This year the firm Gispen celebrates its 100th anniversary. Willem Hendrik Gispen (1890 - 1981) opened a small smithy in 1916 on the Coolsingel, one of the main streets of Rotterdam. He soon gained a reputation for his ornamental ironwork, furniture and lamps, becoming the Dutch industrial designer we know today. On the 9th of October a special Gispen Day will take place, organized by Het Nieuwe Instituut and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.
At the Sonneveld House, Ad van den Bruinhorst, gallery owner at Van den Bruinhorst, will elaborate on the lost and found salon set which was made by H.W. Gispen in 1932. The salon set was returned to the Sonneveld House on the 10th of September of this year. Ad van Bruinhorst will be present at the Sonneveld House for an informal presentation between 12:00 - 13:00 and 16:00 - 17:00.
A panel of experts will be available at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, to judge any Gispen objects visitors would like to have valued. In the afternoon free lectures on the designs of W.H. Gispen and the exhibition Gispen Specials are open for all who are interested. One of the speakers is Hetty Berens, the curator of the Sonneveld House. For more information about the lectures please check out the website of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.
- Het Nieuwe Instituut has acquired the original salon set which stood in the living room of the Sonneveld House and it has been restored. The furniture, two armchairs (one for a man, the other for a woman) and the salon table, were made specially by W.H. Gispen for the Sonneveld family. One of the armchairs and the salon table have returned to the Sonneveld House, the other is on exhibit at the Gispen Specials.
- The audiotour at the Sonneveld House not only describes how the Sonneveld family lived there, it also tells of the close collaboration between the architects Brinkman and Van der Vlugt. Brinkman and Van der Vlugt engaged the firm Gispen as advisor and supplier of almost all the furniture and the lamps in the house. The audiotour is free for visitors of the Sonneveld House.
- Het Nieuwe Instituut conserves the company archive of the firm Gispen (1916 - 1991) and offers an interesting peek into the history of the firm. The collection W.H.Gispen (1958 - 1969) for example is outstanding, due to the practically complete collection of all the company catalogues in the period 1925 - 1981. These archives can be consulted at the study centre at het Nieuwe Instituut or through the search portal.
- The website of the Sonneveld House also offers more stories of the family, the house and its interior. Special attention has been given to the Gispen furniture and the historical impact of the family's choice for his products.