Golden Age

Highlights of Dutch Graphic Design (1890–1990)

History books invariably call the 17th century the Netherlands’ Golden Age. But when it comes to graphic design, there’s a lot to be said for giving that title to the 20th century. A new travelling exhibition, Golden Age, Highlights of Dutch Graphic Design (1890–1990) , shows the quality and diversity of graphic design in that era.

The Dutch ambassador to Romania, Jaap L Werner, will open Golden Age in Bucharest on 16 November. Organised by Premsela and De Beyerd, the exhibition brings together 180 graphic design highlights. An extensive programme of lectures and debates and an exchange project for Dutch and Romanian students will accompany it. Golden Age will be on view in Bucharest through 13 December before moving on to Sofia and other European cities.

The pieces in the exhibition illustrate ten decades of key developments in Dutch graphic design, such as Art Nouveau, De Stijl, expressionism, Dutch constructivism and postwar rationalism. Visitors travel back in time as they view works by luminaries like Jan Toorop, Theo van Doesburg, Bart van der Leck, Piet Zwart, Willem Sandberg, Dick Elffers, Jan Bons, and Wim Crouwel. These designers’ individual and collective achievements reveal a unique, surprisingly coherent cultural tradition. Thanks to its originality and subtle complexity, much of their work still inspires graphic designers today.