The Summer of Jeanne Bieruma Oosting

Apr 6, 12:33


At Museum STEEL and Museum Henriette Polak

ALMEN/ZUTPHEN – Museum STAAL and Museum Henriette Polak, together with three other cultural institutions, are organizing ‘The Summer of Jeanne’. A series of exhibitions about the life and work of Jeanne Bieruma Oosting (1898-1994). The story is told in several parts, which complement and reinforce each other. Together they offer the visitor the complete story about her life and work. Each part can be seen in a different museum, namely in Museum Belvédère, the Nobilis Center for Printmaking, Museum Maassluis, Museum STAAL and Museum Henriette Polak.

Driven and passionate in her artistry; strong and vulnerable as a person – that was all Jeanne Bieruma Oosting and much more. She was one of those progressive women who fought for a free and independent life in the early 20th century.

Jeanne Oosting experienced almost all 20th-century modern art styles and movements in her almost 100-year life. Her work was a natural necessity of life. It was everything: ‘All my life and my thinking revolves around paintings. It’s my breath.’ She was always busy, living by her own rules and wasting no precious time. The statement ‘Don’t lose time’ was perfect for her. In her Paris period, she gained wings and her career took off. Jeanne Oosting especially made an international name for herself with her graphic work. She set the tone for a new vision of graphic art. And she did so with gusto, thanks to her experimental approach, excellent craftsmanship and daring themes.

Jeanne Bieruma Oosting – Beer for her friends – is worth being (re)discovered by many. The large retrospective in Museum Henriette Polak in Zutphen takes you through her long working and personal life, with works of art, photos and ego documents. This is possible for the first time in this form thanks to the research of Jolande Withuis, biographer of Jeanne Bieruma Oosting. The exhibition was created at her initiative and is based on her biography ‘Don’t lose time. Jeanne Bieruma Oosting 1898-1994‘ (published by The Busy Bee).

Jeanne Bieruma Oosting back in Almen
As a child, Jeanne Bieruma Oosting lived for years at De Cloese Castle near Lochem. In later life she lived alternately in Amsterdam and Almen. Close to Museum STAAL is ‘Het Elger’, Jeanne Oosting’s country house. In the summer she moves here from Amsterdam, where she enjoys the quiet village life, the friendly atmosphere and mentality of the village and the region. She participates in village life in her own way. She often paints and draws her immediate living environment, inside and out. The countless works with a view from her window on ‘Het Elger’ are typical. Precisely the alternation between city and village – commotion and tranquility – brought her harmony and formed a condition of life.

The emphasis at Museum STAAL is on the life and work of Jeanne Oosting in Almen. ‘Jeannes Zomer’ mainly shows work from private collections, as well as some museum loans. Jeanne’s paintings are given a ‘title’ by using, among other things, lines of poetry by the poet ACW Staring, the namesake of the museum. They describe the content or atmosphere of the displayed work.

What is special is that artist Philine van der Vegte was inspired by a work by Jeanne. The film showing the process of making a lithograph was made especially for this exhibition.

A summer full of activities
A visit to the exhibitions can easily be combined with one of the many activities. There are lectures, workshops and bike rides. ‘On the bike with Jeanne’ is a beautiful route from Museum STAAL in Almen to Museum Henriette Polak in Zutphen or vice versa, with interesting facts along the way and a visit to Jeanne’s grave in the Almense cemetery.

The exhibition can be seen from 9 April to 30 October 2022 at Museum STAAL, Dorpsstraat 39 in Almen. And from April 9 to August 21, 2022 at Museum Henriette Polak, ‘s Gravenhof 4 in Zutphen.

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