CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Wonen in Haagse stijl: Art Deco in Nederland

Interior design in The Hague: Art Deco in the Netherlands Exhibition: 4 December 2004 - 6 March 2005

A.D. Copier (1901-1991), Six orb-shaped vases, designed in 1928, made by Glasfabriek Leerdam, h. 13.9 cm. Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
Photo: Erik and Petra Hesmerg.

Museum press release, 7 October 2004

During the years between the two world wars a luxurious and modern style of design emerged that was termed the Hague School. The style featured architectural forms, with the straight-sided, Cubist shapes of the furniture directly echoing those of contemporary buildings. Important influences included Berlage’s idealism, traditional arts and crafts, the interiors of Frank Lloyd Wright and the avant-garde ideas of De Stijl. The result was a modern, commercial style of design.

The focus of the Hague School was the city, with its wealthy clientele. The style emerged first and most clearly in furniture made by the firm of H. Pander en Zn. The company’s main designers were its head of design, H. Wouda, and his apprentices C. Alons and J. Brunott. But there were also other firms and designers in The Hague propagating a new style of interior design. My Home/Bas van Pelt and Toegepaste Kunst were two of the new interior design stores that opened in this period. Designers included Jan Lecointre, and Frits Spanjaard. The exhibition will also consider the role of the avant-garde in the nineteen twenties, focusing on architect Jan Wils. From 1925 onwards designers such as Jan Buijs and Willem Retera incorporated the pioneering ideas of De Stijl and Nieuwe Bouwen in their own work. In the nineteen thirties the debate on all these concepts of design led to the emergence of Bas van Pelt’s traditional arts and crafts and the international Art Deco style of Fer Semey and Emile Dubourcq.

Art Deco in The Hague – Interior design in The Hague during the interwar years occupies eleven rooms and shows some of the finest furniture and interiors of this period in The Hague. The items exhibited range from the costly and luxurious furniture and suites of Henk Wouda and Frits Spanjaard to simple oak furniture produced by C. Alons and J.C. Jansen for a broader market. The exhibition sheds light on themes such as the role of the avant-garde, idealism and commerce, and the rise of the furniture showroom. The Gemeentemuseum will be showing for the first time to
a broad public a number of complete suites designed by Jan Wils, Jan Lecointre, Bas van Pelt, Fer Semey and Henk Wouda.


The exhibition is accompanied by the publication De Haagse Stijl. Art deco in Nederland (010 Publishers, 144 pages) in which design historian Timo de Rijk discusses the major Dutch commercial interior and product designs of this period.
ISBN 90 6450 537 3