Untitled (1947) Han Rehm

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

After the bombing, the reconstruction of the city started during the war. The construction of the emergency theater started at the end of 1941, where the first performances started in January 1947 after completion. The emergency theater was originally intended to be used for twenty years, but was only demolished forty years later in 1987 and replaced by Quist's 'coffin'. These three reliefs made by artist Han Rehm were beautifully displayed in medallions in the middle of the façade of the emergency theater. The masks depict laughing, watching and crying at feelings evoked in the theater. They have been preserved and placed on a side wall of the new Schouwburg on the Schouwburgplein in 1988. The original setting of the masks was much more beautiful than the current one, but they are a reminder of the old building and are part of the early reconstruction, which was an important time for Rotterdam.

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About the artist

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

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