Dutch prose writer (1913 -1971)
Godfried Bomans had links with Haarlem
from his earliest years. Of Teylers
Museum, he wrote, ‘... No
mortal comes here. The last visitor dates from 4th September 1928, an event the
present director still remembers well.' But Bomans himself will certainly have
been a regular visitor to the Museum.
A well-known story about Bomans concerns the time he was playing the piano, but slightly off key. When a remark was made about this, he justified himself by saying that he was playing in the ‘31-tone style', a reference to the division of the keyboard according to Nicola Vicentino's 31-tone octave as proposed by Christaan Huygens, which naturally cannot be performed on a normal piano.
The only instrument built in this way in the Netherlands was in Teylers Museum: the 31-tone-organ of Adriaan Daniël Fokker, which was played once a month. Bomans would certainly have known about this.
In 1996, to mark the publication of the two first volumes of Boman's collected works, an exhibition highlighting his literary legacy was held in Teylers Museum's rare book room.