The community workers (1941) Koos van Vlijmen

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

The community workers were made by Koos van Vlijmen in 1940 during the war and were added to the emergency stores for the post office on Coolsingel. Placed on columns that were over 2 meters high, on either side of a passage that connected the emergency shopping street to the Laurenskerk via a bare plain, they seemed to function as gatekeepers. As the name suggests, they symbolize the building of the city after the bombing of Rotterdam and thus represent the Rotterdam 'workers' ethos'. The community workers are two standing artisans; one with a hammer in hand and one with a saw and pincers. With their tools they look like proud, sturdy workers; they are broad-shouldered and look forward with courage. The cement of the statues is smoothly polished and painted gray / white. The images were later moved to a shopping center in Pendrecht. They were unveiled there on Construction Day 18 May 1956.

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About the artist

Koos van Vlijmen (Rotterdam, 1909 - 1989) was a sculptor and graphic artist. He was part of 'The Circle of Visual Artists R33', an association of visual artists founded in 1933 Rotterdam. Other members of R33 were Henk Chabot, Dolf Henkes, Marius Richters and Piet van Stuivenberg.