Recently discovered drawings by Fiep Westendorp on ergonomics in horticulture

Published on
December 14, 2016

In the Library’s Special Collections we found a large envelope with familiar looking drawings. After some research the drawings on horticultural work processes could be attributed to Fiep Westendorp.

The envelope stated that the drawings were made by Pien Sprenger, the daughter of Wageningen University horticultural professor A.M. Sprenger. But, we doubted the attribution because the drawings showed a distinct and well-known style. Everyone who grew up in the Netherlands knows the children’s books illustrated by Fiep Westendorp, Jip and Janneke or the cats Pim & Pom.

Drawings by Fiep Westendorp

When we considered digitising the drawings to show them to some experts, we unexpectedly found a handwritten note stating that these illustrations were actually made by Fiep Westendorp!

Film or booklet?

In 1965 the Dutch Association of Floriculture asked the Wageningen Institute for Horticultural Technology (Instituut voor Tuinbouwtechniek, I.T.T.) to do a study for best practices in working methods. The drawings were made for a short instructional film to show how to work more efficiently and ergonomically in the ornamental horticulture business. A booklet was published, with different illustrations by someone else, but we don’t know if the film with Westendorp's drawings was ever made.

Wageningen University & Research - Image database

Since Fiep was born 100 years ago on 17 December 1916, the coming year is a special commemoration year celebrating her work with several activities. Fiep Amsterdam Ltd., which holds the copyrights to all of Westendorp’s illustrations, granted us permission to show them in our image database.

Should you wish to use one of Fiep Westendorp’s images from our collection, or any part of it, you must request copyright permission from Fiep Amsterdam Ltd. 

© Fiep Amsterdam Ltd; Fiep Westendorp Illustrations.

Two examples:

Benut de ruimte volledig
Benut de ruimte volledig
Met twee handen beter werk
Met twee handen beter werk

All drawings by Fiep Westendorp in Wageningen University & Research - Image Collections.