Koos Speenhoff (1968) Adri Blok

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Koos Speenhoff (1869 - 1945) was a poet, draftsman and singer. Artist Adri Blok 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 both mocking songs and lofty pieces in literary magazines. Speenhoff experienced glory years during the 1920s. But when his statue was placed in the 1960s, protests came from resistance circles, because Speenhoff's blazon was not entirely immaculate. Although he had helped Jews during the Second World War, he also wrote nationalistic texts about the "Dietse Volk" - dubious according to some, meant to be innocent by others. Koos Speenhoff died before the liberation in 1945 during a bombing of the Allies in The Hague. The Rotterdam Art Foundation donated this bronze portrait image of Speenhoff to the cabaret of Tom Manders, better known as 'Dorus'. On 22 June 1968 the statue was unveiled on Mauritsstraat, where the Manders cabaret was located. Unfortunately, the cabaret in 1970 ceased to exist, so that the statue was moved to the east side of the Schouwburgplein in January 1972. There it had to give way due to the redesign of the square. Since then, he has stood on the Oude Binnenweg opposite Van Gennep bookstore, who received the statue as a gift in honor of their 20 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 received her education 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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