Hug and Embrace: embrace what is new

27 January 2016

Hug and Embrace: embrace what is new

For just this once, part of the Collection Françoise van den Bosch will be moved from the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, curator of the collection, to the Westergasfabriek. The exhibition is organized to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Foundation Françoise van den Bosch.

Industrial materials

35 years – the name for such a jubilee is coral or ruby – opinions differ, but what goes for all jubilees is: the steadier, the more precious (costlier) the material. Françoise herself only reached the age of 33, but when she passed away in 1977 her designs for jewellery and objects had already greatly impressed people, also abroad. Rubies and coral are not exactly the materials that Françoise worked with. She preferred industrial profiles, pipes and bars, made of aluminium and messing. By simple manipulations – sawing, bending, squeezing – she transformed the material and created perfect jewellery and objects, which may consist of different parts.

“Anything goes”

By the end of the sixties and in the seventies jewellery was re-invented and Dutch jewellery developed a unique identity: austere, you would now call it. This austerity served to focus all the attention on the design. Jewellery changed from adornment or status symbol into symbols on the body. A person wearing this jewellery showed him/herself to be a child of the time, averse to conventions. The appeal of this jewellery was unrelated to material value and user-friendliness. Françoise once said about the first years after she had completed her study goldsmithing at the Arnhem Art Academy (1963-1968): “I threw all conventions overboard and tried to discover new things. Forget something like: would that bracelet be wearable?”


The Foundation Françoise van den Bosch wants to stimulate experiment and vitality by awarding a prize to a jewellery designer once every two years and by buying work of young talent in the intervening year. Work made by the laureate is also acquired. As Liesbeth den Besten, chair of the Foundation, says: “In this way we can keep the name and legacy of Françoise alive, as an example for artists and designers of today. This year was the 18th time the Prize has been awarded and since the first award in 1980 it has gained an international reputation”. An exhibition of the most recent winner, Sophie Hanagarth from Paris, is now on show at the CODA museum in Apeldoorn.


Welcome on the red carpet for a cross section of the collection Françoise van den Bosch from the Stedelijk Museum: ranging from hallmarks, trials and work by Françoise to the work of contemporaries, via jewellery of prize winners to work of young talent. The most recent acquisitions of the prize winner of 2014, Sophie Hanagarth, and of other young talent (2015) will be on show. ‘Hug and Embrace’ shows many bracelets and necklaces, but also objects, brooches and even coins.

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The work of Foundation Françoise van den Bosch is partly dependent on its friends. Do you care about contemporary jewellery? Become a friend for €50 per year. or or


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