GORINCHEM - Mayor Ridder Van Rappard handedly seems to have caused a kunstrel in the quiet town of Gorinchem. He left this morning, a few hours before the opening, the works of artist Wil Ferwerda (23) from city auditorium De Nieuwe Doelen away. The trick would be "horrible and lewd '. According to the artist, the "naturalistic work", with lots of nudity.

Nevertheless, yet the gap continued, Only the walls were empty. It was too late to call off all attendees, the excuse.

The Rotterdam painter and critic Peter Lust welcomed everyone. Then the whole group went to the studio of Ferwerda, a declared uninhabitable house on the Blue Torenstraat. There Begeer gave an analysis of the work of Ferwerda.


The decision to remove the artwork was taken by the so-called board of regents, the board of The New Targets. That college is the chairman of Rappard. Alderman Cor Round is in this college.

Round told that "the young visitor who innocently exhibition would enter should not confront this work. For that reason the work last night, when in town auditorium was a cabaret show, temporarily removed to go back then.

This morning the college came together. It was decided that the exhibition of Ferwerda went too far. Van Rappard described the exhibition in Het Vrije Volk as "most horrible, lewd, lame and unnecessarily offensive '.

"One and all dirt and filth. It is my view gekoketteerd with the gutter; if we do not take positive assertion, the world perished from the same work and people "

(Mayor Knight Rappard Gorinchem, Trouw, 08-02-1965)

"Ferwerda should paint what he wants, but not in this way"

(Mayor Knight Rappard Gorinchem, Het Vrije Volk, 08-02-1965)

Van Rappard is himself the son of a sculptor. A previous exhibition of Ferwerda De Nieuwe Doelen was able to go ahead. Van Rappard because "his work was still unrecognizable, innocent humbug "was. But Ferwerda naturalistic side beaten in, it goes too far, find the mayor.

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Ferwerda arrived this morning at De Nieuwe Doelen when the college was busy watching the art. He was kept out, until the Board had taken a decision. Then he got, without giving a reason, ordered to pack his works again and bring.

Ferwerda first refused to remove the artwork. But after he was ordered by the chief of police to remove his work, he still tack. All artwork went on a cart, back to his studio. He was not angry, but regretted above all that the decision was taken so late. For the exhibition were made charges, such as sending invitations.

"No sense of art '

Lust was sharp in his response to the action of the mayor. Especially the criticism of Van Rappard was against the sore spot of the critic.

"These designations remind us of the days of Hitler, when modern art by him and his loved banned. He allows that he has no sense of art. And we already knew. Ferwerda is a 23 year old gifted painter, who violently moved commitment to bear witness to the needs of his fellow man. "

(Piet Desire, Het Vrije Volk, 08-02-1965)

According Ferwerda himself says that no erotic stimulus emanates from his work. "I show the people who are out of fear, the world, want to break free ", He explains to Het Vrije Volk. "I come up against the oppressive dogmas of this society. Ze hebben met mijn werk gedaan, What this says work properly. "

It does not appear that the prohibition of Ridder van Rappard also has negative consequences for the young painter. He is talking about the possibility to exhibit in Rotterdam and Dordrecht. Those talks were at an advanced stage.

Hoe ging het verder?

If the ban is picked up by Mayor Knight Rappard nationwide by the media kunstrel is complete.

Ferwerda goes a step further by going to court. He accused the mayor of libel and insult. It then turns to statements such as "a charlatan in a moral sense" and that "Ferwerda is a profiteer who graduated from the academy in Rotterdam. From Rappard is ultimately not prosecuted, Refusing the prosecutor.

Riot does provide a boost to the career of Ferwerda. After an exhibition in Dordrecht follow the highest: an exhibition in Amsterdam.

shares Ferwerda Gorinchem is not everyone. On one of the walls in the town of Gorinchem written text: "Ferweda is crazy". The misspelling of the name suggests that the author is not a big connoisseur.

Ferwerda and Van Rappard would never be friends. When the artist three years later (1968) moved to Dordrecht he did one last salute to the mayor Gorinchemse (see photo below).

The above article is part of the series about the History Month 2018. The theme of this year's Uprising. This story tries a rebellious artist to break certain taboos. The mayor will then rebelled and delivers quite a riot on.


Het Vrije Volk – 08-02-1965 – Attendees at exhibition in Gorkum see empty walls

Het Parool – 08-02-1965 – Gorkum took offense

Trouw – 08-02-1965 – Gorkum: Painter must clear field

Het Vrije Volk – 09-02-1965 – Ferwerda seeks salvation in Dordrecht and Rotterdam

RTV Rijnmond – 23-09-2015 – Vergeten Verhalen – De Gorinchemse kunstrel

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 215