Johanna van Eijbergen

April 16 to September 18, 2022

Drents Museum

She was the only woman in the Netherlands to venture into the field of metal art around 1900: artist Johanna van Eijbergen (1865-1950). Her designs were produced between 1904 and 1910 by the Hengelo manufacturer G. Dikkers & Co. The vases, bowls and many other objects are characterised by wonderful decorations of stylised flowers and animals, particularly insects, butterflies and fish.

Woman among men 

When thinking of Dutch metal art around 1900, one thinks of artists such as Jan Eisenloeffel (1876-1957), Frans Zwollo sr. (1872-1945), Carel Begeer (1883-1956) and Johannes Cornelis Stoffels (1878-1952). However, one important name is missing: that of Johanna van Eijbergen (1865-1950). Van Eijbergen was a woman who entered a man’s world and in a short time built up an impressive oeuvre as a metal artist. She distinguished herself by the way in which she seamlessly combined stylised animal and plant motifs with geometrical forms.

Particularly talented artist

Although Van Eijbergen was only active as a metal artist for ten years, she managed to fully exploit her talent. Winged insects in particular recur on the vases and bowls in brass, copper and tombak. She also made bread baskets, jugs, lamps, door plates and doorknobs. The designs were in keeping with the prevailing art nouveau style of the time. It is high time to put this exceptional artist in the spotlight and tell what her contribution was to Dutch art around 1900. In this presentation, the Drents Museum gives a surprising overview of Van Eijbergen’s work. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication in the Drents Museum Monograph series on artists around 1900.


The exhibition is accompanied by the book of the same name Johanna van Eijbergen (1865 – 1950) – Markante Metaalkunstenaar, in which the life and work of Van Eijbergen is examined by various authors. It is the first time that a book about Van Eijbergen has been published. In the book her oeuvre is portrayed and new facts about the artist are shared. The publication is published by WBOOKS (Zwolle), costs € 24.95 and will be available from 16 April 2022 in, among others, the Museum Shop of the Drents Museum and at bookstores. The book appears in the series of Monographs of the Drents Museum about artists from the era around 1900.

Merlijne Marell

The Drents Museum wants to make the connection between the past and present and has therefore invited illustrator Merlijne Marell to create new work that is inspired by the art of Johanna van Eijbergen. She spent three weeks in Studio DM, the artist residence of the Drents Museum. Marell will make a number of drawings especially for this exhibition, which will be presented in the exhibition space and the accompanying publication. Through this unique collaboration, the museum shows that art around 1900 is still a source of inspiration for designers today.

This stag beetle was inspired by the work of Johanna van Eijbergen (1865-1950), who often incorporated insects in her designs for metal art objects.

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