H.J.E. van Beuningen Prize

On the 14th of April 2011 Hendrik Jan van Beuningen has handed out the H.J.E. van Beuningen Prize on behalf of the Dutch Utensils Foundation.

The Foundation, the objective of which is “the increase of knowledge of the pre-industrial utensil”, particularly within the Dutch cultural area, instituted the prize in 1991 in order to encourage research in this field.

Before, the prizes went to:

Arnold Carmiggelt, for his many articles on late medieval archaeology; Sebastiaan Ostkamp, for his article on monk goebels; Irma Thoen, for her thesis: "Soo krijght altemet de gescheurde pot een deghelijck deksel …" on 17th century slipware cooking pots with slipware as marriage gifts; Michiel Bartels, for his book "Cities in sherds"; Loet Schledorn, for his contributions on the series Delfts voor zijn bijdragen aan de reeks: "Delftware. History of a national product";

and now: Nina Jaspers, for her thesis: "Schoon en werkelijk aangenaam" and two articles in "Vormen uit Vuur" on Italian and French imported tinglazed ceramics.


Concerning Nina: In the first place her prize is for her thesis "Schoon and werkelijk aangenaam. 16e- en 17e-eeuwse Italiaanse keramiek uit Nederlandse bodem" [i.e. "Clean and infinitely preferable. 16th and 17th century Italian ceramics from Dutch soil"]. The two articles in "Vormen uit Vuur" [i.e. Shapes from Fire] also play an important role because they summarize the most important research results and made the results accesible for a broader audience. Besides that, the article "Met de Franse slag. Franse compendiariofaience uit Nederlandse bodem (ca. 1600-1660)" [i.e. "French or Italian. That is the question. French compendiario from Dutch soil (ca. 1600-1660)"] stretches the subject of her thesis further. Next to Italian imports also the French tinglazed ceramics are analized.

The most important results of her research is the scientific framing of several decades of research to Italian imported ceramics in Dutch soil. Even though there has been conducted a lot of research in the eighties and nineties on this group of imports, an evaluation of this research was still missing. Large groups of imported tin glazed ceramics were assumed to be Italian, but there was no scientific base for these assumptions. The large group of faience in compendiario style was usually attributed to Faenza, the place of birth of this decorative style. Italian researchers rejected this view and supposed that the Dutch finds had to be produced in the Netherlands. Many Dutch researchers also maintained in a Dutch, more specifically Haarlem, provenance. These contradictive opinions seemed incompatible for a long time. Jaspers has subdivided the group compendiario based on stilistical features and attributed them to a broad spectrum of Italian production centres by studying Italian archaeological reports. By far, most of the products seemed to come from one single region: Liguria. It was already known that Albisola has been an important production centre of tin glazed ceramics and also in the Netherlands large quantities of imports from this place were excavated. These known products concern especially the stilistical groups of Berrettino and Bianco-Blu. Jaspers' research has argumented convincingly that also a large portion of the Compendiario has to be provenant from Albisola. The research has not only been received with big enthousiasm by Dutch archaeologists, also in Italy the results did not remain unnoticed.

In the completion of the publication of "Vlissingen Dokkershaven" that is  presented here today as well, Jaspers also played an important role. In this publication she showes on one hand the value of the research results from her thesis, and on the other that archaeological research to material culture in a broader sense is in good hands with her.

In short, Jaspers' research fits completely with the objectives of the prize, that is to stimulate research to the material culture of the pre-industrial period in the Netherlands.

Research that can be considered for the prize are publications in the form of books, Ph.D. theses, articles, unpublished manuscripts, and also master’s theses that are concerned with pre-industrial utensils in the Dutch cultural area, in its broadest sense. In addition to art historical studies, cultural historical, historical and archaeological studies will be considered if the pre-industrial utensil is the primary subject. These must conform to the generally accepted scientific requirements and give evidence of originality. There is no age limit for participants.

The jury consisted of prof.dr. Jos Koldeweij and drs. Sebastiaan Ostkamp from the Dutch Utensils Foundation, Alexandra Gaba-van Dongen as conservator pre-industrial utensils at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and prof.dr. Jerzy Gawronski from the University of Amsterdam. The chairman of the jury was Christine Vaandrager-van Beuningen.

The H.J.E. van Beuningen Prize consists of a certificate and the sum of € 2,500.- to be used as the winner sees fit.