‘World Class Rapid Digitization of Cultural Heritage’
Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap
Felix Tal | KOG

Fantastic Fans

Fans have been used for centuries by ladies in elegant, but constricted clothing, wishing to discreetly cool themselves. They evolved into articles of fashion, and the ornamentation of fans for members of the upper class desiring to subtley display their wealth became an art form in itself. Picturae has had the privelege of transporting and digitising the beautiful Felix Tal fan collection.

Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap
Felix Tal | KOG

During his lifetime, the passionate collector Felix Tal (1892-1983) brought together roughly 400 fans in all shapes and sizes. These fans are from Europe and the Far East, and are from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A selection of 150 of the most important and appealing fans was obtained by the Beeckestijn Museum, and stored as 'The Felix Tal Collection', together with some modern fans made by contemporary artists.

The fan collection was, therefore, stored away in the attic of the impressive eighteenth-century Beeckestijn Museum. With extreme caution, the collection was packed in insulated boxes and transported to Picturae. The vulnerable fans, often finely painted and with richly decorated frames, were carefully digitised.

Oblique lighting was used, ensuring that the structure emerged clearly, and the objects were placed on a free-standing glass plate, so creating an image in which the fans were detached from the background without disturbing shadows. After the digitisation process, the digital images were published by 'The Memory of the Netherlands'.

Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap
Felix Tal | KOG

Royal Antiquarian Society

The Felix Tal collection was held in the Beeckestijn Museum in Velsen-Zuid for years. In 2006, however, Beeckestijn closed, and the municipality of Velsen decided that the fans should be relocated to the Museum of Bags and Purses as a prolongued loan. This relocation had to be done under protected conditions, and was once again entrusted to Picturae.

In September 2010, the municipality of Velsen donated the collection to the Royal Antiquarian Society. The collection is currently stored in the depot of the Rijksmuseum in Lelystad.

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