‘A festive parade of highlights. La Grande Parade as evaluation of the museum policy of Edy De Wilde at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.’

Edy De Wilde was director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam from 1963 to 1985. He was one of the most successful, influential and arguably, underrated museum directors in the world. Upon his retirement, he organised an exhibition entitled, ‘La Grande Parade’, which was the most visited exhibition of its kind in the twentieth century. It featured Modern artists: from Léger, Picasso and Matisse to Newman, Buren and Baselitz. Many of the works shown were loaned from private collections and museums all over the world and were displayed for the mainstream public for this sole occasion.
How do the selection of artworks compiled for ‘La Grande Parade’ inform us about exhibition and collection policy in general? In what way was the exhibition organised, and on what premise was it founded? In what ways does the exhibition ’20 Years of Collecting’ (Year) deviate from the ideal represented in ‘La Grande Parade’ and to what extent do they agree? Many art critics took this one exhibition as an opportunity to evaluate De Wilde’s museum policy as a whole, in ways that continue to shape how he is viewed. How did that reception contextualise him?
This book gives all the answers to these questions, and much much more, illustrated with floor-plans, the conceptualisation and several photos of the final exhibition. It is an indispensable source for students, researchers, and those who are interested in the reception of modern art in the Netherlands and the world, as well as those interested in the role of museums, and in particular, the role of the Stedelijk at this pivotal time in cultural history.
A filmed interview with the three most important collaborators of De Wilde from ‘La Grande Parade’, is available to view at the library of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.


For sale: from the author, signed £40 or €54, shipping costs included.

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