Nola Hatterman (1899-1984)
Dutch artist Nola Hatterman (1899-1984) received recently considerable attention from museums due to her role in connecting the shared (post)colonial heritage of Suriname and the Netherlands, serving as a link between Surinamese and Dutch art history. In an Amsterdam storage of the artist Armand Baag (1941-2001) Bart Krieger (art historian and expert in Surinamese and Caribbean art) discovered a collection of drawings by Nola Hatterman. Hatterman was Baag's teacher and he became her heir. This discovery provided a wealth of information about Nola Hatterman, her artistic process, and her relationship to Suriname. These new insights have been compiled in the book edited by Ellen de Vries, Nola Hatterman: Geen kunst zonder kunnen (2021), which was released concurrently with the exhibition De Surinaamse School at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Nola Hatterman (1899-1984), The peoples of Suriname in the shadow of the oppressor, ca. 1983, oil on canvas, 120 x 160 cm. Provenance: exhibition 'Identity' (1984) Paramaribo, Nola Hatterman Estate, Armand Baag. Price on request.
Nola Hatterman was born in Amsterdam in 1899. From a young age, she experienced discrimination against the residents of the colonies in her surroundings, which led her to develop a 'strong sense of justice' throughout her life. After studying theater, she pursued drawing and sculpture lessons and participated in exhibitions, such as those organized by De Onafhankelijken. Starting in 1925, Hatterman focused entirely on her career as an artist, and from 1929, she developed her style towards the New Objectivity movement. In 1930, she painted Op het terras (On the Terrace), a work that you may be familiar with from the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum, featuring the trumpeter and actor Lou Drenthe enjoying a beer.
Drenthe and Arie Jansma introduced Hatterman to Anton de Kom and the activist Surinamese intellectual community. In the 1930s, her sympathy and compassion for Afro-Surinamese people grew, and she began to counter the imposed European (white) beauty ideals and the rising fascism. Nola Hatterman is known for her portraits. In response to the question why she always portrays black people, Hatterman famously replied, "To me, it's a rather strange question; no one would ask a painter why he chooses white models." Hatterman aimed to depict "black individuals in all their shades, integrated into modern society," rather than as caricatures, as was common at the time.
In 1953, Hatterman decided to move to Suriname and quickly became the director of the School for Visual Arts in Paramaribo. In this role, she had a significant influence on contemporary generations of Surinamese artists and taught individuals such as Armand Baag, Ruben Karsters, and Soeki Irodikromo. Hatterman tragically passed away in a car accident in 1984 but remained an active visual artist until her death.
Her works have recently been acquired by the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, are in the collection of the Tropenmuseum and are included in the permanent exhibition of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, among others.
The works listed below for sale are all from the estate of Nola Hatterman and the former Baag collection. Some of these are featured in the aforementioned book. For more information about Hatterman, please visit the website