Blind girl awakened by fairies (1953) Han Rehm

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About the artwork

Already in 1851 the association "Work organization for the needy blind" was founded. From 1892 onwards, this association was located in its own building, where blind bushes were used to make stoves, mats, baskets and brushes. This building was destroyed during the bombing of Rotterdam. On 19 March 1953 a new building was opened on Kipstraat 54. About 160 blind men and 35 blind women worked here. This new building is a design by the Rotterdam architectural firm Vermeer & Van Herwaarden, who were particularly active during the reconstruction period. It is a traditional design made of red brick and Norwegian granite and it contains sculpture by the Rotterdam artist Han Rehm. Rehm makes a large facing brick above the entrance. It is called Blind girl awakened by fairies; in the middle lies the blind girl, who is awakened by a fairy left and right. Twelve small Rehm bricks have also been placed on the façade in two rows of six bricks. In the top row, the stones symbolize man, wisdom, power, beauty, light and darkness. In the bottom row we see figures who help the blind in the street: a boy scout, a guide dog, a street boy, an intellectual and a nurse.

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About the artist

Artist Han Rehm (Rotterdam, 1908 - Rotterdam, 1970) studied art at Reading University in England and then studied drawing at the Rotterdam art academy for a short period. He then studied sculpture at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. In 1930 he also went on to do a follow-up sculpture in Vienna. In 1935 he settled in his own studio in Kralingen. Besides sculptor, he was active as a medalist. Among other things, he made a medal for Leiden University (1958). Han Rehm is best known for his work in Rotterdam The load carrier on the Kop van Zuid and the image of the Olympic athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen in Blijdorp.

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