From optical illusions and impossible architecture to true-to-life landscapes: the work of Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) contains it all. In 2023 it will be 125 years since the artist was born. With the largest museum Escher collection in the world, Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Escher in Het Paleis form the center of this special anniversary year.
But Escher was not only a graphic artist, he also designed art for the public space. With his characteristic meticulous precision, he makes the design drawings for five tile pillars for two schools: the Maris College in The Hague (1959) and the Baarns Lyceum in Baarn (1967-1969). Escher designed three pillars for the auditorium for the Maris College (then still the Johanna Westerman School) and two for the Baarns Lyceum. All pillars are in black and white and consist of tiles with regular tessellations. The tiles themselves are manufactured by pottery factory De Porceleyne Fles.
The schools moved in 2008 and 2013 and the pillars moved with them. The tiles were carefully dismantled in both The Hague and Baarn and the pillars were rebuilt at the new location. Six tiles have been saved, just in case something went wrong during the installation of the pillars. These are on long-term loan from the schools to Escher in Het Paleis. We are now temporarily allowed to display these tiles in the factory on the occasion of the celebration.
The Escher tiles can be seen in Royal Delft Museum from 21 August to 31 October 2023.