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 The album cover for that unpublished volume, featuring a Hydrofoil, was subsequently used in an exhibition by Leclanche , at which time the title was painted over ( you can see the remains of the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 picstory.net? Email Marius