Welcome to the Han Rehm website
This website has been created following the placement of the sculpture of De Melkmeid (The Milk Maid) on the estate of Stichting Kuyl’s Foundation, ’s Gravenweg 71 in Rotterdam.
The sculpture was created in 1938 by well-known Rotterdam sculptor Han Rehm (1908 – 1970), whose studio was located at ‘s Gravenweg 172.
The sculpture was donated to the Stichting Kuyl’s Foundation by the Rehm family.
Biography of Han Rehm
Han Rehm was born in Rotterdam on 24 April 1908. He was the third son to be born to the family. The family’s eldest son had died at the age of one. Han’s father Frits was owner/director of the company trading in snuff tobacco his ancestors had established generations before. The family fortune was obtained through this trade.
Han was born to an artistic family, his father was an avid amateur painter. At a very early age Han started to develop his creativity in sculpting.
After finishing secondary school in Rotterdam, Han left for Reading in the United Kingdom to pursue a degree in Art at Reading University with professors Carter and Seaby.
Han finished his degree with flying colors and returned to Rotterdam. In his home town he studied drawing for a while at the Kunstacademie with famous painters Bouts and Mees. After that he left for Antwerp where, at the Rijksacademie voor Schone Kunsten, he took a degree in sculpting with professor Deckers. In 1930 Han travelled to Vienna to further his sculpting education with professor Müllner.
Rotterdam and surroundings
De Melkmeid (The Milk Maid)
The sculpture was designed by Han in 1938, and a plaster cast has always sat in his studio.
After Han died, and his wife Cristel later moved to a nursing home, the studio had to be cleared out. Han’s son Frits and his wife Sarah then moved the sculpture to their own home.
The sculpture was too large to be placed inside the average home, so they decided to have it cast in bronze so they could have it in their garden.
With the help of his neighbor Hans Oudenaarden, Frits Rehm got in touch with Maarten Hudig, who saw to it that the Stichting Kuyl’s Foundation became interested in accepting the sculpture as a gift, and give it pride of place on their beautiful estate on the ’s Gravenweg. This is an historically important location, since it’s only a few hundred meters from where Han’s studio used to be.
De Lastdrager (The Load Bearer)
On 2 September 1950 the sculpture of The Load Bearer is revealed by mayor Oud of the city of Rotterdam. It was located at the corner façade of warehouse building ‘De Eersteling’ at the Rijnhaven, part of the port of Rotterdam. The sculpture was commissioned by the company Pakhuismeesteren.
When the warehouses at the Rijnkade were demolished, the sculpture was moved to the Parmentierplein at the Waalhaven. It is now in possession of the C. Steinweg-Handelsveem company.
At the prompting of a group of locals, the plan arose to return the sculpture to its original location. As a result, on 13 November 2014 a replica was placed at the van der Vormplein at the Kop van Zuid. This sculpture was revealed by mayor Aboutaleb.
In 1948 Fanny Blankers-Koen, AKA the Flying Housewife, won four gold medals at the London Olympics. Han created an 80 cm model of the athlete, which was then sent to be enlarged by R. Bousquet in Paris. Mr. Bousquet proceeded to enlarge the statue to 2.5 meters.
On 4 April 1956 the statue was placed in front of Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam. It was revealed by Mrs. Blankers-Koen herself.
Tombstone for the Jamin Family
In 1957 the sculpture De Engel (The Angel) was placed on the tombstone of the Jamin family on the St. Laurentius graveyard in the Rotterdam neighborhood of Crooswijk.
The sculpture was created by Han Rehm at 80 cm tall and was then sent to enlarger Bousquet in Paris, where it was enlarged to two meters.
Statue Cornelis Verolme
In 1955 Cornelis Verolme orders a new shipyard to be built: Verolme Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij. (Verolme Dock and Ship Building Company Ltd.)
In 1961 Cornelis commissions Han Rehm to produce his statue. Han creates it at 100 cm tall, and the statue is sent to enlarger Bousquet in Paris, who enlarges it to 2.5 meters.
In 1967 a 500,000 tons dock is built, the largest in all of Europe. In 2002 the wharf’s name is changed to Keppel Verolme, and in 2017 it is renamed once again to Damen Verolme Rotterdam.
Originally the statue was attached to the façade of the company’s office building, but it now has pride of place at the wharf entrance. Address: Professor Gerbrandyweg, Botlek Rotterdam.