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 Jan Hoowij  (1907 - 1987)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: portrait, mod figure, landscape

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Ad Code: 4
By Jan  Hoowij in 1954
Jan Hoowij
© Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY See Details
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information courtesy of the Holsboer Family, who own a portrait of Dr. H.B. Holsboer, knighted an officer of the royal court of Orange Nassau, seated at desk. (oil on canvas: 90,5 x 96 cm, signed upper left: "hoowij 1939". )
This painting was commissioned by the municipal council of the city of Enschede in the district of Twenthe at the occasion of the fifth lustrum and the simultaneous retirement of Dr. Holsboer.  Dr H.B. Holsboer was the founder and first rector of the higher textiles college (Hogere Textil School) in Enschede, the Netherlands. The painting has always been displayed in the school's boardroom until the late eighties when the school was converted Subsequently the painting passed ownership to his grandson and  H.B. Holsboer (1948) of "Corversbosch" in Hilversum, the Netherlands.

Jan H. Hoowij (born1907) actually emigrated to the USA during or after the 2nd World War.  After leaving occupied Holland in 1939, he lived in London where he illustrated books of several well known Dutch authors, including books by J.H. Huizinga and different children's books.  The "Tom, Dick en Harry" book dealing with the occupation and how to deal with the liberation forces... became famous not in the least because of its illustrations.  In his Dutch period Hoowij has been mentor to many a young painter that attended the Royal Academy of Fine and Applied Arts in the Hague.  After Hoowij emigrated to the USA, at first he must have worked on the East Coast (New York?) before settling in California (Encino).

In 1961 he was asked to portrait the then mayor of Los Angeles Norris Poulson.  The composition of this painting much resembles the earlier portrait of Dr. H. B. Holsboer in 1939.  After this episode, Hoowij seems to have developed his style more towards explicit modern art painting (orator, driftwood...).  His works of art are displayed in the large museums around the world.  The biografy written by Otto van Rees and published by terra:  "Mutual Portrait..."  was described as a an alternative autobiography.  Hoowij became a (documented) a.l.s. patient who lived a record 12 years after being diagnosed.  He died in the late 90-ies.


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