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Ootje Oxenaar

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Ootje Oxenaar
Robert Deodaat Emile Oxenaar

(1929-10-07)7 October 1929
The Hague, Netherlands
Died13 June 2017(2017-06-13) (aged 87)
Manomet, Massachusetts, U.S.
EducationRoyal Academy of Art (The Hague)
Known forVisual Artist, Graphic Designer, Banknote Designer, Art and Design Commissioner, Professor

Robert Deodaat Emile "Ootje" Oxenaar (7 October 1929 – 13 June 2017) was a Dutch graphic artist, visual artist, commissioner, and professor.[1]


Oxenaar was a student at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and graduated in 1953 with honours.[2] He later was a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague between 1958 and 1970[2] and taught as Professor of Visual Communication at the Delft University of Technology between 1978 and 1992.[2][3]

As Head of the Art and Design advisory bureau (DEV/K+V) at the Dutch Postal and Telecommunications (PTT / KPN) from 1976 to 1994, he was responsible for the commissioning of art and design for the largest Dutch public concern, and served as aesthetic advisor to the Dutch National Bank, the Ministry of Justice in the Netherlands and the Danish Ministry of Transport.[4] His influence on the next generation of designers was extensive as a commissioner, teacher, and international lecturer, in the Netherlands, Europe, and the US.

From 1964 to 1987, Oxenaar was commissioned for two series of banknotes by The Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and was responsible for the revolutionary design of the 'Snip' (100), the Sunflower (50) and Lighthouse (250) banknotes which were internationally celebrated as the most beautiful and least countrified money in the world. His banknotes stayed in circulation from 1964 until being replaced by the Euro in 2002.[3]

R.D.E. Oxenaar was also a prolific designer of acclaimed posters, books, and postage stamps. His graphic design work is represented in various collections, including Centre Georges-Pompidou in Paris, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.[citation needed] Oxenaar's work is preserved in the Nederlands Archief Grafisch Ontwerpers, Utrecht (NAGO).

Oxenaar was member of the Alliance Graphique International (AGI) and an honorary member of the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO).[citation needed]

In 2000 Oxenaar emigrated to the United States where he continued his studio practice and taught in the Graphic Design Department at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Providence.[5]

Oxenaar was knighted in the Order of Orange Nassau, and the recipient of the Medal of Honour for Art and Science in the House Order of Orange bestowed by Queen Beatrix in 2004.[citation needed]

Oxenaar was married to Dawn Barrett, designer and former Dean of Architecture and Design at Rhode Island School of Design, and President of Massachusetts College of Art and Design.[4] Together they had two children.[4]

List of banknotes by Ootje Oxenaar[edit]

Banknotes of Ootje Oxenaar
Value Dimensions Main Colour Main motif Watermark Date of issue[7] Date of circulation[7] Date of withdrawal[7]
90 ƒ5 76 × 136 mm Green Joost van den Vondel 26 April 1966 19 December 1966 1 May 1995
91 ƒ10 76 × 142 mm Blue Frans Hals Cornucopia 25 April 1968 4 January 1971 28 January 2002
92 ƒ25 76 × 148 mm Red Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck Waves 10 February 1971 15 December 1972 1 May 1995
93 ƒ100 76 × 154 mm Brown Michiel de Ruyter 14 May 1970 15 December 1972 23 July 1986
94 ƒ1 000 76 × 160 mm Dark Green Baruch Spinoza Pyramid on bowl and slab 30 March 1972 15 January 1973 28 January 2002
95 ƒ5 76 × 136 mm Green Joost van den Vondel Inwell, quill pen and scroll 28 March 1973 14 June 1976 1 May 1995
96 ƒ50 76 × 148 mm Orange Sunflower Bee 4 January 1982 7 September 1982 28 January 2002
97 ƒ100 76 × 154 mm Brown Common snipe and Great snipe Great snipe 28 July 1977 16 March 1981 28 January 2002
98 ƒ250 76 × 160 mm Purple Lighthouse Rabbit 25 July 1985 7 January 1986 28 January 2002


  1. ^ "Ontwerper beroemde en revolutionaire guldenbiljetten overleden". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) (in Dutch). 15 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Daily, Dutch Design. "Ootje Oxenaar - Dutch Design Daily". dutchdesigndaily.com. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Ootje Oxenaar". The Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Dawn Barrett Selected as President of Massachusetts College of Art and Design". MassArt (Massachusetts College of Art and Design). 2 March 2011. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Rhode Island School of Design Publishes First Historical Anthology". Art Daily. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  6. ^ Cuhaj, George S. (2009). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: Modern Issues - 1961-Present (15 ed.). Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. pp. 679–681. ISBN 978-0-89689-837-0.
  7. ^ a b c "Overzicht in te wisselen biljetten". De Nederlandsche Bank. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2015.


  • Kuijpers, Els (2011). Ootje Oxenaar: designer and commissioner (English ed.). Rotterdam: 010 Publishers. ISBN 978-90-6450-720-5.

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