Made in Harrania?
acquired at the Fodor Museum
by Amanda Pinatih
Westenenk trained at the Institute for Applied Arts Education in Amsterdam and at the Keramische Fachschule in Höhr. In September 1957, she joined the Experimental Department of the Porceleyne Fles in Delft, where she worked closely with Lies Cosijn, creating objects to which Cosijn added decoration. In 1963, the year this pot was made, she took over the ceramics studio of Louise Rubbens and Rijk van Scherpenzeel (Pottenbakkerij De Stenen Kater) in Amsterdam.
The pot is beige in color with black decoration. Squinting at the illustration, and allowing our imagination some artistic license, we can just about make out what appears to be children weaving on vertical looms. Could it be that Westenenk, too, visited the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Center, and perhaps even made the pot there? After all, Wissa Wassef also taught pottery at the Center. We had to get in touch with Adriek Westenenk immediately to find out. But we were sadly informed that the ceramist had passed away in January 2021.
We contacted the Porceleyne Fles to see if they knew more about the pot and if Westenenk had ever visited Harrania. They were eager to help but unfortunately had no further information about the piece. We’d reached an impasse, and had run out of time to look for further leads. So, the research continues but, armed only with assumptions, we had to leave the work out of the exhibition. To be continued…
Adriek Westenek, Harrania, 1963. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Collection.