Artwork Data




Pearl Perlmuter




brons / steenachtig


h. 87 cm

Partial collection

Intro Westbroekpark

Artwork Location


Westbroekpark, Den Haag

City district


GPS data

52.103402596989, 4.2908530067984 View on map

Artwork Description


In the past, female artists received only scant recognition that suited them. Only in recent decades does this seem to have changed. The American Pearl Perlmuter also experienced what it means to be a woman and a sculptor. In 1945 she met Jewish refugee Wessel Couzijn in New York during the lessons of sculptor Ossip Zadkine. A year later she went with him to the Netherlands. Couzijn soon became a renowned sculptor, while Perlmuter was long known only as 'wife of'.

It was difficult for Perlmuter to be accepted into the art circuit. She was not admitted to the Dutch Society of Sculptors, for example, and she was ignored when it came to commissions because 'her husband was already earning a living'. Official recognition only came in 1955, when she won the first prize at an exhibition in the Keukenhof with 'Seated Man', later entitled 'Job'. Thanks to the prize, she became better known and received more commissions.
Not long after that, Perlmut's work underwent a significant change. Stories about Auschwitz and experiments with 'cire perdu' (lost wax method) inspired the Jew to create whimsical bronze palisades that evoke associations with piles of corpses. Only since a major retrospective in the 1980s has her work been appreciated on its own merits. It is mainly those dramatic, whimsical bronzes from the sixties with which she has become known worldwide.

The 'Seated Man' in the Rosarium is an early work by Perlmuter. It is more compact than her later sculptures, which enter into a relationship with space. Job' was inspired by Couzijn. In an interview she said: 'When I made it, he wasn't even in the city and that's why I saw him better. I actually didn't have a title for it yet when Miss Van 't Hoff (an important art expert, ed.) called it 'Job'. This was exactly right' (Hervormd Nederland, 2 May 1964).