A loan like that is so special that the museum has chosen for a very special presentation in combination with its own Edith by Egon Schiele, another top work from the period.
Each portrait represents a very different type of woman
– somewhere in between Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan and Was will das Weib? –
in an age when women were regarded by men as a kind of different species or, at best, as spirits that stirred in male sexual problems.
To stress their differences they are shown in different rooms.
Apart from that some delicate works on paper by Schiele,
Kokoschka, mostly from the Gemeentemuseum’s own collection are on show, completed with
some jewelry and furniture from the period, as well as
a sculpture by George Minne.
The presentation is designed by Maison the Faux, more or less based on Vienna Secession design. To an extent it works.
Edith in a room with curtains works very well and
the presentation of the drawings in black and white decorated rooms is nice, although the jewelry and furniture are not resistant to the decorations and look haphazard.
The decoration of Judith’s room however, with perfume bottles with motives from the paintings, made me feel I had missed something (and I think I still do). What I didn’t miss was the horrible smell of visitor’s perfumes.
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]
Contents of all pictures courtesy Gemeentemuseum Den Haag