Armchair for Til Brugman

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, c. 1919, BK-2010-1

No Dutch piece of furniture has been acclaimed as much as this armchair, designed around 1918 by Gerrit Rietveld. In its red and blue colours - first applied around 1924 - the chair became an international design icon. In fact Rietveld’s small furniture workshop in Utrecht supplied the chair in…

FK 23 Bantam

Frits Koolhoven, 1918, NG-2011-1

The F.K. 23 Bantam was developed in 1917 by Dutch aviation pioneer Frederick Koolhoven, then working as chief designer at British Aerial Transport Company. The biplane was intended as a fighter for the nascent Royal Air Force in the First World War. This craft was shown in 1919 at the First Aviation…

Square Man

Karel Appel, 1951, painting, SK-A-5002

The square man squeezes with difficulty into this square canvas. He seems to squint slightly with his red and green eyes and his blue mouth gapes open. The head is too big, the body is too small, and the arms and legs are too short, yet with his fiercely coloured body and his ponderous genitals, he…

Dish Relief

Jan Schoonhoven, 1963, SK-A-5007

Although by the 1960s, artist Jan J. Schoonhoven was celebrated worldwide, he continued to work full-time for the Dutch Post Office (PTT). At first he used to make his characteristic white reliefs of squares and rectangles at night, on the kitchen table. Occasionally he tried other shapes. He showed…

Eight Stacked Beams

Carel Visser, 1964, BK-2008-4

The eight massive planks that form this abstract sculpture are not stacked in precise symmetry. Each pair of planks is slightly further to the side. It all appears quite natural, yet the stack is impossible to balance. So the construction is a crucial element. In fact there is a seam along all the…

Driedelig theeservies

Firma Hoeker & Zoon, 1903, tea service, BK-1973-158