Willem Sandberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Willem Sandberg
Willem Sandberg en Ossip Zadkine (1965).jpg
Willem Sandberg (l) and Ossip Zadkine (1965)
Born Jonkheer Willem Jacob Henri Berend Sandberg
(1897-10-24)24 October 1897
Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died 9 April 1984(1984-04-09)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Known for Typographer,
Graphic designer
Waterlooplein metro station featuring an example of Sandberg's typography

Jonkheer Willem Jacob Henri Berend Sandberg (1897–1984) known as Willem Sandberg was a Dutch typographer and museum curator.

He was born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands in 1897 and studied art in Amsterdam. He became a follower of the Mazdaznan movement. As a young man he travelled, serving as an apprentice to a printer in Herrliberg, Switzerland. In 1927 he visited Vienna, where he studied Otto Neurath's Isotype system. He continued visiting the Dessau Bauhaus and meeting Naum Gabo.

Returning to Amsterdam he started work as a graphic designer utilising his printing skills and Neurath's Isotype system. In 1928 he started a long relationship with the Stedelijk Museum and in 1932 became a member of VANK, the Dutch Society for Arts and Crafts. He soon joined the committee which determined the exhibitions of the museum. From 1937 to 1941 he was the museum's curator of modern art. Following the Second World War, he became the director of the Stedelijk Museum until his retirement in 1962.

During his tenure he expanded the museum and developed new exhibition techniques, for which he gained international renown. He applied his graphic design and typography skills to over 300 catalogues.

In his retirement he served on the committees for the Beaubourg in Paris and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Willem Sandberg has also given his name to the master degree's design and art school Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, started 1997 (part of Rietveld Academie)


  • 'Presentation of Vision '67:Willem Sandberg' in Design Issues, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring, 1986), pp. 64–77, MIT Press

External links[edit]