Herman Hermsen


print on aluminum
11 inches diameter

Found illustrations of tulips are printed on squares of aluminum in this neckpiece by Dutch artist Herman Hermsen. Forming an elegant collar, each metal square is double-sided, which makes this a reversible adornment. ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’ is a tourist cliché, as the many stalls selling seeds, bulbs, and flowers along the canals of the city center make abundantly clear. It is also the name of a song made famous in an English translation by British singer Max Bygraves in the 1950s. “When it’s Spring again I’ll bring again / Tulips from Amsterdam,” he sings, “With a heart that’s true I’ll give to you / Tulips from Amsterdam.” Hermsen’s neckpiece is amusing, but not sentimental like the song; he has elevated his subject, making this a welcome souvenir. Hermsen studied at the ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design in Arnhem, graduating in 1979. From 1985 to 1990, he taught product design at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), before returning to the Arnhem Academy to teach product design. From 1992 until 2019, he was professor of product and jewelry design at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf. His work is included in many public collections, including the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Kyoto, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York City.