W.H. Gispen first set up in business with a small metalworking studio in Rotterdam in 1916. Coming under the influence of the De Stijl group, he began to abandon the Arts and Crafts manner of his early work to become, by 1927, the leading manufacturer of Modernist furniture and fittings in The Netherlands. A good friend of the architect J.J.P. Oud, he also had close connections with many leading designers in Europe, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer, many of whose designs he manufactured under licence. Gispen also marketed the work of other Modernist designers. From 1926 he began to design the range of lamps that were sold, beginning in 1927, under the trade name of Giso-Lampen. A feature of these lamps was the use of a special kind of glass, dubbed ‘Giso glas’, which provided exceptionally even illumination. The avant-garde quality of Gispen’s products was expressed in their publicity material, such as this poster, which was invariably of a high standard.
W. H. Gispen (1890–1981)
Printers Kuhn and Zoon, Rotterdam
99 x 71cm
Museum no. E.13–1986
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