De Bijenkorf

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Charles Eames (1907—1978)



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(established 1913)

This imposing central Amsterdam department store was closely identified with the promotion of Modern design in the decades following the end of the First World War, a period in which traditional styles generally prevailed. Glass by the Leerdam manufactory, ceramics by the Sphinx Potteries, and textiles by De Ploeg were among the products sold. Such policies were more strongly pursued after the end of the Second World War when, from 1948, it put on a series of exhibitions devoted to modern furniture and furnishings under the slogan ‘Ons Huis Ons Thuis’ (One's House is One's Home). The chief furniture buyer, Martin Visser, promoted contemporary art and design through the store, including exhibitions of the Cobra Group of Artists in the furniture department. A number of Cobra artists, including Karl Appel, were commissioned to design textiles for the company. During the 1950s Bijenkorf promoted products by progressive companies such as Gispen and t'Spectrum and also familiarized Dutch consumers with the design work of Charles Eames and contemporary Scandinavians. This progressive retailing policy became less pronounced in succeeding decades.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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