pictures (Anton Dommerholt, 2012) courtesy of
Erdee Media Groep
Above picture shows what in former days was a farm, located in the de Hoven neighborhood of Zutphen, a historical city along the river IJssel in the Netherlands.
The old town is on the right bank of the river. The de Hoven community, with the farm and (formerly) the grass lands, is on the left bank.
Life and works
Born in de Hoven, Herman Kip (1925-2006) all his life has lived on the farm.
This farm is a typical building since it lacks a rural appearance and looks more like an urban residential home. In Dutch this is called a stadsboerderij, something like an urban farm.
As a young man, Herman Kip had artistic ambitions, but his parents would have none of this. He was needed on the cattle farm, so that's where he stayed. He never got married and if there was a love affair in his youth, it failed.
He would not know of modernizing the property and never installed an interior toilet or waterworks. Herman would sleep in what in Dutch is called a bedstee, a bedstead, kind of an inbuilt wardrobe with a bed.
Until toady, the interior has remained as it was in 1860 when the farmhouse was constructed.
Herman Kip, painter
Around 1975, when he was in his early fifties, Herman Kip began expressing the passion he had since childhood. He began making paintings, working on canvas and cardboard. He also decorated the interior of the house and all objects around, such as wooden shoes, milk cans, cupboards, chairs, whatever.
Such a burst of creative energy one sees more often in people, who in their early years could not follow their passion. This blog has many examples, such as Enni Id (Finland) and Bonaria Manca (Italy)
Since he had no training at all in the use of material, he did not know much about technique, so the paint of his works can get lost. If necessary, volunteers who take care of the site after Kip passed away in 2006, will help to restore the artworks.
In the 1980's the neighborhood around the farm gradually became urbanized. The farm could not comply to the new EU rules and Herman Kip had to finish keeping cattle.
Currently the site is managed as a museum
In 2006 Kip became ill, had to be hospitalized and passed away.
He had arranged that after his death the farmhouse would be legated to the city of Zutphen.
The local authorities have allocated a budget to establish a small visitors center situated apart from the house. Visitors can watch an introductory video about Herman Kip and can buy two booklets with photographs of his works, i.e. his landscapes and his paintings of flowers.
* Website of the Museum Boer Kip (in dutch)
* G. Bors, M. Kooijman and A. Sanders, Boer Kip. Schilder (Diepenmaat Uitgeverij, 2006, ISBN 978-90-78115-11-4). One can browse this book (a lot of pictures!).
* Article in Wikipedia
first published dec 2009, last revised jan 2020
Oude Touwbaan 24-26
de Hoven, Zutphen, Netherlands
open on Saturdays and Sundays, 13-17 hrs, may-sept