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 outside Zutphen, a historical dutch city along the river IJssel. 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) has lived all his life on the farm, 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 modernisering 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.
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 will currently help to restore the artworks.
In the1980'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.
The site nowadays is a museum
Before he became ill and had to be hospitalized, Kip 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 centre situated apart from the house. Visitors can watch an introductory video about Herman Kip and can buy two booklets with photograpgs of Kip's works, i.e. his landscapes and his paintings of flowers.
* Website of the Museum Boer Kip (in dutch)
* G.Bors, M. Kooijman & A. Sanders, Boer Kip. Schilder (Diepenmaat Uitgeverij, 2006, ISBN 978-90-78115-11-4). One can browse this book (a lot of pictures!).
first published dec 2009, revised june 2012, oct 2014
Oude Touwbaan 24-26
de Hoven, Zutphen, NL
open on saturdays and sundays, 13-16 hrs, july-sept