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Gispen company catalogue cover

As a designer, W. H. Gispen greatly respected traditional beauty and craftsmanship, but he gradually gained greater appreciation for the aesthetics of mechanically made products. As early as the mid-1920s, his Giso lamps were produced in series, endorsing the Bauhaus ideas about the unity of art and technology.

The Giso lamps, like the the company's steel tube furniture, became world-famous. Their renown was largely a result of the way they were marketed: Gispen hired leading photographers and typographers to create its product catalogues and advertising brochures.

In 1994, the rudiments of Gispen’s company archives were transferred to the NAI. A significant part is formed by the approximately 200 product catalogues for bronzework, lamps and furniture. They are an indispensable source for identifying and dating the hundreds of products the company produced.


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