Efteling honours founder Anton Pieck with revamped square
19 April: puppet shows, temporary exhibition and whirligig with musical monkeys
19 April, Efteling theme park in the South of Holland will reopen the revamped Anton Pieck Square as a tribute to its founder, Anton Pieck. Efteling designers are still inspired by the nostalgic, romantic philosophy with which the drawing master laid the foundations for the Efteling theme park in 1952. The atmosphere of yesteryear will be felt once again in the 1954 square, where new music will also be heard. The square’s puppet theatre will be restored and daily shows will return, as will the wandering balloon lady. The whirligig has been completely restored and will be expanded to include four musical monkeys, based on an original sketch by Anton Pieck. Finally, the Efteling Museum will host a temporary exhibition on Anton Pieck. It shows other work by the surprisingly versatile Dutch artist. On Wednesday 19 April, Anton Pieck's birthday, the revamped square can be experienced in all its glory for the first time.
"In the year when substantial construction is underway on two major projects, Danse Macabre and Efteling Grand Hotel, we would like to draw attention to one of the founding fathers of our important cultural heritage," said Sander de Bruijn, chief designer of the park. "Together with the Fairytale Forest, the Anton Pieck Square forms the heart of our park. Over the coming weeks it will be redecorated with an eye for detail in the spirit of its original function: a village square where people came to gather. Many visitors will vividly remember the puppet shows of those days. It is valuable to bring that experience back to the present in the same theatre. There is also room for new elements. For example, we have reserved a separate spot for a well that was once drawn by Anton Pieck. This charming well would complete the square."
Temporary exhibition at the Efteling Museum
In collaboration with the Dutch Anton Pieck Museum in Hattem, Efteling is creating a temporary exhibition on Anton Pieck (1895-1987). In the Efteling Museum, visitors will soon discover other works of art by Anton Pieck such as etchings, woodcuts and ink drawings. Apart from his work for Efteling, Pieck excelled in graphic work and even painted around 100 oil paintings. On display are 26 works of art, including a pencil drawing from his academy days (1909-1912) and detailed woodcuts from the 1920s. Colourful preliminary studies and illustrations from later decades are also shown.
Well of Assisi
The small 1930 woodcut, The Well of Assisi is the connecting artwork in the exhibition at the Efteling Museum. The well that Pieck drew on one of his trips to Italy, he had built in 1984 in the courtyard behind the Anton Pieck Museum. Efteling would like to adopt the well Pieck was so charmed by and give it a special place in the renovated Anton Pieck Square.