NEW

RESEARCH

Biographical research into the life and work of the Surinamese artist Erwin de Vries

(b. 1929 in Paramaribo, d. 2018 in Paramaribo)  

 

I am currently doing biographical research into the life and work of the Surinamese artist Erwin de Vries.

As both a cultural historian and an art-lover I am fascinated by his colourful expressionist paintings, his powerful free-standing sculptures, and his striking sculptural portraits.

A typical feature of De Vries’s art is its association with the human figure. Sexuality became a recurring theme in his work.

It is a challenge for me to interpret his visual work in an art-history context. I also want to examine both his position as an artist and the reception of his art in the Netherlands, where he lived and worked from the 1950s to the early 1980s, and in his native country, the former Dutch colony of Suriname. I will also look at the attention paid to his work in other countries, such as Jamaica, Curaçao, Mexico and the USA. Another question is how, and to what extent, his Surinamese background – which reflects the country’s multiethnic and colonial history – contributed to the development of his work.

(Photograph of Amsterdam National Slavery Monument  [detail]: Geke Oosterhof)

 

RECENT

RESEARCH

Biography of the urban-planning architect Lotte Stam-Beese

(b. 1903 in Reisicht, d. 1988 in Krimpen aan den IJssel)

 

The result of a study I completed in November 2018 was a biography of the urban-planning architect Lotte Stam-Beese. Born as Lotte Beese, she studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau, worked as an architect in Germany, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and moved to the Netherlands in late 1934. She made a name for herself with her designs for modernist housing estates in Rotterdam. I did my research on her as an external PhD candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology. My dissertation was simultaneously published by Vantilt in Nijmegen. Both the dissertation and the book are entitled ‘Want de grond behoort ons allen toe’. Leven en werk van stedenbouwkundig architecte Lotte Stam-Beese (‘For the land belongs to all of us’: the life and work of the urban-planning architect Lotte Stam-Beese’). The main title was one of her favourite quotes. What she saw as a problem in many new postwar housing estates was the lack of contact between the residents and their immediate physical environment. Her designs for communal gardens were part of her attempt to compensate for this perceived ‘lack’.

In connection with this research I have written various articles about Lotte Stam-Beese in Dutch and foreign books and journals, taken part in symposiums and given lectures.

 

 

Selection from my previous research:

Kaatje ben je boven?

> Book and exhibition

 

Kaatje ben je boven? Leven en werk van Nederlandse dienstbodes 1900-1940, Nijmegen, 1985, written with Barbara Henkes as a follow-up to the exhibition Kaatje ben je boven? Van dienstbode tot hulp in de huishouding in Nederland van 1850 tot 1981 which I organised at Apeldoorn’s Marialust Historical Museum in 1981.

In mijn hoofd twee huizen

> Book and exhibition

 

In mijn hoofd twee huizen: een beeld van de tweede generatie Turken in Apeldoorn / Düşüncemde iki ev: Apeldoorn’daki ikinci kuşak Türklerden bir görüntü, Apeldoorn, 1986, written with Ingrid van Hoorn to mark the exhibition which we jointly organised at Apeldoorn’s Marialust Historical Museum in 1986.

Het Apeldoornsche Bosch

> Book and exhibition

 

Het Apeldoornsche Bosch: joodse psychiatrische in­richting, 1909-1943, Heerlen, 1989, to mark the exhibition which I organised at Apeldoorn’s Marialust Historical Museum in 1989. Following the exhibition and the publication, the artist Ralph Prins was asked to design a monument in an Apeldoorn park in memory of the Jewish patients who were deported along with part of their nursing staff and subsequently murdered in Auschwitz. The monument was unveiled by the Dutch queen mother Juliana on 23 April 1990.

Sporen van een koloniaal verleden

> Book and exhibition

 

Sporen van een koloniaal verleden: de komst van Indische Nederlanders naar Apeldoorn, Apeldoorn, 1990, written with Ingrid van Hoorn to mark the exhibition which we jointly organised at Apeldoorn’s Marialust Historical Museum in 1990.

Valse start

> Book and exhibition

 

Valse start: ervaringen van kinderen in en na de Tweede Wereldoorlog, Apeldoorn, 1993, written with Ingrid van Hoorn to mark the exhibition which we jointly organised at Apeldoorn’s Marialust Historical Museum in 1993.

Still marching

> Book and exhibition

 

Still marching: Canadese bevrijders van Apeldoorn: de oorlog en daarna / Canadian liberators of Apeldoorn: the war and its aftermath, Apeldoorn, 1995, to mark the exhibition I organised at Apeldoorn’s Marialust Historical Museum in 1995.

Agathe Wegerif-Gravestein (1867-1944)

> Unpublished thesis

 

Agathe Wegerif-Gravestein (1867-1944): sierkunstenares en schilderes. Thesis in cultural studies for the Dutch Open University, 2001.

Textielkunstenaressen art nouveau-art deco 1900-1930

> Book and exhibition

 

Textielkunstenaressen art nouveau – art deco 1900-1930 – Constance de Nerée tot Babberich –Agathe Wegerif – Bertha Bake – Christine van Zeegen – Ragnhild d’Ailly, Tilburg, 2005, written with Marjan Groot to mark the exhibition which we jointly organised at the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg in 2005.

minä perhonen – fashion & design

> Book and exhibition

 

minä perhonen – fashion & design, Tilburg, 2009, written with José Teunissen and Alain Debret to mark the exhibition which José Teunissen and I organised at the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg in 2009.

Weverij De Ploeg: ontwerpers aan het woord

> Book and exhibition

 

Weverij De Ploeg: ontwerpers aan het woord, Tilburg, 2012, written with Marjan Blomjous to mark the De Ploeg: sterke stoffen 1923-2012 exhibition which we jointly organised at the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg in 2012.

Hete harten, koele koppen.

Werken in de textielindustrie 1860-2004

> Semi-permanent exhibition

Hete harten, koele koppen, audiovisual semi-permanent exhibition presented at the Dutch Textile Museum from 2004 until 2011, in particular based on interviews I held with (former) workers in the Dutch textile industry.

Hanneke Oosterhof cultural historian

hoosterhof@home.nl

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