in which the writer appeared will be screened in De Hallen Haarlem. Visitors can watch the still impressive Bomans in triplo, about his visits to his brother Arnold and sister Wally, both of whom had entered cloistered religious orders, as well as his reportage on his travels to Rome, Jerusalem and Disneyland.
Friends in the Haarlem art world
In addition, the exhibition presents a considerable amount of visual art: original book illustrations by Carol Voges and Harry Prenen, as well as sculptures and paintings by artists who were his friends, like Mari Andriessen, Kees Verwey and Anton Heyboer.
The cultural circles in which Bomans and his friends and acquaintances moved are not only brought to life by the presentation of visual art; attention is also given to his literary friends and sources of inspiration, such as Lodewijk van Deyssel and Harry Mulisch.
Bomans's work was not forgotten after his death. In the years 1996-99 his collected literary work appeared in book form in a seven part volume called Werken (Works), while recently scores of his television and radio performances have been released on DVDs and audio CDs. There is also a still active Godfried Bomans Society with its own magazine, as well as a digital Bomans Weekly. In 2004 a successful children's film was made, based on Eric in the Land of Insects.