Kees Timmer

Cornelis (Cees or Kees) Timmer (20 June 1903 – 24 January 1978) was a versatile Dutch artist whose multi-faceted career left a lasting mark on the world of art. Timmer was not confined to a single medium or style; instead, he explored various artistic avenues, including sculpture, graphic art, monumental art, wall painting, painting, drawing, jewelry design, and mosaic work.

Born in Zaandam in 1903, Cornelis Timmer relocated to Rotterdam in 1923. He was deeply committed to honing his artistic talents and attended evening art classes at the Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten, now known as the Willem de Kooning Academy. During his time there, he studied under notable instructors such as Herman Mees for painting and David Bautz for drawing. Timmer's dedication and talent were recognized when he received the prestigious Silver Academy Medal (de zilveren Academiemedaille) in 1928.

The 1920s were challenging times for artists in the Netherlands, especially in Rotterdam, where the art scene was relatively subdued. Timmer persevered, creating art that he hoped would find commercial success. His early works often featured subjects such as monkeys and circus scenes, showcasing his skill in figurative animal painting. He also ventured into portraiture and self-portraiture. Despite his talent, Timmer struggled to sell his art during this period.

As his career progressed, Cornelis Timmer shifted his focus towards larger-scale projects. He began creating murals for schools and factories, and his repertoire expanded to include the construction of concrete and metal sculptures. These monumental works demonstrated his versatility and ability to leave a lasting mark on public spaces.

Cornelis Timmer's contributions to the art world were recognized when his work was included in the 1939 exhibition and sale "Onze Kunst van Heden" (Our Art of Today) at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This exhibition showcased his artistic prowess and solidified his place in Dutch art history.

In 1962-63, Timmer shared his knowledge and passion for art as he lectured on head and figure studies at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. His dedication to the art community was further acknowledged in 1966 when he was awarded the Hendrik Chabot Prize.

Cornelis Timmer's remarkable journey in the world of art came to an end in 1978 when he passed away in Rotterdam. His artistic legacy continues to be celebrated, with the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen hosting a major retrospective of his paintings in 1993. Timmer's versatile and enduring contributions to various artistic disciplines continue to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts around the world.