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Holland in Vorm 1987

I remember it well. It was the first time i met with Jan van Capellen, the responsible person who had the same  function at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum as i had with the Gemeentemuseum at that time and we carried box after box with one of the heaviest catalogues ever produced by the combined (important) dutch museums. Within the project the Stedelijk Museum, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Arnhem Gemeentemuseum, Museum Boymans van Beuningen and Centraal Museum Utrecht all participated and all had a different approach and subject on dutch design. The overall design of posters and catalogues was executed by Anthon Beeke and Swip Stolk. Unfortunately the catalogue was at that time not the success the museums had hoped it would be , but now…. over 30 years later, it is a sought after collectable catalogue. One that inspires and was at the start of the dutch design mouvement which is now collected all over the world. Catalogue and exhibition posters are available at www.ftn-books.com

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Martin Visser ( 1922-2009 )

Famous for his dutch designs. Especially his Martin Visser couch is a design classic, but Visser was so much more than a designer. Martin Visser build one of the most important private art collections in the world. Specializing in die Neue Wilden and Minimal art, his collection was after his death on the wish list of all the major and  important museums in the Netherlands. He was one of the first to collect Cobra, He recognized the importance of Keith Haring and was one of the first to collect Kiefer at a large scale. Visser’s life was art and the House Visser was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and the adjustments to the house done by Aldo van Eyck.

What is more to say about him.., He worked together with the greats in dutch design like Kho Liang Ie and Wim Crouwel. He knew all the great german painters from the eighties and conceptual art and land art had no mysteries to him. Visser was a force in the dutch art world and the Kroller Muller MUseum can show why he was such an important collector because they received the gift of 400 works from the Martin Visser collection. www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications on the Martin Visser collection.

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Dick Elffers (1910-1990)

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Dick Elffers is one of the great dutch designers from last century. If you compare his works , they best can be compared with the designs by Willem Sandberg. Colorful designs and sometimes they look torn figures like the ones Sandberg uses. If ever there is a combination which is known outside the Netherlands it is the designs he made for the HOLLAND FESTIVAL.

These posters are highly recognizable as Elffers designs and are among the best that are published in the Netherlands in the last century. Perhaps not as well know as Sandberg and Crouwel, but certainly very important as a designer and quintessential for the ducth design mouvement that followed the 50’s from last century.

Of course www.ftn-books.com has some great Dick Elffers titles in its inventory

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Willem Hendrik Gispen (1890-1981)

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Sometimes when you search on the large WWW and try to find some information on an artist or subject it is hard to find a site with a good clean design, filled with sensible information and a joy to visit. Of course you must first look at www.ftn-books.com for books on Gispen, but after you have done just that…. please visit http://www.whgispen.nl

This site gives the best possible insight in Gispen and his works, unfortunately only in dutch, but the designs speak for themselves. Gispen is one of the true inventors of dutch design, being one of the first to design furniture out of tubular frames and making them suitable for offices and home interiors. The result is that many dutch families know of Gispen, because they lived their lives among Gispen furniture, but never knew the story of its designer. Please visit the Gispen site and do not forget that www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on Gispen.

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Kho Liang Ie ( 1927-1975) and dutch design

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It was the late 50’s and early sixties that a new generation of dutch designers stood up and almost all of them have been of great influence on corporate, furniture and book design all over the world. Kho LIang Ie was one of them. Less known than Sandberg and Crouwel , but still one who’s influence on design is still there. As i understand Pastoe is still making his couch C653, but not only furniture was designed by Kho Lian Ie.

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He designed complete exhibitions and ofcourse some beautiful catalogues  of which some are available at www.ftn-books.com

To get a good idea of the importance of Kho Liang Ie, visit his website on which is explained in an excellent way the project which he was responsible for and for which he made some great designs. http://www.kholiangie.com

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Seven of the items from the above picture are available at www.ftn-books.com