Real or not?

click through to original…

While rummaging through Dad’s papers for items to archive to picstory.net (yes, there is still much more to discover), I found some pages of “Het Kompas”, a newspaper from August 1945, originally 32 pages long. Unfortunately only the wrap-around pages survive.

It was the peacetime version of a second World War underground news sheet. It’s clear why Dad kept this copy, the front page is all about the famous forger of Vermeer’s paintings, Han van Meegeren, who had recently been arrested.
Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_van_Meegeren

Why was this of interest to Dad (Jo Coomans)? As the story goes, he found occasional work during the war by copying valuable paintings, so owners could store the original away. The painting below is one of these copies, supposedly returned to him after the war.

Click for higher resolution version

Also, immediately after the war, he worked for a short time with an entrepreneur who sold souvenir paintings to the liberating troops,  the usual windmill/canal views. So the controversy about  van Meegeren and his Vermeer-like paintings would have been of interest to a budding painter like Jo.

Anyway… the remaining pages of the newspaper are just as interesting, read on…

Continue reading Real or not?

Willem Kooij

The picstory.net website was meant as a repository of family documents, photos, documents, etc… But I decided to slightly expand its purpose.

My cousin, Willem Kooij started blogging in 2005. He wrote daily stories right through a turbulent time, including the death of his wife Yvonne and up to his own passing in 2013.

After his death, a couple of friends looked after his affairs, including his websites. Recently,  I approached them about some glitches with the site and ended up offering to archive Willem’s ( and Yvonne’s) sites on a permanent basis.

As might be expected, there is more involved than just copying files and it’s a slow process, but you can see the work in progress here.