The Dutch Circle of Drawing Artists


The first plans to firmly organize Dutch artists stem from the 1940’s during the occupation of the Netherlands. The main goal was to increase the social position of artists. The Federation of Professional Artists was established shortly after the liberation in May 1945. Sculptors were included within this federation in a separate organization of sculptors (BBK).

In 1947, The Dutch Circle of Artists was established. Henk Broer and Oey Tjeng Sit were the driving force behind this initiative. The Circle’s goal was and is to gain awareness for drawings as art. Drawing is, according to the circle, that which is not intended to be a design, sketch, or study.

In the early years, the circle was very strict: everything had to be in black and white, even pen and brush drawings were looked upon suspiciously. The Circle’s magazine, which was also called “Zwart-wit” (Black and White), contained not only reviews but also pen drawings and line copies.

Several of the well known members from that first period are: Ruth Fischer, Willem Vaarzon Morel, Paul Citroen, Riek Wesseling, Ro Mogendorf, Jeanne Bieruma Oosting, Anton Martineau, Jan Sierhuis and Peter Vos.

In the 1960’s, the Circle’s viewpoint was expanded. However, the original objective remained the same: to bring drawings as independent art to the attention of the general public through exhibitions and publications. There were annual exhibitions in, among others, The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Kunst Centrum Bergen, and in the Leidse Lakenhal.

The Circle of Artists Today

After several years of inactivity, Jaap Ploos van Amstel, Hans Landsaat and Fred Fritschy have reactivated the organization. A number of new members have been accepted into the Circle and during the 2007 general meeting, in the Societeitsgebouw van Arti et Amicitae in Amsterdam, Jaap Ploos van Amstel and Vaarzon Morel officially passed their administrative positions on to new board members.

The group’s membership total is a maximum of 30 and an election committee determines acceptance to the group.


Wilma Laarakker, Chairwoman
Ton van der Meché, Treasurer
Ans Goemans, Secretary
Janneke Tangelder, Board Member