Jan van Eden|
family tree back to the 16th century
On the 16th born in Voorburg, The
Netherlands, on 16th March. The first son from the mariage of the schoolteacher
Guurtje Bolding (Wormerveer, 1910-) and
the civil servant
Cornelis van Eden (Krommenie 1909-).
On March 16, Mr. and Mrs. VAN
EDEN-BOLDING were pleased to announce the birth of their firstborn JAN
GERRIT, temporary address: St. Antoniushove, Oosteinde Voorburg. Half the
world was very impressed and the parents were congratulated by many. My
grandfather Willem Bolding, who lives in Heiloo, was informed by telephone.
He immediately sent his wife Antje Goedhart with congratulations and a
letter. He says, among other things, "When you have full confidence in God's
actions, you will certainly be given the strength to watch and work for the
youngest born; a full ancestor of the Eden family - Jan Gerrit. Of course a
lot is coming in these days financial costs, we thought we could share in
this and put an amount of money in this envelope. " Grandfather Jan Gerrit
van Eden and his wife Anna Waagmeester sent their congratulations by Express
and came to visit Voorburg that same week. There were congratulations from
the pedagogue Prof. Martien Langeveld with the remark that a birth is at the
same time giving up and taking possession and he writes "that parenting
assumes a disinterestedness of a whole phase of life and that marriage and
child education are the two greatest cultural-creating powers in the human
There are also congratulatory letters reminding us of the war: "We have had
to endure a severe ordeal in recent months. On January 26, we were told that
we had to leave our home within three days and the Germans moved in it. ,
Our belongings spread over eight different addresses. My library, carefully
arranged and ordered, fragmented and almost inaccessible for me. Myself
under the care of very sweet people. "In another letter from Aunt Trein and
Uncle Jan from Alkmaar the following was stated with regard to on the
situation in 1942: "How did you get on with the cold, did you get or do you
now receive extra rations of fuel and food. We have been almost without fuel
for a day, but we received a coupon from the neighbors Bruin,of which we
have already used more than a week, so it has already largely been burned,
but now again we have the announcement of an other ration, but the coal
merchant would supply only half of that to help his customers as much as
possible, up till now we have not received anything.
Our Mayor v. Kinschot has already been fired and 400 civilians have to keep
watch for 2 hours at night because an electricity cable has been cut, for
which NLG 25,000 and NLG 50,000 have already been fined and now we will
probably have to pay NLG 100,000 for the latter case. So we will have
to make a lot of sacrifices. In the same letter, Aunt Trein promises to make
a jacket and a cap for the little one and hopes that this can win the
approval of the parents. From the staff of the Central Bureau of Statistics,
where my father held the position of chief of the department for education
statistics, there was a very varied bouquet of flowers that my mother kept
with her until the last day of her hospital stay.
My father informed the staff that by a fortunate circumstance, my mother
would have the opportunity on April 7 to entertain the staff with tea and
cakes, adding that rusk with "mice" [mice were rose or blue coloured grains
of sweet anise] was an unattainable treat.
Finally my parents received a 'Herzlichen Gluckwunsch' from the
Tekath-Fungerlings family from Oberhausen. My father had met them during his
work for a Dutch employment office there, a few years before the war broke
out. The envelope had been censored by the " Wehrmacht" , opened and an
annex was seized. Moreover, I now see that the stamp with an image of Hitler
was pasted upside down on the envelope, would that
be a coincidence ?
Myself in the crib, watching a crocheted wool or cotton-filled ball hanging down
from the hood by a string. Perhaps this is the origin of the ball-shaped objects
that appear in my paintings in the seventies in a similar perspective. Now that
I start to pay attention, many situations from my earliest childhood
unconsciously return in my paintings.
In a letter of 25th October to Lena and Jan Goedhart
in Wormerveer, my mother thanked for a shipment of apples [Goudreinet] and
then continued with a comment about me: "It will be a real bad boy,
scrambling that he does, it is just terrible. The playpen is now gone, he
climbed over over the railing, while his feet were still tied together. Kees
has now turned a screw in the middle of the room floor, a rope on it, and
Hummel [that's me] is standing there tied up in the morning. Everything out
of his reach, except the windows and Boy [the dog] He is having a good time
and at least I have my hands free It made me desperate, I had to keep an eye
on him constantly, and talking to him or beating him, he doesn't care yet
Whether it's because of Boy that he gets so rowdy, I don't know… Boy is a
loyal buddy to him,they are always looking for each other and Jan Gerrit can
do anything with him.
When Boy is sleeping peacefully in his chair, JG puts a footstool on top of
him and stands on it himself. Boy gives a snarl, but you never have to worry
that he will bite him. Reading this I remember a story from my mother that
she once, upon entering the living room, on the other side of the window she
saw me standing, this is on the windowsill on the outside, now it was not
that high, a first floor, but still! The tendency to pile things up is
probably a very universal human trait, but I am very aware of it and I
still use it often in compositions of my paintings.
- 1943 My family and my mother Guus in particular had something with numbers
and seeing my pram on the picture, it reminds me of the eventuality that it
was used four times, exclusively for babies born on the 16th of March. For
me and three years later for my sister (both of us born on the 16th March).
One or two years later it was lend to our housekeeper Miep for her
baby born on a 16th of March. Scarce as these goods were in the 50ties the
pram was stored and when my niece
had her first born son she used the same pram once again. Piet Glijnis was
born on the 16th of March 1952.
- 1943 van Duvenvoordelaan 60, Voorburg
De eerste stappen met mijn moeder
In the last months of 1944 or in the beginning of
1945, my father was ordered by order of the German armed forces to report
for the labor deployment in Germany. My father, like most men in the Van
Duvenvoordelaan, refused, and on the offending day only one or two men stood
by the street to be picked up. So my father was forced to go into hiding,
and a shelter had to be found. We had two en-suite rooms in Voorburg with a
stained glass sliding door in between with a cupboard next to the sliding
door and above the sliding doors there was a space that was only accessible
from the side in the top part of this cupboard. During possible raids and
house searches, they took the planks out of the closet, so that my father
could scramble up and hide in the empty space above the sliding doors, after
which my mother would put the planks back. In the meantime, my mother always
had a plate of porridge to make it impossible for me to talk, because a
three-year-old could of course say the wrong things. In fact, only one
search was done and they had time to prepare. My mother tells me that a
friendly young German soldier came up the stairs and had a little
conversation with her, where my mother explained that my father was
traveling for work. Meanwhile, I was stuck in the red high chair painted
with Hindeloop's motif and she fed me with a spoonful of porridge. The
soldier looked at it and asked me "schmeckt das gut", to which I could not
answer. The soldier took my mother's story as it came without further
searching the house. Our neighbour was painted in bed with a deadly,
contagious disease and that also ended well. The soldiers were not
interested in making it difficult for people.
(as it was they called me at the time) in Hindeloopen designs-decorated
children's chairs. Of course it was not during the search, but for at least
a year ago.
We lived under the firing range of the V2s that were
fired at London, they flew over with a howling sound and as long as you
heard that it was safe, but woe to the projectiles of which the rocket
February 28th Nearby strike
of an airborne bomb causes damage to the elderly home, but nobody of the
family is hurt. Damages such as a chipped frame of a large watercolour by
Cees Bolding were a constant reminder of the incident. The work in the
original damaged frame is hanging in my study at Singel 100. The effects,
particularly the shattered windows of the home caused a deep and lasting
impression on me. It transformed our home because my father used the
interior doors to barricade the broken windows.
Geoff, a collegue of mine with comparable work experience
in Zambia and Saudi Arabia, sent me a narrative of his adventures as a young
boy with the overflying V1 and V2 assault in the UK.
Birth of my sister Beatrijs, on
my third birthday, 16th March.
My father keeps a diary of events
my stay with family in
(Noorddijk, where I was evacuated because of food shortages at home:
March 1: Aunt Aagje writes, that Uncle
Wijbrand and Annie [his daughter] intend to come and get JG by bicycle,
because transfers must be considered too dangerous for the father himself
because of his age (under 40 years). There are still raids for labor in
Germany every day. Aunt A. writes that JG does not need to bring any coupons
and food because of the famine that prevails in the city.
March 10th: late at night, i.e. around 8 o'clock, Uncle W. and An arrive. They
first fear, when they see how all the houses on the street are blinded because
of the bomb hit on February 28, 10 meters away from our house, they will not
find anyone. The fear turns out to be unfounded: people live behind the shelves
and interior doors placed in front of the windows.
JG soon indicates that he does not feel like going
with that "man" and that "aunt"! When he hears that there is a cat in
Wormerveer, he is already reconciled with the plan.
The next morning the cat turns out to be the deciding
factor. JG wants to come along, is even somewhat afraid that the man and the
aunt will leave without him. After Uncle W. and An have taken a look at the
Bezuidenhoutkwartier, which was ravaged on the 3rd of March, around half
past nine they start the trip. JG dressed in an astrakhan jacket that his
mother had made from an old fur coat of her own. Uncle W. and An with their
cousin were accompanied to Voorschoten. JG takes a lot of goodbyes to say
goodbye to mom, Aunt Til (Zonnevijlle) [our neighbour] and his bosom friend
Henk. He keeps himself firm when his father returns. He does turn red, but incidentally he controls himself and
it goes on the back of the bike of uncle Wijbrand to the Zaan.
March 12: Annie writes that they arrived at Wormerveer at half past five the
previous day. JG does not show symptoms of homesickness. The first stop had been
at the pharmacist Happe in Oegstgeest, where JG received a cup of warm milk.
Then they visited a café in Hillegom. They also walked a lot, because it was
quite cold. Not bothered at all by acts of war. At the ferry in Buitenhuizen
they had to wait quite a long time, especially the rowing trip that followed JG
thought it was beautiful. He now slept until 8 am.
March 13: Aagje writes: "JG is doing well. He is very sweet, eats and sleeps
well. Although the Sunday trip went well, JG had arrived cold. He had not
immediately recognized Aunt Aagje, but was soon with her at home. At 7 o'clock
he was already in bed with a hot water bottle and had slept until 8 am. The next
afternoon back to bed and they had to awake him at 4 pm, because he did not wake
up of himself.
He plays with Rie Goedhart and Bets Oly.
March 15: Jan Goedhart writes: As far as we can tell here, JG is doing
well. Rie spends a lot of time with him and they get along well.
March 16: Grandma Bolding writes: JG is doing well, said An, and is very
sweet. He loves everything and is very happy when he gets something. I am
very curious about him. If he is used to something in Wormerveer, he will
come here. She also congratulates JG
Grandpa Bolding: Congratulations from me too on JG's birthday. You can be
firmly convinced that he, the birthday boy, is in good hands and will not
March 24: Aagje writes: JG is doing well. He is usually out all day with the
children of Oly, the farmer. Everything is of course equally beautiful there.
Sheep, lambs, cows, he is not afraid of anything. This morning he was in the
country with a horse and cart; that was nice of course. He has been dry for 3
nights. I think that if he only gets bread in the evening, it is going well. I
don't take him up at night. He eats well and likes everything. Tomorrow he will
go to Grandma van Eden. An will bring him in the morning and pick him up again
in the evening. Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Diet were here on his birthday, but he
didn't have much to say to them. Apparently they were too strange to him. Mother
asked if we came with Paschen and then they wanted to keep JG for a week. He is
silent with other people. Then he just laughs. And if you ask him if he wants to
go back home to Voorburg, he says "no, because all the windows are broken. If
they are made again, I will leave again." He calls his sister "Trijs". He thinks
she's in his bed now. Wijbrand adds: We have already experienced Jan Gerrits
strong caracter. Once he says "no", there is not much left to start with him. I
think it is best to not react, the last few days have been going well.
March 24: Karel van
Vals writes: We also congratulate you on JG's birthday, which I admire a few
times every week at the Prins family. "Admire" because he looks so cool.
March 26: Grandma
Bolding: The plan is that An and Wijbrand will bring JG with Easter for a
while. I have not seen him yet, because they thought it would be better that
he first stayed in Wormerveer to get used to it. He was doing his best and
was very sweet. They all think he's a nice child and he looks so good. The
food is getting a bit less, but not much. They know they have a boarder.
Grandpa: JG is well looked after, you can be assured of that.
March 27: Uncle Siem
Huig: We had Jan Gerrit visiting. He's a good guy!
March 27: Aunt Dien: We
are very curious about JG. We've heard a lot about him, but haven't seen him
yet. The plan now is that he will be taken to Mother with Paschen, and then
stay there for a week. This morning I asked to borrow the crib from Spruit.
We can use that, so it works out nicely. He is doing fine otherwise in
Wormerveer, they are not bothered by him. How lucky, hey, he can stay there
for a while, until you are fully regained.
March 27: Aunt Diet [in Krommenie]: On Sunday little JG was a guest with us.
What a cute boy that is. It's like a sun in the house. A naughty little guy. He
becomes just like his father used to be. he's full of pranks and banter, but
really funny. In the morning he watched the rabbits and played football with the
grandparents. In the afternoon we went to the Park, a lot of children with us,
so much fun. Jan Gerrit was sitting at the bottom of the car [my aunt's invalid
car, who had been paralyzed on both legs by paralysis of polio since she was 16]
and certainly did not want to off. He sat like a prince and enjoyed. Later he
played with Sieuwtje and when An Prins came to collect him at six, he did not
want to leave. I asked if they would bring him again, because I think it is such
a treasure. And for Pa and Moe, so nice too, he talks so nice, although he can
be weird too. He loved to say; "I'll kill your head" how did he get it? But if
you said: "Jan Gerrit, will you come another day? Then he said:" No, because
tomorrow I will go to my daddy. "He said:" Today my sister is sweet, but
tomorrow she will hit you on the head ".
March 30: Grandma
Bolding: Wijbrand was here this morning and said JG was fine. He had
been to Krommenie for a day on Sunday. Monday he was very tired, it must
have been quite busy for him. He plays outside all day with neighboring
children. Also with the children of Oly, of the farm. He had ad a cheese
sandwich there and an egg. So you see, he is being taken care of. If the
weather is fine with Easter, Aagje and Wijbrand come here with JG and the
plan is that he will stay. We already have the crib ready in our bedroom. He
comes to us and can occasionally visit Karel. It is certainly quiet, hey,
that he is not there. But you've got your hands full enough to care for the
baby. JG doesn't make much of it, he must of course see it first, then he
will love it.
April 1: Aunt Ma
Goedhart: I saw your Jan Gerrit at Wormerveer. What a beautiful boy that is.
He looked good and was quite content with Aunt Aagje.
April 4: Ma Prins: We
often see Jan Gerrit appear. Yesterday Aagje and Wijbrand went with him to
Heiloo. He is a sweet boy and he looks good.
April 5: Family Yff, Noordeinde Wormerveer; I often get your son to visit
with Aagje. He is a sweet little guy. He is as at home with Aunt Aagje as if
he belongs there and has his playmates nearby. A quiet idea for you and he
can stay there until the war is over.
April 8: Grandma Bolding: Jan Gerrit was brought here Tuesday, April 3, so
after Ester. They would bring him with Paschen, but because there was so
much wind, that was not possible.
He is doing well and is not at all strange here. He eats well and sleeps
well. In the afternoon he takes a nap of approx. 1 ½ hours. He plays a lot with Karel [Charles];
they can get along best. Karel feels the eldest and has to look after him.
He brought toys here and they play together. Jan Gerrit is very sweet. We are now fully experiencing him, so now we see how he is. He chats
everything and if he wants something, he says every time: Is that allowed?
Last night he was completely dry, but other nights it is usually wet. He is
happy with it himself, when he is dry, and can then go to bed with me. It is easy for him to leave home so well. He liked it with Aagje and
here again. He has seen Jan Willem, but he does not make much of it. He
says: He cannot walk! We thought he had grown up a lot. He looks good and he
is really heavy. They all think here that he resembles you, Guus [my mother]
but I think he also has something of the Van Edens in him. I think he will
stay with us for a few weeks and then go back to Wormerveer. When Karel and
JG are together, it is a busy couple. If it gets too bad, we send Karel away
again and JG is not that busy.
This week I went to the hairdresser Klopper with JG. He liked to come, but
when he had to sit on the chair, he didn't want to. Lots of screaming. But
the barber tied him with a belt and then he calmed down quickly. I held his
head and then it went well. He certainly understood that he couldn't win. It
looks much better, because his hair was getting so long. He now constantly
asks: must I go to the hairdresser?
April 8: Aunt Diet: JG hasn't been with us yet; we hope that he will be brought
again soon. I have not been there either, because such a child will not mind
whether you are visiting there and it is always the question whether I will meet
Aagje at home and it is too tiring. When JG is back with us, I go with him to
Diet Japies [a cousin married to
Klaas Bolding, brother of Cees]; he is also curious about him. Cees Bolding
always says he's a very nice boy. [Cees Bolding was deputy director of the
Royal Academy in The Hague in the 1950s, he painted in a traditional style
related to the Hague School. He was my first contact with the art world, also in
by an exhibition of Cees Bolding in 1997, reproduction of the painting
"Nettenboetsters", 1943. This painting was hanging in my elderly home, presently
with my brother.
April 10: Grandma Van Eden: 5 weeks ago Jan Gerrit was a guest here. It
is a sweet boy and now Father [my grandfather Jan Gerrit] has gone to
Knollendam and he is going back over Wormerveer to Wijbrand Prins to hear
whether he [JG] will come again for a day, because we see him very little.
We had hoped that Aagje or Annie would come with him, but she hasn't been
there yet. And for me to go walking is too far away. I came home very tired
on his birthday. You will also have a longing for him, but Guus, it might be
good for you, because it is not very easy at first, hey, you are weakened
from a delivery, and he seems quite a busy little guy. He already knows
quite a bit about what to say.
Grandpa Van Eden: Jan Gerrit is with Father and Mother Bolding from Tuesday
after Easter. He is a sweet boy (a real Dutch boy, you know). We would like
to have him for a few days, but Mother and Diet would have no rest when he
played on the road. So they don't dare. For one day it goes well and
especially on Sunday, as we can then devote ourselves entirely to him. When
he was here he had a good time. He was at ease immediately after his arrival
and he was sweet all day long. I think it will be a surprise when he sees
his sister Beatrijs.
April 11: Aagje: We did not go to Heiloo with Easter. That was
not possible: there was a terrible storm, it was a shame. The weather was pretty
good on Tuesdays after Easter, so we went. JG no longer knew grandpa and
grandma, but he was home soon. When I left he looked sad, but it went well right
away and he is still there at the moment. I heard that things are going well
together with Karel. Well, that is not so bad, because they are actually both
rather stubborn. I thought it was very strange that JG was gone again. We
will hear by tomorrow when we have to get him again. The last week that he was
here, he was dry all week, but with Easter he was soaking wet again, how crazy,
huh! He can stay here for a while. Kees [my father] cannot come here, of course
they don't feel like it at the moment with that shooting going on. We still have
food for him. He didn't eat as much as the first weeks. He was crazy about
porridge and meat was always his first question: Do we have meat? He once
or twice had an egg at Oly. Now, he likes that too.
April 11: Aagje: We did not go to Heiloo with the Easter. That was not
possible: there was a terrible storm, it was a shame. The weather was pretty
good on Tuesdays after Easter, so we went. JG no longer knew grandpa and
grandma, but he felt at home soon. When I left he looked sad, but it went
well right away and he is still there at the moment. I heard that things are
going well together with Karel. Well, that is not so bad, because they are
actually both quite stubborn. I thought it was very strange that JG was gone
again. Tomorrow we'll hear when we have to go and get him again. The last
week that he was here, he was dry all week, but with Easter he was again
soaking wet, how strange, isn't it! He can stay here for a while longer.
Kees [my father] cannot fetch him and for Wijbrand and An to bring
him back, of course they don't feel like doing that at the moment, with
those shelling incidents these days. We still have food for him. He didn't
eat as much as during the first few weeks. He was crazy about porridge and
meat was also always his first question: Do we have meat? He's had an
egg at the farm of Oly once or twice. Well, he likes that too.
April 15: Grandma Bolding: Jan Gerrit is currently taking his afternoon nap,
I'll stick to that. He did it with Aagje too and I believe he needs it. He eats
well, although not that much, but he does get a piece of meat and a little milk
from time to time. In the morning he plays with Karel every day, who comes to
collect him. In the afternoon I go out with him. He's been here for 14 days now.
We have agreed that they will come and get him again at the end of the week, I
think Friday. He is not troublesome, but sometimes he does
not want to do what we say and then you will not get it done from him. He then
says stubbornly: "no". But then he gets a few taps and cries for a while, but he
soon forgets. He is almost always dry at night. In the evening when we go to
bed, approx. half past nine, I let him pee and sometimes also at night. But at
night he is nearly allways dry. Then he comes to bed with me in the morning, he
loves that. Now, we are lucky with good weather and he is out a lot. Karel has
also brought him toys and is very kind to him. When I ask him about Voorburg, he sometimes says something
about it, but it doesn't make any difference. He is now starting to look a bit
at Jan Willem. He knows he has a sister and knows her name. Jan Gerrit is best and
feels at home everywhere. Don't worry about that.
April 19: Uncle Wijbrand: We got Jan Gerrit again yesterday afternoon, so he
is here again. Apparently it got a bit busy in Heiloo, although they had a good
time with him. The JG-Karel relationship was also good. There is nothing
special, but you would like to hear something from Jan Gerrit, I think. Aagje
may have more to say about this.
Aunt Aagje: JG looked happy when he came back here. He went home again, he said
and that was to the Noorddijk [home of the fam. Prins te Wormerveer]. So he
certainly feels quite at home here, although he will sometimes be reprimanded,
because we will not spoil him, you will not be bothered by that. He now walks
with a summer sweater and that blue cardigan at home. What are we having nice
weather, huh? It is full summer on the dike in the afternoon. He still eats
well. Just like 4 sandwiches and 1 or 2 in the morning with a plate of barley
malt. In the afternoon 2 servings with a plate of porridge. So that's fine. This
afternoon he had slept a long time until a quarter past four, but tonight I
went upstairs again at half past eight, as I thought I could hear him and
there he was lying on his stomach in front of our bed. I did not understand
what he was dealing with. But when I put him in bed again, he slept like
He has been
outside all day. Just eat for a moment and out again. Mostly across the street,
where they were fishing. He always whines for a stick with a string for fishing. Then he
certainly wants to get going, but we shall not let him.
April 22: Grandma Bolding: Last week on Wednesday Wijbrand
took JG from here again. He had been here for 16 days and it was very strange
when he left again. Especially the first evenings, when I no longer saw him in
his bed and did not have to help him at night. He has been very sweet and we
have experienced him completely in his ways. Of course, like all children, he
was sometimes naughty too, but it will soon pass with him; he had forgotten it
rapidly. Of course, it does cause a lot of worry if you have a child, and
especially if it has been entrusted to you. But it was fun too. He liked to go back to Wormerveer again, especially
because he was allowed to go on the bicycle. The weather was beautiful, he
played a lot with Karel here and it went well. When we asked if he shouldn't
go back to mom and dad, he used to say, "When the panes of glass are
he said to me so triumphantly: "and Henk [my Voorburg bosom friend] must sit
with the broken windows." At first I did not understand, but later I found out
what he said. He did kiss your portraits, which I showed him. And about Boy [the
dog of my parents who had to be given to a horticulturist in the Westland around
this time, to their great sorrow, because there was no food for him in Voorburg]
he said: "When mom is sad, I just sit on her lap. You can hear that
he has not forgotten his home yet. He looks good, only he has a lot of itching.
He then says that it comes from the fleas. I then just put some powder on it.
Nothing special otherwise. As far as playing is
concerned, it was very different from what he was used to, I think. In the
bushes, which were previously bushes in Tuindorp, many pits and holes have been
made. All children now play in this. JG and Karel were also there. They then
make a tank wall with water and naturally get quite dirty. Every evening I had
to wash his legs. But he loved it. In the morning, Karel always came to get him
and then they went out together. JG loves to pick flowers and then they had to
put them in a vase. Jan Willem is already very sweet, JG started to look at him
April 23: Aunt Diet: I sincerely hope that you will all be together again
next year. I find it unfortunate that little JG is still not home. He said
so sweetly the last time: "Now I will not come anymore, because tomorrow I
will go to my daddy". He would have liked that. We are so sorry we haven't
seen him again. Maybe he is still in Heiloo.
April 29: Grandma Bolding: I can imagine that you
would like to see Jan Gerrit again. Wijbrand was here on Friday and said
that JG was happy again when he came to Wormerveer. He was very sweet, so I
certainly would not have spoiled him, because I had received those orders
from Aagje. He was now playing with the neighborhood boys and by the farmer
on the land. It will be a real outdoor child and he will have to learn the
city manners again later. It is peeing outside and at night he is almost always dry. So
you see, he's coming back to you big.
My father's report ends here. I must have returned to Voorburg at the
beginning of May, after all, the liberation of the Netherlands was a fact, and
my father was free to come and take me home.
As Canadian soldiers [the Canadians had liberated The Hague and Voorburg]
dressed up, my boyfriend Henk Zonnevijlle and I took part in the costumed
parade of the liberation party. We were both dressed in
brown paper uniforms with a beret, after the model of the Canadians who
liberated Voorburg from the Germans.We were wrapped in brown wrapping
paper and I remember like the day of yesterday the crackling paper between
my legs when walking. I hated it and have had an aversion to dressing up all
my neighbor Henk Zonnevijlle (right) both dressed as Canadian soldiers for
the costumed parade during the liberation party.
[45 mei canadees
the street on wooden shoes, photographed by an anonymous street photographer.
[45 op klompen]
This year I went to the Montessorie kindergarten,
situated in a park with large beech trees on the river Vliet (Vreugd en
Rust). With other children from my neighborhood (van Duvenvoordelaan 60) we
went there on foot under the guidance of a different mother. Soon they
refused to take me into the group because when I crossed the Laan van Nieuw
Oostindie, at the time the road to Rotterdam with the busiest car traffic in
the Netherlands, I always stopped when the group ran to the other side,
because I wanted to do that under my own responsibility. When my mother then
wanted to take me by bike every day, I resisted and she could not put me on
the bicycle. So I ended up walking to school on my own every day! My mother
urged me every day to watch carefully when crossing the road and she says
she often sneaked after me to that busy motorway to look and make sure I was
safe. I enjoyed my daily trip to and from school.
Sometimes my mother came to pick me up from school and it happened that I
didn't want to come along and clung to one of the teacher's legs. My teacher
had dark medium long hair with bangs. I remember she was dressed entirely in
black and wore post-war quality black nylons and pumps with half-heels. All
my life I have been fascinated by black shoes and legs in nylons. My mother
then took me by appealing to my great sense of responsibility, she then
shouted that she thought her bicycle was stolen and I ran out to catch the
thief. I remember as the day of today how I clung to the legs of the teacher
of the Montessory kindergarten because, straight as I was, I did not want to
go home with my mother. I very physically remember her black nylon stockings
and lacquered black shoes. After that, I only remember nylon stockings
from the advertisements in women magazine Libelle that were stacked in the
attic, but that was already in my puberty.
Buiten schooltijd speelde ik met
de kinderen uit de buurt in het open veld met ruines tegenover ons huis dat daar
ontstaan was na de bominslag in het laatste oorlogsjaar.
In de strenge winter van dat jaar
zakte ik door het ijs in de plas die ontstaan was in het midden van de
bomkrater. Een buurman redde mij met gevaar voor eigen leven, door liggende op
planken naar mij toe te schuifelen en mij er uit te trekken.
Outside school I played with the children in the neighborhood in the open
field with ruins opposite our house that was created there after the bomb
hit in the last year of the war. With my bosom friend Henk I participated in
the costumed procession of the first memorial party after the liberation. We
were both dressed in brown paper uniforms with a beret, after the model of
the Canadians who liberated Voorburg from the Germans. I hated the crispy
paper suit to wear and I have never wanted to change since.
In the harsh winter of that year, I sank through the ice in the pool that
had formed in the center of the bomb crater. A neighbor saved me at the risk
of his own life, by shuffling towards me on a plank and pulling me out.
of the nursery school Vreugd en Rust (Google maps 2018), where I went
walking mostly all on my own on a daily basis
nursery school where I went from 1946 to 1947 , since 1989 beautifully
restored as a hotel restaurant. I remember the spacious playground with the
circular windows facade.
My sister Beatrijs was now big
enough to play outside and I had to take care of her, but I did not have much
patience with her and in no time I put her back on the stairs under the cry here
you have her again. The most fun was playing with water and mud in the open area
across the street. Bigger girls in the neighborhood took me everywhere to play
with me, nothing special happened but I found their attention fascinating. Once
when I was playing alone with a big rubber football, which I got from my "uncle"
Guus Bauer, a completely unknown and much older girl who happened to pass in the
street took this football from me and without thinking a moment I threw myself
at her and pulled her dress to shreds. Her parents complained later. Uncle Guus
was an old college friend of my father's who had gone to Indonesia to work for
the government. He had impressive big ears and was very tall. On his visits back
to the Netherlands he visited us and brought beautiful gifts, such as that big
Another incident that my father often related was when Martien Langeveld,
the later famous professor of Pedagogy at the University of Utrecht, gave me
a silver spoon. I returned this child-unfriendly gift directly to his head
and he gave me a great blow. This made me think, as small as I was, and
since then I hit children immediately, if I suspect they are naughty. I
usually didn't feel like going into town with my mother either, she promised
me candies, but my answer was that she would buy them anyway because she
liked them so much. My friend Boy the dog was no longer there, although we
still visited him regularly. Because it is good for children to have an
animal in the house, my mother had adopted a pussy, but I played all kinds
of irresponsible games with the poor beast. One day I had thrown it in the
stove and it had jumped around in the ashes for several hours. When it was
released by my mother it took off and we never saw him again.
op de step en JG met de rubber bal (cadeau van oom Guus)
Beatrijs on the step and JG with the rubber ball (gift from Uncle Guus) and
a sigar in my mouth.
[47 Voorburg-Beatrijs en JG
met rubber bal]
My father left the Central Bureau
of Statistics in The Hague and accepted a new job to set up a social association
for dock workers in Rotterdam. We moved to Navanderstraat 6 in Rotterdam on July
14, 1948, a much too small apartment, in what we think is a bad neighborhood. On
the same floor across the stairwell lived a nice woman who often stood in the
open door in her pink peinoir. She received sailors, my mother said. One day she
met a man in the stairwell who spoke to her and this turned out to have been a
former student of my mother, who was a teacher in the years before her marriage.
After our arrival in this neighborhood, I instantly joined the local street gang
and confirmed myself, with friends who wouldn't listen to me, by banging their
heads against the concrete and then they went home bleeding. Parents
constantly complained about my behavior. We also organized shoplifting just for
fun. I remember the shoplifting we committed with a few more kids of a number of
red painted ceramic candlesticks at Christmas time. We got caught and it was
quite a fuss. I also made trips through the city all by myself. I charted a
course on my compass, which I had received on my birthday, and after an hour or
so of walking in the same direction, I came back in the opposite direction.
My father took me with him on
small tugboats through the harbor and also to the annual dockworkers outing.
Men who were so drunk that they couldn't feel the bat the police used to
beat them, they just kept laying there in unauthorized places. There was
singing and a man dressed up as Neptune run around immersing some people to
baptize them in a ritual I did not understand, but the overall roughness did
leave me in awe. On the 1st of May I went with my father to PVDA [Labour
party] demonstrations and at Easter we searched for eggs together with the
Socialist youth. My Mother didn't like it and with election time she had to
be pressured to vote for the correct party.
I went to Dalton Public Elementary School. I obtained my swimming
diplomas A and B in the Sportfondsenbad. All this under gentle compulsion
from my mother, because I hated water for swimming. I often wet the swimming
trunks under a public pump to at least give the impression that I had been
to the pool. The diploma swimming at the end was fun, my parents gave me a
plastic model airplane as compensation for the misery I suffered. Now I also
remember the aquarium with two goldfish that my sister and I got from our
housekeeper (Kate) on our birthday. My father, who, as a true Dutchman,
thought that potatoes were about the best you could eat, threw a few crumbs
into the aquarium, on which the fish floated with their bellies up the next
morning, but we were not angry or sad.
Beatrijs en JG op Navanderstraat 6 te Rotterdam
[49 Navanderstraat nr 6 - 2]
Towards the end of the year, my
father got a new job as director of the national umbrella organization of child
In the summer my parents had
planned a working holiday for me. Our housekeeper Kate, who was of German
descent, took me to family of hers on an agricultural farm not far from the
Dutch border in Germany. It was a beautiful area of cornfields and the
farm was a striking building with a closed square courtyard, through which
you entered through an arched gate.
I must have stayed there for 4 or 5 weeks, obviously I didn't understand the
people at all as they only spoke German, but no problem, I enjoyed myself,
mostly accompanying the men in the field. I'll tell you one of my
adventures. One day we went out to collect the horses from their grazing
fields.The farmer asked me with gestures to take one of the horses
back home. After putting on the holster he handed me the end of the rope and
I walked homewards with the workhorse stepping behind me. For me the horse
seemed enormous and I was rather apprehensive, but nevermind. The rope I
held must have been half-inch thick, but it felt as a very thick mooring
rope in my 7 year old hands. On arriving at the farm I walked through the
gate onto the court that was paved with cobblestones. I heard his steps
klok..., klok... behind me and I hardly dared to look back, so I kept
marching at quite a pace for not being trodden on by the horse. In hindsight
I should have stepped aside and left it at that, but responsible as I was I
didn't let the horse go, and not knowing how to stop him, I kept
walking in circles around the court until the farmerswife came to my rescue.
It may have been only a few minutes, but in my memory it lasted an eternity.
And so I carried on this summer excommunicated in an golden landscape
of which the memories come back to me whenever I see the paintings with corn
fields of van Gogh.
On March 9, we moved to a
spacious house with a large garden at 30 Kiplaan in the Vogelwijk of The Hague.
whole family in front of our house at 30 Kiplaan in The Hague. JG on his
oversized bicycle with wooden blocks on the pedals
[52 Den Haag - Kiplaan]
Family van Eden-Bolding, 1951
[1951 fam van Eden-Bolding.jpg]
Family reunion on the occasion of my parents' marriage for 12 1/2 years in
the garden of Kiplaan 30
Standing: Dien de Vries-Bolding, Jan de Vries, Grandmother Anna van
Eden-Waagmeester, Grandfather Jan Gerrit van Eden, Wijbrand Prins, help in
the housekeeping, name ?, Grandmother Antje Bolding-Goedhart, my father Cees
van Eden, Maarten Klijn (widower of Anna van Eden), Grandfather Willem
Bolding, Aagje Prins-Bolding
Sitting: Diet van Eden with my sister Beatrijs on her lap, my mother Guus,
myself Jan Gerrit on roller skates
I went to the Nutsschool on the
Sportfondsenlaan. I was a difficult pupil and almost daily I was sent out of
class to stand in the hallway. I remember many times when the teacher in class
ran after me as I jumped over the benches to avoid getting caught. In playtime
we played rough games and smoked cigarettes. At the time, my father had
cigarettes on the coffee table at home, and visitors were first invited over for
a cigarette or a cigar. I gave up this habit of smoking now and then when we
moved to Groningen in 1953. So I can say that I stopped smoking at the age of
I went with a friend to the cubs (youth division of the Boy Scouts) who had a beautiful
clubhouse not too far away from our house in the middle of the dunes. My
parents didn't hear of it until weeks later, probably because they got a
bill, and my dad didn't like it at all, he was very anti-militarist and
associated it with the military and a wrong mentality, but I kept going ..
In the middle of 1951 my father
was fired unceremoniously because of a conflict with one of the board members of
the Child Care and Protection Board. [I remember the case from memory one of the
board directors (a certain Mr. Overwater) required an automobile for his
personal use, against the rules and my father did not agree.] Because of
the dismissal, my father was at home for almost a year on a generous salary that
was apparently paid from the proceeds of the charitable children's stamps. My
father was a real fighter and he accepted the resignation, but for the next job
he did not want to make e step backwards as far as his career was concerned.
With my father I went to the
Picasso exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. I thought it was
wonderful, but there were still doubts in the press whether Picasso was a
great artist or just a charlatan.
Den Haag, Kiplaan
I don't know why, but they
used to tease me when I walked to school with Hermien, my neighbor. I liked
Unlike the years of
Rotterdam, we now lived in a very neat neighborhood, we enjoyed ourselves
with the boys by playing wargames by dividing ourselves into two groups and
then stalking each other in opposite directions in the backyards of the
houses. We had to climb over fences and sheds that formed the partitions of
the gardens. Behind our house was a large willow tree, as high as our house,
which I often climbed high as our house. My mother agreed with everything.
Sometimes she would go to "town" by bicycle and then I went with her
roller-skating. These were skates with 5 or 6 cm large iron wheels, which
had to be replaced every few months. The pavements were not as smooth as
these days and it was sometimes a pretty rough ride. In the playtime at
school there were always fights between students of different classes in
which I fully partcipated. One day I was picked off the street by the father
of one of my "victims" , and locked up in the garage of their house. I
remember being locked up one morning, but I had no problem with it and it
had no further consequences. There were few cars in the neihbourhood, but my
boyfriend Leo had a family connection with a car, and during winter when the
streets were covered with a layer of snow, they let us tie our sleds to the
rear bumper with ropes and tour the area.
July 1952 my father is appointed director of the Social Service Groningen.
My father moved to Groningen and my mother stayed with me and Beatrijs in the
house of the Vogelwijk. As a 10 year old boy, it gave me a lot of freedom and
From January we lived at 33 Hofstede de Grootkade in Groningen. On
January 15th I went to the Van de Berg school. Because I had missed a large
part of primary school due to misconduct and being in the hallway, the
advice was to have me repeat 6th grade. My father did not agree at all and
told the principal of the school that he would teach me a few things. I was
taught by my father every night and on weekends and I cried a lot, but I can
say that I finished elementary school in one year. At the end of the school
year, I passed the entrance exam of the Hoogere Burgerschool with flying
Birth of my brother Willem (May 18, 1953).
my mother Guus, the newly born Willem and Beatrijs in the garden of Hofstede
de Grootkade 33 in Groningen
[54 Groningen - JG, Guus,
Public HBS. Although still very difficult for the teachers, I became an
I would like to mention Willem Diemer (1922-1994) of the few teachers of
whom I have memories. Poet, teacher, publisher and bookseller. Willem Diemer
(jr.) Was active in the student resistance from December 1942. He provided
assistance to downed Allied pilots, Jews and people in hiding. He worked as
a courier Lo / KP (group Schalken-Horlings) and was deputy commander of the
Domestic Armed Forces in Musselkanaal.
The summer of this and the following years I spent sailing in the Frisian
lake district with the seascouts "De
On the bike from Groningen to
Rotterdam all by myself, staying overnight at adresses from friends of my
parents, to the E55. On this large open air exhibition the first television
of Philips was presented and I also remember the 360 degrees sound surround
On Sundays we regularly went to Kunstlievend Genootschap Pictura, where
the Groningen painters of De Ploeg (Jan Altink, Jan Jordens, Johan Dijkstra
and Hendrik de Vries, George Martens, Hendrik Werkman and of course Jan
Wiegers) exhibited. This group is related to the German expressionists
before the war, among whom Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Paula Modersohn Becker
had a lot of influence on my development as a painter.1956
On weekends with the sea scouts on the Paterswoldse lake. Where we had 2
flat-bottomed sailing boats and a rowing sloop. During the winters they lay
face down for maintenance, it was hard work. Every Saturday afternoon we
cycled about 10 kilometers to get there.
Deze zomer doe ik mee aan de Jamboree International in Schotland (UK).
In the summer I participated in the International Scouting
Jamboree in Schotland (UK). I got to England with the ferry from Hook of holland
to Harwich and by train to Edinborough.
We were also a few weeks with the whole family on the island of
Terschelling, where I became a fanatic bird watcher.
Benefit auction in the Groninger Museum, co-organized by my father C van
Eden, who was president of the Groningen section of the Queen Wilhelmina
Cancer Fund (KWF). My parents also bought a number of works here, of which
the Anton Buitendijk and the Teun Roothart are still in my possession.
Summer camps at Terhorne (Frisia) with the seascouts "De Bevers". Flat
bottom sailing boat in the background.
Jan van Eden, Joost Hamming,
(?), ... van Doornmaal in the picture.
Katrien Bel (president of the party committee) at the annual HBS girls' ball
[59 Groningen - Katrien Bel - meisjes
bike from Groningen to Paris with my friend Jan Hoogland.
"Dispuut" tent van Carl Denig
[59 Reims - on route to Paris
- Jan Hoogland]
We had drawing classes in high school at least half a day a week. I won a
prize in a school competition with an abstract watercolor in blue and
yellow. Tissing, a regionally known artist who then started as a teacher at
our school, praised my effort. The work [ref. 595801] was exhibited in the
Museum of Groningen.
1959 Groningen RHBS - schooltime
Tjong Ayong and Catharine Vinkes in a picture with date unknown. Here to
show Catharine, who was a secret love of me at the RHBS, later she married
Wim Tjong a Yong (died March 2005), from Suriname. Carry and Wim Tjong Ajong
were from one of the first immigrant families in the Netherlands from
Suriname, their father was a renowned surgeon. Their brother Frits sat next
to me on the desk for a whole school year of the 5th grade HBS.
Catharine was very beautiful in my eyes, I was in love with her in my last
high school year, but had no plans to start a relationship with anyone, so
it was all very far away. I ran into her again at a RHBS school reunion in
the 1990s. She was still a beautiful woman. She had studied French and had
been teaching somewhere in the south of the country all her life and had
also lived in Bergen op Zoom all her life. Only a few years later, she died
at a relatively young age from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Carry-Ann was also
a friend of mine and she visited the Art Singel 100 gallery in the 90ties.
The year of my graduation. The last schoolyear was the easiest. There was
a clear set of requirements for this ultimate state exam and I was able to
prepare for it myself. I left the teachers for what they were and stopped
listening to them. Their tests and smart preparations for the exam left me
cold. The results during the year were below par, but on the written exam I
obtained exemptions for all Beta subjects and I was able to devote all the
time for the oral to the French language. I had to, because although I had
always loved the French teachers a lot for their feminine charms and
disorder, say chaotic teaching structure, I could never have an approximate
understanding of gramatics and therefore only had a two and a half for the
written French exam.
Luckily I had a great reading list, a beautiful French accent and
waved my arms to clarify myself, so they gave me a nine and a half for oral.
My final exam average was ultimately the fourth highest in the school (with
three graduation classes), not a bad achievement for such a less than
mediocre student. I had hated that school, with all those forced teaching
packs and unexpected tests, and I was always at odds with the teachers.
School days had been torture for me, in which I had to give up my
idiosyncratic ideas and my personal character in order to survive within the
straitjacket of the authoritarian system. After the liberation in the year
1960 I fell into an emptiness in which I was desperately looking for a
direction of life. The only thing I missed from school was drawing lessons
and I realized that painting, which I had always been interested in, should
be my salvation. Here began my restless search for a style in which I could
process my abundance of ideas. My sketches and first paintings were already
focused on the human figure and portrait, although in the summers of 1960
and 1961 I still made a number of watercolors after nature.
I left highschool and started to take painting serious. I worked in
crayon or watercolour on cheap paper. My subjects were landscapes after
nature and (self)portraits mostly from photographs. I felt relieved about
the omission of supervision and I was rather secretive about my creative
During the summer we made a trip with the whole family by car to Austria
where we stayed in a farm somewhere lost in the high mountains.
In September I started my study Mathematics and Physics with subjects such
as integral arithmetic, chemistry, mechanics, atomic physics, electricity
science and some subjects in preparation for further study such as general
geology and crystallography. With this package I only had one fellow student
who also did geology and crystallography, but he (Gerard Germs) later
focused on paleontology.
I joined student association Vindicat with a severe hazing that involved
shaving my head bald, but I survived easily. During the hazing I learned an
awful lot about human relationships and I am grateful to have experienced
this. All this was encouraged by my father who, as a poor working student at
the Amsterdam University in the 1930s, had felt excluded during his studies.
for Aegir at the Amsterdam Bosbaan. At the finish where we won the Dutch
National Championship of the class light-eight I am seated 3d place from the
front, the 4th is lying backwards towards me. My weight was 64 kg that is
141 lbs, and that for my broad shouders en height of 182 cm. An advantage
for a light-eight crew.
Student life suited me well, the freedom it afforded was in stark
contrast to the discipline under which I suffered during the RijksHBS. I had
joined the rowing club Aegir and in the spring we got so good with our light
eight combination that we were beating everyone and kept winning during an
entire season. So I have a few more medals, one of which is for the national
doing watercolours after nature, much in the style of my uncle Cees Bolding. I
did this so convincing that my family didt see the difference and for years they
attributed works of Bolding in the elderly home to me. I experimented in various styles
and various techniques, making my own paints from pigments, using eggyolks from my mothers
fridge to make an eggtempera medium. Max Doerners book 'Malmaterial und seine verwendung im bilde' was the basis of my
technical knowledge. Also I did a good selfportrait in black crayon on green paper in the
style of Paul Citroen. During the summer we went with the whole family to Italy and
in the company of my father I
visited Florence. In the months before I studied the art and
architecture of Florence in quite some depth. At University I followed lectures in art
history on 19th century Romanticism: Gericault, Casper David Friedrich etc.
My studies in mathematics and physics went in the normal way and I had
geology as a minor (Geological Institute, Melkweg, Groningen).
In June I took part in a first exercise in geological fieldwork, together
with students from Leiden. The exercise involved the mapping of a
geologically already known area in the Belgian Ardennes.
1962 Corcubion Galicie [62 Corcubion - vrienden]
Picnic with our friends young and old. These were republicans and under the
Franco regime, a professor had to live with a private garage because they
were excluded from the university.
We drank large glasses of brandy and had a lot of fun. I myself standing 2nd
from left and Kees Woensdrecht 4th.
This year I had to start geological fieldwork in Spain over the summer
period and I had followed lectures in Spanish lenguage in preparation for it.
I had enjoyed these lectures in the company of all those beautiful girls
that tend to study popular lenguages. However, I must have been distracted
as far as my study of the Spanish language was concerned, because when I had
to buy a train ticket at a ticket office of the Spanish railways in San
Sebastian, they couldn't make sense of what I said at the ticket office. In
all fairness I hurridly had to look for one of the girls I travelled with
from Paris to San Sebastian to buy me that ticket. Fortunately, thereafter I
was on my way to La Coruna, Galicia.
I had to work as an assistant with a geologist who was doing field
research in Galicia for a thesis on migmatites and other igneous rocks. Kees
Woensdrecht, the geologist did his work under the supervision of Prof. den
Tex from the University of Leiden.
This kind geology has always been a bit of a mystery to me, these
different types of igneous rocks, the composition of which you could figure
out in the field by examining the crystals with a loupe, were theoretically
explained with complicated diagrams of temperature and pressure. Such a
magma constantly changes composition during solidification because certain
minerals crystallize earlier and then sink, so that the remaining magma
takes on a completely different composition. These processes, which had
taken place at depths of many kilometers, left a differentiated pattern in
the rocks now lying at the surface due to erosion. Just find out, all those
logical relationships between one granite and the next diorite! This wasn't
my trade, my future was in sedimentology.
For a month or two of work, we were based in Corcubion, walking hours
every day on narrow walled roads to get to the study area, although I remember
that one in three days
we dould not get out in the field because of rainy weather. Quite a
different climate compared with the other Spain. Apart from work we had an
interesting social life. This was Galicia, just before the introduction of
television. In the cafes there were still men with a guitar to dispel
boredom and as a stranger you were immediately accepted, although you were
never allowed to pay for your consumption, because that was beyond their
honor. By the way, for a peseta you got two glasses of wine.
On Sundays we had meriendas on the beach near Corcubion with the family
of a garage owner, who had lost his job as a university professor because he
hadn't fought on Franco's side. From the meals at people's homes, I remember
that we always drank too much wine, because I did not know that I had to
leave my glass full and that was why I was being added again and again, and
then with the coffee another brandy glass to the brim.
After completing the job in Galicia I went on a holiday to discover the
metropoles of Spain. Travelling on a minimal budget I took trains at
midnight that stopped at all of the smallest stations to arrive early in the
morning in the next city of my interest. In this way I avoided costs of
lodging, sleeping in the 3d class wagons that were full of young soldiers
mood was friendly and you could sleep on the wooden benches, on the floor,
in the luggage racks, wherever you wanted, only taking care of the leaks in
the roof in case of rain. I could leave my backpack unattended without fear
of theft. In the early morning they were selling cafe con leche in large
bowls, pouring from two jugs at the same time, one with coffee and the other
Like this I went to Santiago, Leon, Burgos, Zaragoza, Madrid, Valencia,
Sevilla, Granada and other places visiting landmarks and bullrings. I loved
the bullfights, seeing it from the cheaper seats high up in the arena. Spain
turned out to be overwhelming. People with passion and human interest that I
did't know was possible. It was really a cultural shock to be here as a
Dutchman. It was life under the Franco regime, but I must admit, as a
foreigner I was not aware of anything special.
father, director of the Social Services in Groningen, in his meeting room on
the top floor of the office. Painting [ref. 643002] by Jan van Eden on the
wall. In addition, there were works by Groningen artists in his room that
were purchased at that time within the generous BKR (Visual Artists
Regulation) with which he participated within the selection committee.
Nel Tjong Ayong on a boat in Friesland during the annual party of the
Groningen women's student association Magna Pete. She was a sister of the
above-mentioned (see 1960) Carry-Ann from one of the very few Surinamese
families who were in the Netherlands at the time.
We had a really good time together, but I haven't seen her after college.
In May geological excursion in France, basin of Paris.
In July stratigraphic and tectonic mapping in Asturias (Spain) for Prof. de
Sitter (Leiden University). Together with my classmate Gerard Germs, we
camped near the village of Pedrosa del Rey, close to Riaño. I have another
watercolor of the Romanesque bridge.
This year I had my own transport, a Puch motorcycle. I drove back to the
Netherlands via Frankfurt, Germany, where I visited Ursula Sasz who I met last
summer in Galicia, where she was on vacation with her parents at the time. She
was very beautiful, rock hard, sometimes icy cold, a bit younger than me and we
were deeply in love with each other, we wrote a lot of letters, but the
geographical distance turned out to be too great and nothing else came of it.
Her father had a plaster on the place where his left eye had been, right out of
a drawing by George Gross. They had a beautiful house near the Black Forest,
where we made excursions with her mother, who was youthful and also very
beautiful, she liked me. I gave her an ink drawing which she greatly
appreciated. The Federal Republic already made a rich impression on me, that was
apparently the Wirtshaftswunder you read about in the newspaper.
Where I could, I visited the museums, Basel, Bern, Munich, Cologne,
Frankfurt and others
This year I did my bachelar exams in Mathematics and Physics with a minor in
Geology. Normally you get your diploma in a ceremonial meeting, but I had to
take a real exam. I had already failed my exam 'electricity theory' twice by
Prof. De Waard, and my rather down-to-earth professor of geology Kuenen came up
with the idea of applying for the bachelor's exam, so without the exam in
question. So my exam was not just a formality. After the oral interview, where I
again turned out not to have sufficient knowledge, they made me wait outside in
the hall for an hour and a half, but eventually I got my diploma based on good
results for other physics subjects such as' mechanics' and 'nuclear theory '.
My entire study was a mess, my first exam, chemistry, went completely wrong
because they had removed the wall map with elements that was always there
before the written exam, ie with all students of the faculty at the same
time. At the time, I was still under the impression that the university
required understanding and no knowledge learned by heart, in short, I did
not know that map by heart. For my oral geology exam, Prof. Kuenen also made
m come back , because of incorrect answers to three questions (things like
'in which geological period did the first fish occur?'). Later it turned out
that I had answered correctly, but that the professor himself did not know.
But Kuenen didn't bother that kind of thing, when I came back even better
prepared, he didn't ask any questions at all and we only had an animated
conversation. By the way, Kuenen was the only man with genius features I met
at the State Universities and my example of what a professor should actually
be. He also proved to have a big name internationally, with his theories
about deep-sea investigations with Vening Meinesz in Indonesia, and the
'turbidites' from which he had established the origin, he commanded respect
everywhere I went in the world of geology. For the literate among you, this
is also the professor that geographer Willem Frederik Hermans rages against
in the book 'Onder professoren', Hermans apparently couldn't compete with so
much scientific originality. Prof. Kuenen refused doctoral students, because
he was too busy with his own research and to continue in geology I had to go
to Leiden. It became geophysics and sedimentology. The professors were less
brilliant, but they did have a practical study program.
In art I started to find my own style, I was now completely focused on the human
figure. Some of the imaginary portraits in watercolor and pastel are among the
best I have ever made .
Oude Hoefstraat 3, Leiden - my study room and atelier.
I now had a student room in Leiden, on the Oude Hoefstraat. Saturday and Sunday
I reserved for painting, I rolled up the worn-out carpet and had a temporary
studio. I worked in an expressionist style with big gestures with blobs of paint
flying around the room. At the weekend I didn't eat because the cafeteria at the
university was closed and a restaurant was too expensive. My landlady soon
realized this and usually gave me some of what was left at her own well-stocked
table. There was no shortage of money, but rather a matter of spending choices,
I bought oil paint and other materials, and I often went to the cinema in all
the cities of the Randstad.
This was the time of the French Nouvelle Vague and then there was a whole film
history that I had yet to see. I sometimes saw three movies in a day. I was a
member of the Leiden student film club, where we saw, for example, films by
Bunuel, which (you don't think it possible) for the most part were not allowed
to be shown in the public cinema, because they were offensive to the Catholic
population and, I think, because Bunuel had communist sympathies after all. When
they showed L'age d'or to the students, no one seemed to understand what it was
about. There were also films from East Germany about the erection of the Berlin
Wall, etc. that were never shown publicly, because of the danger that they could
generate understanding for a system that was not ours. Anyway, there has never
been much freedom in our decadent, self-righteous country.
Retrospective exhibition of work on paper by Antonio
Saura, organised by Eddy de Wilde in the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam.
Saura made a deep impression and had a lot of influence on my way of work.
Start of my fieldwork in the
May 1965 geologic excursion South
England and Wales
During the summer I participated in a gravimetric survey in the Cantabrian
Mountains in preparation for my MSc thesis geophysics. Field work in the valleys
of the Rio Esla and Rio Cea.
More mapping in the Spanish Pyrenees. Friendly relationship with Pepa
That winter I worked on the calculations for the gravimetric survey, every
afternoon I cranked the calculator, which was still operated by hand at the
time. Multiply a number by 5, you had to turn the handle 5 rounds.
Beatrijs (my sister) in 1965, in front of a Vietnam poster. Protests against the
war in Vietnam were a big thing.
First earnings from a student part-time job. This year I got my first part-time job, I worked for Shell
oil company on a litterature search, collecting data on grain sorting and
rounding related to porosity and permeability in a variety of sedimentary
environments. First real money spent on a
visit to a prostitute in
My life as a student
Excursion Hydrogeology with Prof. Voute in Germany, I escaped the company for a
day to visit the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne.
Field work in the Spanish Pyrenees and a trip through Morocco on my motorcycle.
Was this the year I saw Picasso's great retrospective exhibition in Paris? I do
remember a trip to Paris with my friend Peter Pieters traveling in his Fiat 500
This summer my last fieldwork in the Pyrenees.
Pepa in the company of Joaquin Ferraz, my sister Beatrijs and Jesus Santolaria
make a trip in the Volkswagen Beetle from Joaquin to Holland. We make an
excursion to Bremen and Hamburg (Germany).
I submitted my thesis on the
Eocene of the Spanish Pyrenees in September.
On Sept 28, 1967, I had an interview with Anglo American Corp. in London for
a job in Southwest Africa (Namibia) with their diamond exploration. A few
weeks later I received an offer for a much more interesting job in a
Research department of Roan Selection Trust for the Zambian Copperbelt. I
accepted the latter before I graduated, because after my exam I would be
called up for military service immediately and the plan was to be 'safe' in
Africa. This was the time of the Vietnam War and my sentiment was quite
anti. At the time, when I was 17, I had enrolled enthusiastically for the
officer training of the Marine Corps, but now it seemed a bit exaggerated to
spend three (!) Years on that.
No sooner said than done. That autumn I said goodbye to the Netherlands to
go to Zambia on a four-year contract. Until I was 35, I would only be able
to make short visits to the Netherlands, and damn every time I crossed the
Dutch border there was a call from the Marines on the worn coconut mat of my
parents' house within two days, admonishing me to report me immediately .
The day after my graduation I boarded a plane to Madrid where I said goodbye
to Pepa, then I flew via Rome and Nairobi, to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia,
and from there to Kitwe, where I was met by a colleague of the Research
department of Roan Selection Trust. to continue by car to Kalulushi. The
first introduction to Zambia was a surprise to me, in contrast to my
romantic idea of Africa, Kitwe turned out to be a somewhat boring, very
Graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of
Leiden on December 12, 1967.
Diplomas 1960 - 1967
May 68, the revolt in Paris that changed the lives of generations was
too far away to worry me in this period of my life.
Life in Zambia was very enjoyable. I
started a research project on
Mufulira Copper Mine that was eventually
published in the renowned
Years later, working in Brazil, I heard from colleagues that they were using my
studies in teaching (in Canada) because of the useful techniques in relation to
ore deposits in sedimentological rocks. Nothing appeared to have been published
in this field.
Short trip to South Africa with Mike Dawes who went there to meet his
wife Jean who arrived by boat from the UK. I met
up with Gerard Germs and Ansje Kloppenburg who lived in Cape Town. Gerard
Germs was a paleontologist from the same study year as me at the Groningen
University, who had found a job with the Geological Survey of South Africa.
During this year at Kalulushi we had a good time
with my friend Mike Dawes seeing nearly every film in the theatre in Kitwe,
he was a specialist in B-movies, most of the time blown-up versions of 16 mm
material, and he knew nearly every actor by name. Weekends people spent in
the golfclub, while I was locking myself up to get on with my painting.
Sometimes we had parties with black girls from South Africa, refugees of the
Apartheidregime. One girl I was quite intimate with, but it never came any
further than kissing. She had firm pointed tits and a fine sculptured face,
very dark, with huge, light purple lips. I will never forget her hugs and
kisses and I still love the whole of Africa for it. Generally the girls of
Zambia weren’t worth looking at. Sometimes with an Italian friend we took a
couple of whores home, but they were not attractive with their cheap
make-up. In this part of the world, for anything worthwhile you had to go to
Katanga in the Congo. Crossing the border you had to mentally adjust. In
Zambia you shouldn’t be caught offering anything to the uniformed customs
officer, because of their proper British upbringing they were (in those
early independence days) uncorruptable. On the Zairean side you found a
bunch of irregulars with somebody in command, no uniform in sight, who
inspected your passport only to fetch the banknotes that you had to leave
between the pages. On the road to Lubumbashi we were stopped several times
by half-uniformed military, automatic rifles over their shoulders, who
inspected our Morris Mini for anything usefull. Now, one of them wanted my
Rayban sunglasses, but after chatting him up in French and lying to him that
they were prescribed, he desisted and took a couple of tins of Zambian beer
that he spotted on the floor of our car. They were great guys those Zairese,
but time and again you had to convince them that you was their best friend
and use all your charm on them. The difference in attitude was remarkable,
the Zairese held their heads high and never placed themselves in a
subserviant position, whereas in Zambia it was the yes-bwana attitude,
obviously the Britsh whereever they go they ingrain a slavelike attitude in
their people. Lubumbashi was swinging, especially at night. It had been
converted to one great brothel where all races mixed. We spent the evening
drinking beer and dancing. Finally, me and my friend left for the hotel in
company of two nice girls.
Pepa Santolaria in a short ceremony at the townhall of Kalulushi, Zambia
on the 20th of July. She had come to Zambia on a transit visa but after
marriage she would be allowed to stay. When we turned up at the townhall
with our witnesses that morning at the appointed time, the secretary wasn't
present and nobody knew his schedule. I had taken the day off, but, wasting
no time, went back on the job, the witnesses went home and Pepa continued
cleaning my house. I made checks every few hours and in the afternoon I
found the secretary on duty. Pepa took off her apron, and we rushed in with
the witnesses, Sheila and Jean that were the wives of close friends. This
was the first civil marriage at Kalulushi, usually people married under
tribal law, but not belonging to a tribe what can you do… The secretary
proposed that we skipped most of the ceremony, he would just do the papers.
In stead of faithful swearing on the bible we used a magazin of the Readers
Digest We sat there on his desk spelling our names and places of birth,
ourselves and our witnesses. He was writing with difficulty, english not
being his native language, but nevertheless within the hour the writing was
done. We were standing outside the modest townhall, a small crowd of mostly
wives of collegues hugged and kissed the just married couple, when the
secretary of my company looked at the document that the civil servant had
diligently drawn up and discovered that we had a hunting license instead of
the marriage certificate. No problem, once again we went into the office
with our witnesses and the townsecretary patiently filled out the proper
certificate, which was a similar grey piece of paper. After leaving we found
our Morris Mini tied up with a string of empty cans as is customary for some
British, we drove like that a couple of streets to our house where we
hurriedly undid these concoctions.
We had dinner at the Binda's, my Italian friend,
stayed at home that night and left on
honeymoon the next morning in our Morris
Mini on a trip that led us through Zambia, Rhodesia, Mozambique, and back to
Kalulushi through Malawi.
Travel through Zambia, Rhodesia, Mozambique,
and back to Kalulushi through Malawi.
A reconnaissance of deltaic environment in the Middle Eocene of the
South-Central Pyrenees, Spain: Geologie en Mijnbouw, v.49 (2), p. 145-157.
Travels from Zambia to Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
This year I was working on geophysical
surveys, mainly “induced polarization” in eastern Zambia, not far from the
Angolan border. At the beginning of the dry season we would send somebody,
mostly a volunteer geologist, to go there with a few Landrovers to clean a
dambo (open areas in the bush) for use as an airstrip. From Kalulushi it was
a couple of hours flying in a single propeller Cessna. When Pepa came to
visit, the pilot made an effort to impress by flying low over herds of
elephant that were raising their trunks and waving their ears while running
On the job I was working weeks on time from
field camps. One of these camps along the Dongwe river, with uninhabited and
unspoiled nature all around. A variety of antelopes and at times a lone
elephant to name a few of the extensive list of species you could observe,
all of which we took for granted without giving it any attention. In the
camp, which consisted of a few tents and a field kitchen we had a elephant
skull standing there as an ornament. One day coming back from the job in our
Landrover we drove over a honey badger and left it for dead, but the black
workers in the back wanted to take it for eating, so we slung it by its tail
on the back of the truck between them and carried on homewards. Driving
through the bush in Zambia was easy you could go anywhere step foots
choosing your trackless path between the widely spaced trees and sparse
undergrowth. After a while , say 20 minutes, there was a panic in the back
of the truck, with the men jumping out of it. The honey badger had come back
to life and these animals are the most ferocious of the Zambian bush, they
are known to have killed a buffalo, climbing up a back leg and getting to
its scrotum and that is the end of the buffalo. Of course it would not
attack large animals, but cornered it will defend itself
. It has got a thick skin to protect from stings during his favorite meal at
a bee-hive, claws on the front legs to climb a tree and nasty sharp teeth.
It is a fearless animal and its defense is its armored skin. Drive over it
with a wheel of the Landrover and it survives. To carry on with my
narrative, our workers got some branches to immobilize the animal and at
arrival on the camp site we managed to put it in a closed wooden crate. My
colleague, Gijs Niemeijer, who was brought op on a farm in Kenya and who
knew all about handling animals, started domesticating our wild pet. From
now one called Camboli, the name given by our black assistants. At a start
Camboli only growled at us with barred teeth and we could throw some food
from a save distance, but the days passed by and Camboli became more
familiar with us. With enticement and reward as well as punishment with an
occasional hard tick we taught Camboli to take the food out of our hand in a
controlled manner. After a few weeks Camboli could be let out of the crate
and he walked freely around the open field kitchen. The animal fully
respected us and when you let him, he would, standing on his hind legs,
embrace the calves of our legs and look at us with his small jet-black eyes
“begging” for our attention and food. Playing with him we would put half a
boiled egg on a piece of wood horizontally placed on two vertical supports,
and Camboli would climb up along the vertical post and then hanging on the
horizontal beam he would move towards the egg, throw it on the ground and
let himself fall to eat it. In a small basin of water he would love to sit
up like a baby on his backside and throw up water with his claws as if to
wash himself. Being free we didn't see him during the day, but at a set time
every day during twilight, he made us company. The few times that Pepa was
visiting our camp, she sat on the kitchen table when Camboli was visiting,
as she did not trust him. Outside the kitchen area you had to be careful
because he made a hissing sound when we met in the
open field. His
behavior was conditioned by the environment of the kitchen and out of
that it was a wild and ferocious animal. Never mind Camboli, we loved you
and we will never forget you.
Travels to Cameroun, Ghana, Ivory
Coast, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Canarias, Spanish Sahara and Marocco.
Arriving in Spain we stayed a
couple of days in Madrid. Having married under the English law, we did not
have a family book required by the Franco regime for recognition of
our marriage. In the hotel they made us stay in seperate rooms. There was a
guard posted in the stairwell on every floor. In Huesca we stayed at the
family home as a married couple.
Arriving at Schiphol for a short stay in
the Netherlands, I phoned my father. Curiously, after so much time not
speaking Dutch, I stumbled and we continued the conversation in English.
Within a day I recovered the speech in my native language, but not
without a heavy accent.
We returned for a few months to Zambia and
prepared us for the emigration to South Africa. This country with its
apartheid regime was not our first choice. We aimed at South America
to no avail, and finally I got an offer with a consultacy firm in Australia,
but before we left to this new world, they avised me not to come because of
the crash of the raw material markets. Our plan to emigrate to South Africa
was received by my family and friends in Holland as a betrayal to my own
revolutiary ideas. My black friends in Zambia, the refugees from the ANC,
were more realistic and did not find any objections. They were eager to go
back to their native country themselves, but couldn't.
January 30, 1972 Immigration to the Republic of South Africa and working for
African Selection Trust, based in Johannesburg. In retrospect it is interesting
to mention that this was an official emigration from the Netherlands with a
subsidy from the Dutch government. In addition to the full travel costs, we also
received 20 cubic meters for our belongings. We used the meters to ship a car
and furniture, such as the Dutch dining room chairs with wicker seats that Pepa
had bought and of which we still have 2 in our home at Sabayes [in 2021]. We
bought a MG-B in England tax-free, which we were allowed to import without
import duties. You could only buy locally produced cars in the RSA and that's
why our car was worth a fortune there. I normally had a company car myself, but
Pepa has enjoyed riding it for a number of years, with the dog BiBi in the back
seat. Before we left for Angola we sold the car.
Debuut-tentoonstelling galerie "De Sfinx"
Gallery debut exhibition
"De Sfinx", Oudezijdsvoorburgwal, Amsterdam.
This gallery was run by Joe Liplaa. The gallery owner is Jo Lipplaa (de
Volkskrant, November 13, 1965). In 1995 he opened a gallery in Amsterdam and
in The Hague, both under the name Galerie de Sfinx. In these galleries he
showed both modern art and exotic arts. Lipplaa owned a collection of exotic
antiques from Egypt, Arabia, India, Peru, Afghanistan and Israel (Invitation
PDO). Oudezijds Voorburgwal 241. From August 20, 1980, the Sfinx leaves for
Bergen (NH), Tuindorpweg 11.
Outrageous imagery, male and female sex
specimen, masturbating priests, screaming popes and the undertaker. Strong
show, nothing sold. To get this show, my sister had gone to most of the half
dozen galleries in Amsterdam with documentation and many of them showed an
interest. I had offers from Krikhaar, Jurka a.o. Pity I made the decision
not to continue exhibiting. Long years of creative wrestling with myself
followed and production piled up without ever being shown. Although one must
admit that lots of it is trash.
P.L.Binda) Sedimentological evidence on the origin of the Precambrian
Great Conglomerate (Kundulungu Tillite), Zambia: Paleoclim.,
Paleogeogr., Paleoecol., Elsevier, v. 11, p. 152-168.
(co-author P.L.Binda) Scope
of stratigraphic and sedimentologic analysis of the Katanga Sequence,
Zambia: Geologie en Mijnbouw, v. 51, p. 321-328.
Johannesburg. Work in the
Northern Cape, Namibia (prospect for Rossing-type uranium).
We had close relations with our
1972-1974 Republic of South
[English and Spanish]
Luanda, Angola. Uranium
exploratie voor Johannesburg Consolidated Investment (J.C.I.) in opdracht van
het Portugese gezag, Britse Electricity Board, het Duitse Urangesellshaft en het
Franse Minatom, dit in tegenspraak met de United Nations boycot van de Portugese
diagenetic environment related to sulphide mineralization, Mufulira,
Zambia: ECON. GEOL., v. 69, p. 59-79.
Director of the company in
Angola (for JCI) was Jacques de Villiers a capable geologist and an
effective leader of our workforce, we were great friends.
The first half of the year we are still in Luanda, a city with increasing
tension between the MPLA , FNLA and UNITA.
We are leaving the 26th June to attend the 9th International
Sedimentological Congress in Nice from the 6th to the 13th July 1975 in the
understanding to come back to Angola after the congress and a short holidays
in Spain, but the events in Angola will make it impossible to return. We
learn from Pam de Villiers (the wife of Jake de Villiers) when she visits us
during our short holiday in Spain, that the staff of JCI had been evacuated
by the army of South Africa and that our private belongings were left
behind. We would not return to Angola ever.
We buy a property in Sabayes,
wartime Angola, leaving personal belongings behind, but rescueing most
paintings. Lost some dear friends that were killed at the southern border trying
to stop the invading forces of South Africa.
Resettled in Johannesburg. Work
Investigation for uranium in
Namibia and in the South African Karroo. Projects for uranium mining in the
Graaf Reinet area in the year 2018 have been stopped for environmental reasons?
From the first of January I
started with Mineraçao Sao Jose in Brasil. Spent the first few months working
from Rio de Janeiro, then moved to Curitiba. Curitiba was a well organised city
in southern Brasil, relative prosperous and white. Nethertheless the poverty of
a small portion of its population made more impression on me than in other
regions of Brasil. Reason for this was the European descent of these
streetdwellers. Poor black seem to be more acceptable to my Dutch eyes.
At home in Curitiba [77 Curitiba house 5]
Rio de Janeiro, where we lived below the Pão de
Açúcar in Urca. Working throughout Brasil, mainly in the Northeast up into
Ceara, where we had a base in Camocim.
My parents came to visit us and we made a
tourist journey to Paraguai, Bolivia and Peru, with the obvious sightseeing
at the waterfalls of Iguacu, La Paz, Lake Tititaca, Macho Picho,
Iguaçu, La Paz, Machu Pichu, Lake Titikaka, Cusco and Lima.
to cross a river in Parana [78brasil1]
© Photo C van Eden
copper and zinc mineralization in the Cretaceous of Angola: ECON. GEOL., v.
73, p. 1154-1161.
Short return trip to the Netherlands over the christmas period
Started working for Billiton (then a sunsidiary of Shell Petroleum company of
the Netherlands) and based in Salvador, Bahia. The project I worked on was close
to the Boquira lead (PbO) mine and we lived in the village of Oliveiros dos
My permanent employees and temporary workers worked under bad conditions, the
social rights were not paid while this was required by law. My complaints about
this to the direction in Rio de Janeiro did not help to improve conditions and
were rejected with the reasoning that any claims would be dealt with cheaper in
court. The Dutch management hid behind the argument that 51% of the company was
in the hands of the Brazilians.
Painting 'Woman on barstool' on
unprepared cotton. Asserting a more personal style [ref. 792501]
Completion of the project in Oliveira dos Brejinhos, with core drilling
of the main structure. The result was completely predicted by me, but as
foreseen there was no possibility of an economic exploitation. The project
that had dragged on for years without a proper synthesis was now closed,
another important result. A colleague of mine, Sergio Maraschin, presented
my report in 1981 (after I left) at the annual international meeting within
the Billiton / Shell company.
Breakthrough in style
development, painting 'Yellow executive' [ref. 802501]
Last day of the year, last day in
Brasil spent in Copacabana (Rio de Janeuro). What a New Years eve! with the millions of candles
on the beaches and the cascading fireworks from the highrise along the entire
months based in London with Selection Trust to do literature and archive
study, preparing the Saudi job on Potash exploration in the Red Sea coastal
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Publication of the ministry of Mineral Resources,
referring to the Potash project, Red Sea coast, where I worked as the chief
Fotos by Jan van Eden
The geological survey stretched along the entire Red Sea coast from Yemen in the
south to the Gulf of Acaba in the north. We were able to use the results of the
oil drilling, which incidentally had not yielded any economic supplies, for our
research into the salt structures. Because of the field work, we had the
privilege of being able to go wherever we wanted as long as we gave notice of
our travel plans. So it was that we drove with two Rangerovers along the beach
with the Sinai in sight and without having met a human during the whole day, a
vehicle drove towards us and a man jumped out who came towards us with his hand
stretched out with the words Mr. of Eden I assume. Border guards who left us
The foreigners in Jeddah, and there were hundreds of them, had a
restriction within the city of Jeddah and a few miles of beach where they
could enjoy themselves. Friday and Saturday it was very busy and there too
there was a beautiful coral coast where there was a lot of snorkelling and
diving. We have only been there a few times ourselves and then only to
please the business visitors we received. The coral reef had a sheer wall,
where you looked into the depths with a sense of fear of heights. Very
spectacular. Getting back to the restrictions for Christians, at times
colleagues of ours ventured beyond the confines of Jeddah. It happened quite
often that they did not return to work and that an official investigation
had to be started through the Saudi responsible person to find them, because
they were detained somewhere by the religious police, who did not report to
the authorities. This does bring back memories of another incident with a
Saudi driver who worked for us. He was missing after a short mission in the
desert and given the limited survival chances, the alarm was immediately
raised, resulting in a search with 2 or 3 helicopters over a few days. After
three days, the man was found at his mother's home in a remote village. The
saudies were handled with velvet gloves, he received a punishment that was
no more than a reprimand, and then we should be glad we were not held
Gaining confidence as a painter,
working on larger format 200x150 cm, occasionally in triptichs.
The enormous size of this
country, its emptiness are astounding. The harsh light, heavy cast shadows and
its women hidden in black made a deep impression on me. In respons I did a
series of large black and white figures on cotton. I gained in freedom of style
and got more respons from the public than I had thus far. This period paved the
way for my return to Europe as a painter.
[82 Jeddah souq]
Trip to the Far East, India,
Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore.
Our Fieldcamp on the Farasan Islands, Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia. Round
structures of coral reef over a nearly surfacing diapyric salt dome,
investigated for potash salts.
(aerial fotos by Jan van Eden)
sharks made it unsafe to swim in the work areas of the Farasan Islands
was used for the gravimetric survey over the islands of the Farasan.
a pyramid, what else?
Trip to Egypt. Luxor and
Fieldwork with deep drilling
of salt deposits. The first hole was made close to a surfacing layer of
sylvite (potassium chloride mineral) and carnalite (magnesium chloride),
which made the direction of the project enthusiastic, but this was only a
beginning of the search for economic deposits at greater depth.
Downgrading of the
exploration program because of dimishing funds. There were increasing
numbers of US military in Saudi Arabia and increasing military
purchases, in preparation for what followed, starting with the first Gulf
War in 1990. This was the end of development programs that gave usefull
employment to Saudi people.
For me this was the end of a career in geology. 1985
van Eden in front of the painting ref.850222
Polished words fell from his lips, 1985
Oil and acrylic on linen, 200x150 cm
Settling in Amsterdam, starting
to work professionally as a painter.
Purchase of Singel 100 beletage for
and extreme reasonable cost, as the housing market was on its lowest point
in 15 years and the centre of Amsterdam was litle more than a place for
First public show at gallery Art Singel 100 with work of Jan van Eden.
Tentoonstelling bij Schuwirth en
van Noorden, Maastricht.
Work in stock at the gallery
Tentoonstelling galerie Dacal,
Downtown revelation, 1992
Oil and acrylic on cotton, 150x116 cm
Exhibitions: Amsterdam 1992
Reproductions: Invitation, Art Singel 100, Amsterdam, 7/11/92;
NRC/Handelsblad, 6/11/92; Alert, Amsterdam, 11/92
Collection: Mr and Mrs G Hutin, Neuchâtel, Switzerland 
Work in stock at the gallery
'Arcs and Cracs', Barcelona
We were in Spain for a whole year, Pepa for her work with Seat in
Barcelona and the weekends to Sabayes with friends to work on the renovation
of the house.
We started a challenging excavation underneath our
house in Sabayes to enlarge the studio and connect it with the house on top.
Thanks to many voluntary workers we accomplished a job that was held for
impossible by the professionals and architects.
in the studio at Sabayes - 1995
Exhibition at the post-graduate
military institute 'Defensie Leergangen, Rijswijk' of the Ministry of Defense.
Among the work purchased was Die Triumphbogen (1993). This painting is a
philosophical statement not only about war and victory, but also about the loss
of human values; the widow of the 'victory' looks out into uncertainty. War,
although seemingly distant, suddenly becomes a reality, the heat of guided
missiles have scorched the skin of the artist and he is unable to avoid the
theme, A.D. 1993. The building in the background is the design by Albert Speer
(the architect of Hitler) for the 'Arc de Triomph' to be build after the war in
Toelating als lid kunstenaar tot
Maatschappij Arti et Amicitiae.
Memberschip of the Amsterdam Artists Society 'Arti et Amicitiae'.
Construction of the
studio in Sabayes, largely excavated below our existing house.
"Black and white drawings", Arti
et Amicitiae, Amsterdam
"Poste Restante", Arti et
My father dies on March 12th. I sit alone at his deathbed and feel the
transition as the fulfillment of a life, he was a brave man. Personally, I've
always had a good relationship with my dad and I like to look at the strengths
of his personality. For me as a child, the belief with which he lived was an
overwhelming experience. I remember and experience my father mainly from the
first 12 years of my life, when he was actively involved with me, how he ran
next to me to teach me to ride a bike, or how he taught me to skate with a scarf
around my waist. But it was not so much the activity itself that impressed me as
the intention and enthusiasm with which he did things. His self-conscious
presence radiated on me and you should never give in to weakness.
Of course, these were the ascetic post-war years, you had to deny yourself
things for your own future and that of the others, there was no imputation
to yourself. My father never respected himself, was fully committed to
others, and he was caring but demanding for our family. After primary school
my father was hardly there anymore, he was absorbed in his work, I had
become responsible for myself and became independent, we treated each other
in a respectful way, never again an unconventional word between us. He
trusted me and our relationship hasn't really changed after I was 12 years
old. I admired him for his good qualities in my own perspective, I judged
him by the yardstick of the sincerity and objectivity that he had taught me.
My father was a brave man and a man who lived with conviction. I am grateful
that I had such a father.
Experiments with color, the figuration now lies under a mood field of
almost monochrome painted areas of color. The color confronts and the
figuration often only becomes visible after careful observation.
The subject remains the human figure, usually solitary or in an archetypal union
such as that of Adam and Eve. Commitments that can arise from the merging of
several panels. Exceptionally, there is a hug or a kissing couple, a momentary
and fatal attraction. The dressed man in the city, shrouded in the anonymity of
the evening, next to the woman who defiantly shows herself in a sensual glow.
The wide-lying nudes are universal symbols for life force and fertility. The
luscious color and the broad gesture temper the aggression and eroticism that
remain in the background.
Participation in 'Spiegelbeeld', Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam. Self-portrait
 on display.1999
Further experiments in colour.
Monochrome paintings using the contrasting reflections of thick painted areas
versus sparsely covered cotton. Characterisations of common male and female
Nostalgic figures, e.g. a young
girl with a bow in her hair.
Participation International Art
Fair, KunstRAI, Amsterdam
De Brandwacht Galerie, Breukelen (solo)
reflects experiments in colour, line and more specifically contours of the human
figure remain, but the figuration now partially hides behind a nearly monochrome
colour field. Colour confronts and the figuration is often only noticeable after
The subject is
the human figure, mostly in solitude or in an archetypal connection such as Adam
and Eve. He searches in an intuitive manner for relationships between persons,
by placing persons, each of them caught in their own panel, together. By
exception there is an embrace of a kissing couple, or a short and fatal
attraction. The dressed man, shrouded in the anonymity of the evening, next to
the provoking woman who shows herself in a sensual glow.
‘Dier’, Arti et Amicitiae,
Amsterdam.  and 
Galerie DIS, Maastricht , "Streetscenes" and portraits (solo).
September 11th, buildings at the
World Trade Center being pulled, causing thousands of innocent death. [See
There are many examples of violent
incidents in history, in which innocent victims fell among their own people,
orchestrated by parties in power, to secure political approval for a coming war.
In this case Afghanistan and Iraq.
Doing more 'streetscenes' on a
large format for the retrospective exhibition in Huesca.
'Sleutelwerken', De Salon 2002,
Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam
exhibition at the 'Diputacion provincial', Huesca, Spain
One man show at the Fundación
Maturen - Iglesia de San Atilano, Tarazona (Zaragoza). The title of the
exhibition Belphoebe, ‘chastity, grace and courage’, refers to the renaissance
poem "The Faerie Queene" (1596) of Edmund Spenser.
From the press:
M Perez-Lizano (Zaragoza) in the monthly 'El Aragones' of august 2003:
Jan van Eden's exhibition starts as the subject of an English Renaissance
poem, which has in Belphoebe and Britomart its two main protagonists with the
war as the main subject. Past for all present. A theme that is the consequence
of the marked historical and social awareness of an ethical painter who saw and
felt multiple injustices from when he worked as a geologist, from 1967 to 1985,
in Africa, the Middle East and Hispanic America.
The work presented at the Maturén Foundation is unpublished and represents a
break with the very excellent previous series based on figures with suitcases.
Some expressionist forms, however, are related to works such as "De Strijder",
1993, due to the anatomical lengthening to create maximum impact. Here, the
important thing is that the past, despite arrows and bows, even cutlasses, is
linked to the present from a precise naturalness, although in some smells the
bombs serve as testimony and denunciation of all current war to emphasize the
Different symbols sometimes masked, such as the hourglass to allude to death
or fascinating eyes in unexpected places, and the subject itself acquire an
exceptional tone due to the exact color and formal treatment, so that the
agile line and formal reduction To enhance the expressive, they give the
figures an undulating appeal. Beautiful. Flawless and impressive work, which
drags, with the great success of avoiding any nuance of the free message. It
could be assured, on the other hand, that the subject is not far from
exhausted, although the poem as the starting point will force the painter to
consider another change.
11th March More than 200 people
killed after bombexplosions in commutertrains. The following words are
cited from the now defunct www.espantagruelico.org site:
Hoy en Madrid sólo confusión.
Documentos impagos en las calles. Líneas férreas sin dirección. Sangre
empapando intereses políticos y étnicos.
Today in Madrid only confusion. Unpaid documents on the streets. Rail lines
without direction. Blood soaking political and ethnic interests.
Violence, repressed with violence (Aznar, Sharon, Bush, Tony, Putin) Madrid will
become a hysterical city, as will London, Jerusalem and New York. So where do we
go, when do we reflect that the weakest sometimes use the vilest weapons to be
heard. It was not about defending anyone, but tragedies could be avoided, not
with more police and tanks, but with a willingness to dialogue.
Exhibition at gallery
in Zaragoza, Spain.
La prensa (El Aragones):
Jan Van Eden presents a set of paintings with the human figure as the primary
theme, in the field of street and interior scenes following the title of his
exhibition. Female figures of models with a critical inclination and figures
with elegant tones as if they were fleeting scenes, are accompanied by other
paintings that evoke films with famous actors, such as Marilyin Monroe, without
forgetting the exceptional series with the revolver as another protagonist. Also
remarkable are the ancient street scenes with their splendid aroma. Tables, in
their entirety, that have a vertical line at the base that divides each work
with indisputable success. A painter defending a social criticism that here is
also linked to the work based on the recent torture of Iraqi prisoners by some
Exhibition at gallery Klas Vijf,
Velp with 'Streetscenes'
What’s behind my “Streetscenes”:
In his famous 1863 essay "The Painter of Modern Life", Charles Baudelaire
documented a new modern male urban subject - the flàneur. An anonymous
observer, the fláneur strolls through a Parisian crowd, mentally recording
and immediately erasing the faces and figures of passersby. From time to
time, his gaze meets the gaze of a passing woman, engaging her in a
split-second virtual affair, only to be unfaithful to her with the next
female passerby. Baudelaire writes: "To the perfect spectator, the
impassioned observer, it is an immense joy to make his domicile amongst
numbers, amidst fluctuation and movement, amidst the fugitive and infinite .
. . To be away from home, and yet to feel at home; to behold the world, to
be in the midst of the world and yet to remain hidden from the world." The
fact that modern man feels more at home in a crowd of strangers than in a
closed community shows the psychological price paid for modernization. The
“Streetscenes” show walking and gesticulating figures in chance encounters
and casual contacts, characterizing the transitoriness of egocentred modern
Working on a series of paintings
related to September 11th, 2001. Unabated talk of terrorism in the media, ever
more violent interference in the Middle East and increasing repression at home.
Every discussion going back to the events of September 11th, 2001.
This engine landed 3 blocks away from Ground Zero and was identified
as a CFM56, the primary engine of the Boeing 737 and not the Boeing 767 alleged
to have struck the South Tower.
Holland is not any more what is
was. While photographing on the street in Amsterdam I was held under arrest by
secret police. Like in a miltary operation I was surrounded by five plain
clothed man and women that flapped out their police identification,
interrogating me on my objectives. They took my driving licence that I had on me
for identification and two of them left the site with my papers to come back in
about 20 minutes. In the meantime one of the officers went through the pics in
my digital camera. After they gave me back my driving licence they dissolved in
the crowd without saying a word. I can tell you, it was blatant intimidation. I
went on to the Central Station, carrying on the job and making more photographs
Exhibition at the UNED
(Universidad Nacional Español a Distancia) Barbastro under the title
'La batalla del pintor'.
"Miradas contra el olvido,
1948-2009" at the Centro Buñuel de Calanda (Teruel).
Constitucion de la Fundacion van
Eden - Santolaria (VANES) baseada en Sabayes (Huesca), Espana.
The year of many exhibitions in
Spain. "Ecos del Passado" first in the sala CAI of Huesca and later in the
sala Luzan on the Independence Avenue in Zaragoza. "Miradas contra el
olvido, 1948-2009" in the Matadero of Huesca, in the Centro de Historia of
Zaragoza and later in Castejon de Sos (Huesca).
We got notice from Mike Dawes,
that his wife Jean, witness to my marriage with Pepa, passed away. They had
been out of sight for a number of years as they lived in the U.K., North
Yorkshire. These days with the years passing by, you wonder about the
condition your friends are in. Would Mike have the same surprising memory as
in the Zambian days? We would love to visit the cinema in Kitwe and see
washed out coloured "B" movies in which he would would recognise the minor
supporting actors and whisper their names in my ear.
Work of the Palestinian Series used
as a backdrop to a
at the Westerkerk in Amsterdam, where Noam Chomsky gave a lecture.
My dear niece Annie
Prins-Bolding, widow of Gerrit Glijnis, died in Krommenie on the 24th october. I
few words at her burial in
UItgeest on the 29th. During a critical period in my early youth, in the last
days of the 2d Worldwar she was like a mother for me.
Group exhibition with artists
of Arti et Amicitiae at the Salmagundi Club,Greenwich Village, New York
City. The Salmagundi Club is one of the oldest art organizations in
the United States, Founded in 1871.
La exposición “Miradas contra el olvido 1948 – 2012” fue presentada en
Madrid en la Embajada de Palestina.
Con la ayuda y el esfuerzo de
todos los patronos de la Fundación VANES y de D. Miguel Lacasa en especial,
desde Febrero de 2013 la Fundación VANES tiene, dentro del Núcleo Úrbano de
terreno donde puede proyectarse la
construcción de un almacen y espacio de exposiciones.
Compra de terreno en Sabayes
para la construccion de nuestro 'Casa de Arte' que servirá como almacén para
mi obra y nuestro collecccion de otros artistas.
One man show at the
Consell de Cent, Barcelona. The weekend of the opening was an opportunity
for a reunion with many friends from as far back as our Zambian period
(1960ties). Pier Luigi Binda coming all the way from Canada and his daughter
Francesca. Paul and Jenny Guillan from Scotland. Pien en Rolf from our Saudi
Arabian times early 1980ties, coming from Australia. Meike Hansen from
Germany, Corinne and Hill from Holland, my nephew Stein and Charlotte, my
niece Daphne from Holland, Esther Levigne one of the artists of Pepa’s
gallery, now working in NY, and many others from Spain and abroad.
Mike Dawes (see the year
1968), friend and collegue of Zambian times, visited us in Amsterdam.
construccion de las salas de exposiciones de la Fundacion en Sabayes. The
architect Sixto Marin uit Zaragoza and the construction contract with
Malmayor uit Huesca.
Rivera y Pepa Santolaria on the building site of the Fundación VANES on the
24th May 2014
Muerte de Pepa van
Eden - Santolaria Garcia (Melilla, Spain 17-03-1945 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
09-01-2015). Habiendo vivido venturosamente 70 años, Pepa ha muerto después
de una corta enfermedad. Inesperadamente, después de Navidad le
diagnosticaron un tumor cerebral muy agresivo que sólo hubiese podido ser
objeto de un tratamiento paliativo.
Having lived an
adventurous life of 70 years Pepa has passed away after a short illness.
Just before Christmas, totally unexpectedly, she was diagnosed as having an
aggressive brain tumor, for which only palitative treatment was possible.
Considering that Pepa was so active in her gallery, the B&B, the promotion
of new initiatives and the Fundacion in Sabayes, the medical prognosis came
as a shock.
She kept a very clear mind until her last breath, as the disease did not
affect the cognitive portion of her brains. Pepa and I knew each other for
50 years and we lived in perfect symbiosis. She searched continuously for
ways to bring her life and that of others to a higher level and was
convinced that art was the means.
Construction of the main building of the
Fundación VANES has been completed.
VANen)S(antolaria), Sabayes (Huesca)
Death of the gallery
owner (Carboneria) in Huesca Maria Jesus Buil and her partner Angel Ramirez in a traffic
accident on the 11 September 2016.
The death of my gallery owner in Huesca Maria Jesus Buil
and her partner Angel Ramirez in a traffic accident on September 11, 2016
was a shock to me and to the art community in general in Huesca.
Before Pepa's death we were good friends and after that Maria Jesus and
Angel were my refuge, for maintaining the Spanish contacts. We had communal
excursions all weekends and they were a vital support to the Fundacion's
Work in the
interior of the Foundation vanES continued.
Death of Alberto
Carrera Blecua my collegue and friend in Huesca. He has died in the morning
of the 10th of March 2017 in a traffic accident in the province of
Tarragona, Spain. Alberto was planned to exhibit in Art Singel 100 gallery
in the coming month of April and we will honor this event as a tribute to a
paintings have entered the Fundación.
After the donation by Sara Usieto Lopez to the fundacion of a disputed
part of the terrain in front of the building, it became possible to
complete the entrance to the upper floor of the Foundation with the
construction of a wheelchair ramp.
Exhibition "All your armies" in Art
Singel 100, Amsterdam as a comment on the worlds backward move on
Exhibition "The last judgement" in Art Singel 100,
Amsterdam with never exhibited work of the 60ties and new work as an
hommage to Henri Rousseau.
Recognition by the Dutch authorities of the Fundacion
vanES as an cultural ANBI, this is an organisation of public
interest without profit motive.
Decoration of the south wall of the Fundacion vanES.
Decoration with logo and name on the south wall of
the Fundacion vanES.
Death of Joaquin Ferraz.
26th June surgical operation at the AVL, removal of bladder diverticulum
and restoration of the ureter to the right kidney. Mid August final
recovery and travel to Sabayes.
Starting with the installation of a representative exhibition of my work
at the Foundation.
Official approval of the electrical installation.
15th March outbreak of the Corona epidemic in the Netherlands and
instant closure of bars and restaurants. Cancellation of all events like
concerts, theatre, musea.
Cancellation of the inauguration of the expo by Judith Heinsohn at Art
Singel 100. Borders of Spain closed.
In the United States, 46-year-old George Floyd was pronounced dead
shortly after being tied to the ground on Monday, May 27, while
handcuffed and a police officer kneeling on his neck. This incident
sparked a wave of protest worldwide. Despite the Corona crisis, I was
present at the Dam in Amsterdam on Monday June 1 from 17:00 to 19:00.
The number of people on Dam Square was estimated at between 5,000 and
8,000. The thousands of demonstrators almost all wore mouth masks.
Stories of our life in the foreign