The Illustrator

While Jo was employed by the Hydrographic Office of the Netherlands Navy as a draftsman from 1947-1967, his education and ambition was as an artist. He used those skills after hours as a freelancer and illustrated various books.
In the mid fifties, he illustrated an album for Hooimeijer, a Dutch rusk (beschuit) maker. The Youtube video below  gives an overview (in Dutch) of the company, including archival footage and showing off the albums of collectors’ pictures which were included in the product.

Customers would purchase the album with a place for all the pictures. The  illustrations (all with a marine theme) were done by Frans Naerebout and the last album together with Jo . I don’t remember the reason  why Jo was asked to take over illustrating the album.  No doubt Jo’s brother-in-law (Wim), who  worked for Hooimeijer had something to do with that… I think that there was a contractual dispute with Frans.

A subsequent album was cancelled before completion in the mid-late fifties. The album cover for that unpublished volume, featuring  a Hydrofoil, was subsequently used in an exhibition by Leclanche , at which time the title was painted over ( you can see the remains of the title still….)

When returned, it found a place on the wall in my (Marius’) room in The Hague and subsequently followed us to Australia.
The picture frame had been built to last the duration of an exhibition, but lasted 60 years until I dropped it recently.  So I got it re-framed last week and it adorns my wall again.

A picture that’s much more than just a boat…

People mentioned in this article:

Johannes Cornelis Coomans [picstory]
Willem Kooij [picstory] [picstory]
Marius Hendrik Coomans [picstory]

Need a password to access Email Marius

Willem Kooij

The website was meant as a repository of family documents, photos, documents, etc… But I decided to slightly expand its purpose.

My cousin, Willem Kooij (ask Marius for a password!) started blogging in 2005. He wrote daily stories right through a turbulent time, including the death of his wife Yvonne and up to his own passing in 2013.

After his death, a couple of friends looked after his affairs, including his websites. Recently,  I approached them about some glitches with the site and ended up offering to archive Willem’s ( and Yvonne’s) sites on a permanent basis.

As might be expected, it was more involved than just copying files. I converted the WordPress files to static files and, while it was a slow process, it should be stable long term that way.

I built an overview page to access all of Willem and Yvonne’s sites here.