The "Jewish Historical Museum" in Amsterdam presents the exhibition "Benno Premsela - Max Heymans. Men with guts and style",
on the life and work of the designer and interior architect "Benno Premsela (1920-1997)" and couturier "Max Heymans (1917-1997)". Both were figurehead of a generation of artists and designers who design and fashion succesfully promoted in the postwar Netherlands. They also gained notoriety by being famous Dutch, openly reveal their homosexuality in a time and and society in which it was still a big taboo.
Both being jewish they had a simular life during the WWII in hiding on an attic at a friends place. for years. Benno kept himself busy with creating handbags and Max with hats which were sold by friends for them to gain some money. Sadly they both lost their complete family during the war, Benno had only one brother left after the war.
But they both put themselves together and made a new life with a great career. Max started his own fashion house in Amsterdam and became a famous flamboyant Dutch fashion designer in the fifties and sixties.
Benno became a famous designer of furniture, carpets and all kind of industrial products. The spectacular storefronts of the department store "De Bijenkorf" in Amsterdam which he designed were famous for a long time. One of his best known designs is the "Lotek lite lamp" here seen in the background.
Here a painting of Max with some hats he designed. He had a nasty dead when he was 80 years old by a fire at his place where he had inhaled smoke.