Has any Dutch writer’s work been illustrated by more artists than that of Annie M.G. Schmidt? Fiep Westendorp, Thé Tjong-Khing and Philip Hopman are among her illustrious illustrators, to name a few, but the very first to work with Schmidt was Wim Bijmoer. He pictured dozens of her nursery rhymes and his was the creative genius behind the unforgettable illustrations of Patterson Pepps and Sebastian Spider.
‘She presented it all on a platter. It was all right there in the text. Even without illustrations, the words were so good, that I would often ask myself: Am I really necessary here?’ Wim Bijmoer once said about Schmidt. His name is inextricably linked to Schmidt’s, and in the post-war years, when the Dutch people hankered for humour and cheer, his high-contrast illustrations with their idiosyncratic lines were etched into the country’s memory. Overall, Bijmoer illustrated 21 of Schmidt’s books.
To accompany the new exhibition Annie M.G. Schmidt's Bold and Brassy Kids, the museum will now also be opening Wim Bijmoer - In pictures, an exhibition of the illustrations made for Schmidt’s first nursery rhymes and books. Among the more than 50 original drawings, visitors will find Patterson Pepps and Sebastian Spider, as well as Abeltje [m1] and Pippeloentje, the baby bear. Naturally, Veronica the Sheep will be there too. With her rebellious naivety, she is a cheerful breath of fresh air in the dull, rigid society around her, prompting some to suggest that she was a reflection of Schmidt herself.