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1940 – 1944

After the Teekeninstituut was replaced in 1926 by the arts and crafts school Middelbare Kunstnijverheidsschool (by governmental decree), with Graafland making way for one of his students, Jos Postmes, the Limburg School gained influence over fine arts education. Tutors such as the successful painter Henri Jonas and sculptor Charles Vos placed their stamp on their successors, a few of whom are also sent to Amsterdam. The school enjoyed a decidedly cordial relationship with the Rijksademie.

In 1939, director Jef Scheffers – one of the Limburg School painters and successor to the recently deceased Postmes – arranged for Ger Lataster, then aged 19, to go and study in Amsterdam after just two years. However, Derkinderen and Roland Holst were no longer professors at the Rijksacademie; in their place was a painter who had made his name with scenes of peasant life. Lataster, who found his lessons to be dull, regularly returned to Heerlen. Scheffers, who himself had an army rank and with his persona as a ‘respectable head of the school’, was a respected figure in society, arranged for certain young talents such as Frans Slijpen to be enrolled at the Rijksacademie or otherwise ‘removed from the records’ to spare them ‘Arbeitseinsatz.’ The highly talented draughtsman and, in the post-war years, tremendously popular dandy Frans Vos was the son of a leading member of the Dutch National Socialist movement, whom Anton Mussert occasionally visited. Vos was also protected, but in his case against his parents’ bad reputation. Frans Vos and sculptor Rob Stultiens were close friends and regularly got up to mischief in and around the ostentatious villa on Prins-Bisschopssingel. Vos remained in Maastricht, as did Stultiens and others. Jef Diederen, Pieter Defesche and a number of other artists had made their way to Amsterdam. More would follow, including Marianne van der Heijden and Lei Molin.

Maastricht Institute of Arts