Statues and Sculptures, Amsterdam
Favorite thing: While walking, I noticed many sculptures and, unfortunately, I don't know Dutch so I don't know why many of them exist. I was able to ask my "guide", Vince, about this one. It sits across the street from the Heineken Museum at the start of a biking path. It is a memorial to 30 Dutch men killed by Nazi occupiers on this spot in 1945.
Kokadorus, aka Meier Linnewiel was a famous Amsterdam street market merchant, selling cloths and other stuff at the Amstelveld square. He became famous from the nonsense sales talks he held, not only on the street markets but at parties and festivals too. He claimed to be the Merchant of Northern Venice.
Since 1977 there's a statue at the Amstelveld; his beloved monday selling location.
The Westergasfabriek is an expansion of the Westerpark - an addition on the grounds of what had been an old gas factory. There's lot of interesting stuff happening here - some innovative landscape design: recapturing nature, integrating the former industrial presence with the suggestion of the inevitable triumph of the natural world. Fun to wander through!
There are also several nice sculptural installations here, including this intriguing piece. Thanks to the creative sleuthing of VT member Pieter jan V, I was able to discover that it is the work of prominent Dutch artist Herman Makkink (b. 1937), who has had a long career at the forefront of contemporary sculpture. Makkink is probably best known for having created the artforms employed in Stanley Kubrick's film "A Clockwork Orange."
Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887) was a popular Dutch satirist of the 19th century. He was particularly known for his skewering of the middle classes in their racism and classism, and was a strong critic of Dutch imperialism in the East Indies (now Indonesia).
Dekker published his best known work, the novel "Max Havelaar," under the pseudonym Multatuli in 1860. The name is derived from Latin and either means "I have suffered much" or "I have witnessed much." I had never heard of Multatuli under my March 2008 visit to the Netherlands, but his name came up again only two weeks after my return in the context of the Indonesian novel "This Earth of Mankind" by P. A. Toer, which I was reading for my book group here in Michigan.
The Multatuli statue was created by contemporary Dutch artist Hans Bayens (b. 1924) It's located in a square overlooking the Singel Canal.
"Belle," a Memorial to the sex workers past and present of Amsterdam, stands in a proud pose in the little square just off the Oude Kerk, the "Oudekerksplein."
The accompanying marker notes the statue was dedicated in 2007, and is the work of contemporary sculptor Els Rijerse.
The slavery monument is placed in the Oosterpark in 2002; at that year is was 140 years ago the slavery was ended.
More info; see: Slavernij monument website
This interesting sculpture near the Portuguese Synagogue (in the Jewish quarter) commemorates the Dockworkers of Amsterdam (and other union workers) for their spontaneous strike action protesting the deportation of Jews in February 1941.
The deportations occurred stealthily and suddenly on the nights between February 22 and 23, 1941, during which 425 young Jewish males were rounded up and sent to Mauthausen concentration camp. The strike was a symbol of Dutch resistance to German racial and political policies in the occupied country. It began on the docks but soon spread to other areas of the economy: shipping, rail, municipal services. . .
The Dockworkers memorial is the work of sculptor Mari Andriessen, and was unveiled by Queen Juliana in 1952. A commemoration of the role of trade unions in the resistance has subsequently occurred every February 25. We were here (just off Waterlooplein) on March 4, which explains the profusion of flowers and bouquets at the base of the statue.
The monumental "De Bazel" structure (on the west side of Vizjelstraat at Kaisersgracht) continued the 19th and early 20th century tradition by which public buildings were adorned with significant artworks - making it a focus of interest for passing pedestrians and photographers.
The designers of this urban landmark employed some of the most important visual artists in the Low Countries, among them Lambertus Zijl, Hendrik van den Eijnde and Joseph Mendes da Costa (the last of whom was also responsible for the fascinating statues that adorn the De Utrecht building on Damrak.)
Theo Thijssen (1879-1943) was an activist writer involved in education and politics in late 19th early 20th century Amsterdam. He frequented the cafes in the Jordaan neighborhood when it is a little more seedy than it is today, but it's appropriate that his memorial sculpture is in from the Cafe Thijssen today!
There's a Thijssen museum nearby - note that the website is in Dutch:
Ferdinand Domela Niewenhaus (1846-1919) was the most prominent socialist in the Netherland during his lifetime, and a pioneer in the movement to improve the lives and conditions of the working class.
Originally a Lutheran preacher, he lost his faith in Christianity and came devote his considerable energies to working for the fledgling Marxist groups present in Amsterdam. He was the first socialist to be elected to the Dutch parliament, in the 1890s.
I like this memorial statue, in part because it almost seems like a work of folk art! It really does seem to come "from the spirit of the people," which is surely what Domela Nieuwenhaus would have wanted.
The Jewish resistance monument is located at Amstel 1 - 1011 PN AMsterdam.
It's designed by J.J. Glatt (ontwerp) and made under managemnet of ir. Emmanuel M. Glatt
De test at the monument is:
TER HERINNERING AAN HET VERZET
VAN DE JOODSE BURGERS
GEVALLEN IN 1940 - 1945
5700 - 5705
And at the side:
WAREN MIJN OGEN EEN BRON VAN TRANEN
DAN ZOU IK WENEN, DAG EN NACHT
OM DE GEVALLEN STRIJDERS
VAN MIJN DIERBAAR VOLK.
(NAAR JER. 8,23)
The Scheepsvaarthuis - or "Shipping House" - is one of the most important examples of early 20th century architecture in all of Holland. It well illustrates the way in which architects in the first decades of the 1900s attempted to fuse traditions of craft, art, and engineering through the creation of new building styles that would reflect the past while preparing for the future.
Intriguing and occasionally grotesque statues adorn the front doors of the Scheepsvaarthuis, at the corner of Prins Henrikkade and Binnenkant. They are the 20th century equivalent of medieval gargoyles, I suppose. Kind of Art Nouveau, I think.
The lead architect for the building was Johan van der Mey (1878-1949), although he had the assistance of others members of the "Amsterdam School" as well. Originally used as offices, a large portion of the block has been converted to a five-star luxury hotel, the "Hotel Amrath."
Prince Hendrik (1827-1879), sometimes called "the Navigator" was the younger brother of King William III. He dedicated his life to the Dutch navy, and died as an Admiral of the Fleet. Prins Hendrikkade is his main legacy.
The bust is just across the street from the impressive Scheepvaarthuis.
Favorite thing: Amsterdam's Lovely Boy - "Amsterdamse Lieverdje" - is located in the Spui market area in the center city. Originally created for a street fair, he proved to be so popular that he was cast in copper the following year, becoming a permanent resident of Amsterdam's streets. Carel Kneulman (1915-2008) was the sculptor.
The André Hazes statue is located at the Albert Cuyp street market, corner Albert Cuypstraat and Eerste Sweelinckstraat; about 2 blocks from where he was born in 1951 at the Gerard Doustraat 67-III.
Little André loved singing and in 1959 was scouted by Johnny Kraaykamp while singing at the Albert Cuyp market. He appeared in the TV program AVRO's weekendshow and made the record " Droomschip".
His real Dutch singing career started in 1976 when he was scouted by Willy Alberti and scored a first big hit with "Eenzame Kerst".
Other big hits were "Een beetje verliefd", " Bloed, zweet en tranen" and "Wij houden van Oranje".
He died in 2004.