Koos Speenhoff (1968) Adri Blok

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Koos Speenhoff (1869 – 1945) was a poet, draftsman and singer. Artist Adri Blok has depicted him with a guitar in his hand and dressed in a neat coat, as he appeared at his performances. He wrote songs, prose and poetry, and made mock songs as well as lofty pieces in literary monthly magazines. Speenhoff experienced heydays in the 1920s. But when his statue was placed in 1968, protests arose from resistance circles, because Speenhoff's coat of arms was not entirely spotless. Although he had helped Jews during the Second World War, he also wrote nationalistic texts about the 'Dietse Volk' – according to some dubious, according to others meant to be innocent. Koos Speenhoff died before the liberation in 1945 during an Allied bombing raid on The Hague. The Rotterdam Art Foundation donated this bronze portrait of Speenhoff to the cabaret of Tom Manders, better known as 'Dorus'. On June 22, 1968, the statue was unveiled on Mauritsstraat, where the Manders cabaret was located. Unfortunately, the cabaret ceased to exist in 1970, so that the statue was moved to the east side of the Schouwburgplein in January 1972. There it had to make way in connection with the redevelopment of the square. Since then he has been standing on the Oude Binnenweg opposite bookshop v/h Van Gennep, who received the statue as a gift in honor of their 20th anniversary. Koos Speenhoff fits nicely in the ensemble of bronze statues on and around the Lijnbaan and Oude Binnenweg.

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About the artist

Adriana Cornelia Blok (Rotterdam, 1919 - 1990) was born in Charlois and was educated at the academy of visual arts in Rotterdam. She was one of the first sculptors in the Netherlands to make concrete reliefs. There are several bronze statues of her in Rotterdam, such as Koos Speenhoff and the Drum bearing.

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