Cris Agterberg: Sculptors of the Amsterdam School - part 3

Posted on 16 March 2018

Cris Agterberg (1883 - 1948) is, just like John Rädecker en Bernard Richters about whom we published before, a sculptor of the Amsterdam School.

A mystical atmosphere stems from the sculptures of Cris Agterberg, as can be seen from the depicted white-glazed earthenware sculpture of a woman. The abstract, organic female figure, with her emotional, symbolic expression, seems to rise up from her foundation.


Design Ideals

Characteristic of Agterberg’s work are the long, stretched, human figures. He also used these forms in bronze studio pieces. Sculptural, zoomorphic details and the abstracted female figure encompass the design ideal of the Amsterdam School. Due to the intensive labour required in producing these pieces, along with their considerable price tag, the larger studio pieces of Cris Agterberg are quite rare.


Sculptor and designer of decorative arts

Although Agterberg saw himself as a sculptor in the first place, he also was a versatile designer of decorative arts, who succeeded in reaching a wide audience by collaborating with larger manufacturers. In this way, he designed glass objects for the Glasfabriek Leerdam (Leerdam Glassworks) and ceramics for several pottery factories. Rarer are the craft products that he created in small editions in his own studio. Some of the finest examples are the silver jewels with a typical Amsterdam School design.


Amsterdam School

The Amsterdam School (1910–1930) is renowned as an expressive movement in Dutch architecture. However, the architects of the Amsterdam School involved artists of all disciplines in their housing and interior projects. The movement, therefore, includes almost all (decorative) arts. In several blogs, we highlight sculptors who were a part of the Amsterdam School. This is part 3: Cris Agterberg.

Also read our blogs about John Rädecker and Bernard Richters.


Photo: Gé Dubbelman


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