The hand of Pierre Kemp: Studies, sketches, works on paper


21 July 2017 was the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the poet Pierre Kemp (1886-1967), in Wyck-Maastricht. Pierre Kemp, who received various awards for his poetry, was one of the great Dutch poets of the twentieth century. He also had a gift for drawing and painting, and his work is part of the Bonnefanten's Limburg Core Collection.

The Bonnefanten is holding its first exhibition of Kemp's works on paper – mainly sketches and studies dating from the period 1905 to 1913. A special part of the exhibition is formed by three surviving sketchbooks from 1906–1907. One of the books will be published as a facsimile, with detailed notes by Wiel Kusters, who is also the guest curator of the exhibition.


Pierre Kemp
Pierre Kemp, who was awarded the Poetry Prize of the City of Amsterdam in 1954, the Constantijn Huygens Award in 1956 and the P.C. Hooft Award two years later, is one of the great names in twentieth-century Dutch poetry. In Kemp's younger years, however, it looked for a while as if he might seek his life fulfilment in painting.


Wiel Kusters
Wiel Kusters (1947) is a poet, essayist and honorary professor at Maastricht University.
In 2001, he created the exhibition 'Huisraad Onraad, oder die Dinge in der Umwelt der Fliege' for the Bonnefanten. In 2010, he published the biography of Pierre Kemp: 'Een leven' (Vantilt). His best-known recent works include 'In en onder het dorp. Mijnwerkersleven in Limburg' (Vantilt, 2012).

Pierre Kemp, Studie, meisje met bloem, 1913, foto Peter Cox

Pierre Kemp, Studie, meisje met bloem, 1913, foto Peter Cox