Artis Zoo 1940

Vintage book illustrations, acrylic crystals on canvas

96 x 123cm


A collection of original, vintage Dutch book illustrations and acrylic crystals arranged on painted canvas with a cut three-dimensional element. The work is mounted behind glass within in a dark brown, wooden frame.

This large artwork features hand-drawn illustrations that have been cut from 1940 reference books illustrating some of the animals that were residing in Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo at the time. Both copies of these books were discovered at a flea market on the outskirts of the city.

The repeated images have been arranged in rows so that the animals are facing in the same direction – either to the left or to the right. When viewed from a distance this gives the piece a sense of movement.

The sunken rectangular centres leave behind raised frames which mirror the frame of the artwork itself, and the addition of Swarovski crystals in the corners of each cut-out add a contemporary layer. These crystals shimmer in the light when moving around the artwork.

© Adam Robinson