Ceramic Institute W.H. van Norden


For its objective of scientific research into the decorated, industrial earthenware of the Netherlands, the Ceramics Museum Goedewaagen has, over the past 20 years, entered into close cooperation with collectors and ceramics documentalists at home and abroad. In this way, a database of photographs and source documents has been built up, now comprising more than 150,000 digital files. To make this collection accessible in exhibitions, book publications and accompanying DVDs, the museum staff decided to establish a Ceramic Institute specifically for this scientific mission, named after Willem Hendrik van Norden (Amsterdam 1883 - Laren 1978), one of the most important Dutch ceramists of the 20th century.

Van Norden worked for a large number of factories, such as De Distel, the Dordtsche Kunst Potterij (D.K.P.), the Eerste Steenwijker Kunst-Aardewerk Fabriek (E.S.K.A.F.) and Goedewaagen. He also worked with models from the HAGA in Purmerend and the Amstelhoek in Amsterdam.

For the various factories, he also worked in the most diverse techniques, from serial ornamental earthenware to experimental unique pieces, from tiles to tile tableaux, from small sculptures to monumental sculptures and mosaics. In his rich ceramic career from 1898 to 1961, he distinguished himself by an unbridled passion for experimentation, but also by a craftsmanship praised by many designers to translate two-dimensional design into perfect ceramic execution. All the more reason to link the identity of the new institute to him.

The Ceramic Institute W.H. van Norden is currently working on fourteen projects. Collectors are requested to report relevant objects and documentation to the institute by e-mail. Confidentiality is of course guaranteed.