Liberation Monument (1950) Joan Bakker

photo BKOR archive
About the artwork

This Liberation Monument was made by sculptor Joan Bakker and municipal architect Jan Poot. It was unveiled on May 5, 1950 by the then mayor Oud. It consists of a red brick column interrupted by collars of French natural stone. Reliefs have been applied at eye level, representing dancing youth. The crown of the column is a lion, also made of French limestone. The text on the column reads: “May 5, 1945 - We Commemorate Our Cases“. The monument is in line with the historic part of Tuindorp Vreewijk, which is cultural heritage. The detailing of the houses matches the rich detailing on the monument. Shortly after the liberation, the Tuindorpers had collected 3.000 guilders for the creation of a memorial in gratitude for the fact that their neighborhood had been spared during the war years. Although an equally large amount was still missing, the municipality nevertheless commissioned Bakker en Poot to design this monument.

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About the artist

Joannes (Joan) Petrus Anthonius Maria Bakker (Oosterblokker, 1919 - 1999) attended the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam, after which he settled permanently in Rotterdam. He was, among others, a student of Herman Mees (1880 - 1964) and the husband of sculptor and ceramist Riet (Maria) Elias. He made it together with Jan Poot (architect at the Municipality of Rotterdam) Liberation Monument at the Brink in Vreewijk, Feijenoord. He designed ornaments for an office building on the Botersloot with great visual power and clear stonemasonry qualities. He could handle the hardest stone types, in which he applied reliefs with attention to the role of light on the different stone types. Several works by Joan Bakker can be found in Rotterdam.

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