Courier (1959) Wessel Couzijn

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

This bronze sculpture on the facade of the Slaakhuys was made by Prix de Rome winner Wessel Couzijn, an important Dutch artist. The Slaakhuys was built between 1952 and 1954 as an important part of the reconstruction. It was designed by architect Jo Vegter, who was Chief Government Architect from 1958 to 1971. The Slaakhuys was built for De Arbeiderspers publishing house and thus became the office of the newspaper Het Vrije Volk. This bronze sculpture was given the title Courier. It can be seen as 'a courier in a hurry, symbol of the news-carrier that is the newspaper'. It was a gift from the departments of the Labor Party, the NVV, the Women's Unions, the VARA and other cultural organizations of the socialist movement in South Holland, as well as from the staff, deliverers and agents of Het Free People. On Friday, June 5, 1959, the statue was unveiled by Mr JM van Poelje in the presence of the artist. In 1972 Het Vrije Volk moved to the center and several users followed in the building. In 1991, the building was used for several years by the Kralingen-Crooswijk district and after their departure it was squatted. It has been a national monument since 2010. Since 2018, hotel The Slaak has housed a supermarket.

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About the artist

Wessel Couzijn (Amsterdam, 1912 - Haarlem, 1984) was educated at the National Academy of Visual Arts in Amsterdam, where he was taught by Prof. Jan Bronner. Shortly after graduating in 1936, he won the Prix de Rome. In 1940 he fled to New York. In the XNUMXs he became known nationally and internationally. Two sculptures by his hand can be found in Rotterdam, namely Corporate Entity to the Weena and the work Courier on the case of the Slaakhuys near Oostplein.

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