dick bruna huis
Who then has not heard of Miffy? A creation by Utrecht illustrator, graphic designer and writer Dick Bruna (1927), widely loved from Amsterdam all the way to Tokyo. The Miffy picture books are read in countless languages all over the world and Miffy herself has grown into an absolute design icon.
Since 2006, Miffy’s own home has been right opposite the Centraal Museum. Here in the dick bruna huis – no capitals, as the Dick Bruna house style requires – the Bruna collection resides, given by the maker on long-term loan to the Centraal Museum. The collection consists of more than 7000 works, among which children’s books, book covers and poster designs created for free by Dick Bruna for organizations such as Amnesty International and the Netherlands Red Cross.
Besides Miffy and her family as the most famous creations, Dick Bruna’s pen has produced many more unforgettable characters. For example, Poppy Pig, Boris Bear and the Little Dog Snuffy. Something quite different is the “Zwarte Beertje” (Little Black Bear), a logo which he designed for the popular “Zwarte Beertjes” paperback series published by A.W. Bruna Uitgevers.
Dick Bruna, whose studio to this present day is based in Utrecht, is the eldest son of publisher Albert Willem Bruna. Despite being destined to follow his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps, he opted for an artistic career. In 1952 he started to work as in-house designer for the family business. He played an important role in the success of the “Zwarte Beertjes”. His seemingly simple, modern designs for book covers of writers such as Havank and Georges Simenon, as well as the posters promoting this series, are nowadays still sought after among collectors.
The dick bruna huis displays a permanent retrospective of Dick Bruna’s oeuvre. For children it provides a playful introduction to the basics of visual art, challenging them to experiment with colours, shapes and lines.
The dick bruna huis is an initiative of the Centraal Museum, made possible by Mercis and contributions by the city of Utrecht, the province of Utrecht and the K.F. Heinfonds, as well as various private donations.
With its 19th century entrance hall and original regent’s room, the building which accommodates the dick bruna house is listed as a historic monument.