Lebensdaten: Amstelveen 1882 - 1975
Zu Leben und Werk: The artist Jan Boon was born on December 2, 1882 in the municipality of Nieuwer-Amstel, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. From 1894 to 1899 was a student op Philip Zilcken, after he had seen the young Jan Boon drawing in the streets. After Zilcken's death in 1899, for a short time he was a student of Jacob Maris. When Maris also died in 1899, he came in the studio of C. Koppenol. From 1898 to 1903 he also attended classes at the Royal Academy for Visual Arts in The Hague. There he was taught by Koppenol, Frits Jansen and Van IJzeren. After his studies hij worked in Amsterdam from 1906 to 1908, this was enabled by an annual grant from Queen Wilhelmina. After that he went to Rijswijk (near The Hague), where he lived for five years. He moved to Amerongen in the province of Utrecht in 1914. From 1919 to 1922 he lived in Blaricum, after that he went to Austria for a few years, where he lived near the Traunsee. After a short period in Brussels, Belgium he moved back to the Netherlands. He lived Bilthoven near Utrecht from 1930 until a few years before he died. Jan Boon continued working to a very high age. In the catalogue of the exhibition commemorating his 90th birthday it is said he was still active as an artist. Boon died in The Hague on April 7, 1975.
Together with artists such as A. Roland Holst and J.C. Bloem he belonged to the circle of friends around the poet Jan Greshoff, for whom he at least once, in 1927, made a woodcut illustrating a poem. According to a newspaper article, his friendship with Greshoff was also the reason for working a short period in Brussels, in the late 1920s. According to G.H. 's Gravesande, who published an article on Boon in the magazine Halcyon, Greshoff possessed a number of works of Jan Boon, among which a painting and lot of prints. 's Gravesande was also interested in Boon's works; he bought the painting from Greshoff at an auction in 1906. Other admirers were P.T.A. Swillens, an expert on Dutch prints, who also wrote a book on Boon, and the collector A. Bredius. Both gentlemen were portraid by Boon. Already in 1910, Bredius donated a collection of etchings by Boon to the Museum Boymans in Rotterdam.
A number of books were illustrated by Jan Boon with woodcuts, such as schoolbook with folk stories from the provinces of Utrecht and North-Holland. Boon made an (unknown number of) beautiful etchings, mainly of townscapes and animals. An important teacher in this field was Philip Zilcken. Boon himself taught etching to, among others, Hannie Tutein Nolthenius. At the beginning of the 20th century, possibly mainly in the period he worked in Amsterdam, the etchings by Boon were published by F. Buffa and sons. From the early 1930s, until at least 1960, he made a large number water colours of flowers and plants , as an assignment from a fertilizer factory, the Amsterdamsche Superfosfaatfabriek in Utrecht, later known as Albatros. Reproductions of these water colours were used for books and calenders on which the treatment of plants was explained. The message was of course that only the so-called Asef-fertilizer from this factory was to be used. The factory was a good client for Boon. The factory for example also enabled the printing of colour reproductions in the book by P.T.A. Swillens.
Museums and exhibitions
Many works by Jan Boon are stored in the Municipal Museum (Gemeentemuseum) in The Hague, to which the legacy of Boon was bequested. According to a article on Boon's death in the newspaper NRC Handelsblad 'a complete collection of his prints' is owned by the museum. Works by Boon are in the Netherlands in the collections of the Central Museum (Centraal Museum) in Utrecht, the Museum for Modern Arts (Museum voor Moderne Kunst) in Arnhem and the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo. According to a newspaper article in 1958 work by Boon was also to be found in the Prints Cabinet (Prentenkabinet) in Amsterdam, the Boymans Museum in Rotterdam, in the Kupferstich-Kabinet in Berlin, Germany and in Dresden. Usually the work is not included in permanent exhibitions in these museums. A few portraits of professors are permanently exhibited in the Academy Building (Academiegebouwd) of the Utrecht University. A number of smaller and larger exhibitions was dedicated to Jan Boon, among which:
- At Art Shop Gerbrands in Utrecht, until November 25, 1919.
- Again at Art Shop Gerbrands in Utrecht, October 1925.
- In the Art Hall d'Audretsch, Noordeinde 119, The Hague, October-November 1925. Children's portraits and other works.
- In the Royal Art Hall Kleykamp, Oude Scheveningseweg 17, The Hague, December 13, 1930 until January 3, 1931.
- In the New Music School in Zeist (near Utrecht), from November 23 until December 7, 1935.
- At Art Shop Ad. Donker, Rotterdam, until May 18, 1937. Paintings and portraits.
- In the exhibiotion hall of the International Cultural Centre Vondelpark, Amsterdam, around 1951.
- In the Utrecht Art Circle (Utrechtse Kring), Brigittenstraat 4 in Utrecht, from May 24 until June 15, 1958.
- In the Museum Bredius in The Hague, from December 1, 1972 until Januari 14, 1973, a short catalogue was published there.
- In the Municipal Museum (Gemeentemuseum) in The Hague, from Januari 31 until May 28, 2000.
According to a newspaper article in 1958, Boon also had an exhibition in Kampen.
Overview of his work
The following catalogue of Jan Boon's work is, without any doubt, far from complete. Also it is possible a work is included twice with different titles, mentioned in different sources, especially when no picture is available. A complete catalogue was, as far as I know, never composed or published. The list is composed using the following publications and some other sources, such as auction catalogues, newspaper articles and reproctions from works in private collections. Whoever has any additional information or corrections is kindly invited to send a message to the e-mail address mentioned at the top of this page.
's-Gravesande, G.H., .Jan Boon als graficus., in: Halcyon , 1942 no.9 (magazine)
Groeneveldt, mr. H., .Jan Boon als schilder., in Maandblad voor beeldende kunsten , 1932 no 10, p. 308-310 (magazine).
Swillens, P.T.A., Jan Boon, schilder, teekenaar, etser, houtsnijder , N.V. Leiter-Nypels, Maastricht, no year (according to catalogue of the Royal Library (KB) 1941).
Swillens, P.T.A., Nederland in de prentkunst (Heemschut reeks)
Brozkova, dr. L, Nederlandse grafiek na 1945 uit eigen bezit , Centraal Museum Utrecht 1972.
Signierte Holzschnitte von J. Boon
sonnenblumen nach 1910