In general I tend to avoid showing my crappy phone pictures here (there's a good reason why I'm not on Instagram, besides the fact that I have an internet-free phone ;)), but in this case I had to abandon that rule because I just had to show you a glimpse of how amazing the Fiep Westendorp exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum in Helmond is.
Months ago I read about the exhibition on Octavie's blog, and though we made plans to go visit straight away, in the end it took us a few more months before we finally paid the museum a visit. And so glad we did! First of all because this is an absolutely amazing exhibition for young kids, something you don't see very often. There was so much room for fantasy, play and discovery that our girls got slightly manic (though in a good way) the first few minutes they saw everything. Then they just started to play and enjoyed everything they saw around them. So many of Fiep Westendorp's famous illustrations really came to life in larger than life decors, and everywhere there were little corners where kids could join their favorite book scenes and play along.
I was also quite impressed myself. Here in the Netherlands we are so very used to seeing Fiep Westendorp's illustrations everywhere (not in the least on so many shelves filled with HEMA Jip & Janneke merchandise) and her style has become so familiar that we hardly notice the beauty, art and craftmanship of her work anymore. It was mainly the art aspect that struck me when I saw so many of Fiep Westendorp's original drawings. When you looked close, almost every piece was a masterpiece, and so much more than 'just a children's book illustration'.
So if you're anywhere near Helmond in the next two weeks (yes, unfortunately there are only two more weeks to go) you should definitely allow yourself and your kids the joy and inspiration to spend a few hours in Fiep Westendorp's illustrative world. I promise you won't be disappointed! (And probably you'll end up taking millions of crappy phone pictures just like me, so if you want to avoid that, do bring a proper camera! ;))