Destinations Magazine

Miffy Moves in to the Rijksmuseum

By Amsterdam City Tours

Miffy moves in to the RijksmuseumShe is a little rabbit wearing a simple dress. She has a minimalistic style and likes just a few primary colours. She is Miffy, the most famous childhood cartoon character to ever grace the Netherlands.

And now, a collection of over 120 Miffy creations is making a home for itself in the Rijksmuseum from now until 29 August.

Housed in their Print Room, the selection includes some of Miffy’s most famous images from the Zwarte Beertjes paperback covers of the 1960s and 70s to the posters and advertisements for her many books.

Visitors can also follow the entire design process of Miffy’s next book, Miffy’s Letter. Designer, illustrator, author and Miffy creator Dick Bruna has graciously shared his original sketches and unused drawings.

Miffy moves in to the Rijksmuseum

Bruna, who imagined Miffy in 1955 while telling his then 4-year-old son about a rabbit they witnessed on a holiday. Before he knew it, her iconic image was created.

Today, there are 85 million copies of Miffy’s books, translated in over 40 different languages. The stories are simple, child focused tales, but the artwork has grown to be the subject of much praise.

“What strikes me about Bruna’s work is the careful approach,� says Martijn Schapelhouman, senior curator of the Rijksmuseum’s drawings.

“It is art that is the result of weighing the pros and cons, turning things this way and that, looking and then looking again and eventually leaving out as much as possible.�

Bruna’s design is widely considered minimalistic, drawn in a simple style with bold black lines and appearing in only two colours – one, of course, is her characteristic white bunny color.

Perhaps it is this design that has lent to Miffy’s global following. Young and old alike recognize her. At the Rijksmuseum, it is the young who are the focus of a special workshop running in tandem with the exhibition.

Called The Secret of Dick Bruna, the workshop teaches children how to create simple stamps, helping them build the essence of shapes. Who knows, maybe they will discover their inner-Bruna and create a new Miffy animal.

Miffy moves in to the Rijksmuseum

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