L. Gasque - Art Historian, Reformational Thinker
H. R. (Hans) Rookmaaker (1922-1977): Art Historian and Reformational Thinker
by Laurel Gasque
Henderik Roelof (‘Hans’) Rookmaaker’s life spanned a mere fifty-five years (1922–1977). Those years were situated symmetrically in the midst of the twentieth century. He completed the first half of the course of his life in the years 1949/1950. Incandescently, he was gone by 1977.1
Since his death, the arts scene amongst Christians of almost all traditions and denominations in Europe and North America has changed significantly. A generation ago there were few Reformed or Evangelical arts organizations, journals, or educational centres in Europe or North America; and artists were generally marginalized by the believing community, whether for pragmatic or dogmatic reasons. At the same time, art became a surrogate religion for many cultured members of the establishment and a staging ground for protest and revolution for an angry minority of younger adults. With extraordinary openness and human sympathy, and with deep faith, Hans Rookmaaker faced these cultural conditions squarely. Out of all proportion to his length of days he qualitatively influenced key individuals and groups that were to have a remarkable effect on changing attitudes toward the arts in the church and many other institutions. As American historian Mark Noll notes, ‘If there is even anything resembling an evangelical intellectual renaissance underway today, Rookmaaker must be given some of the credit….’2
While completing his studies at the University of Amsterdam with a doctorate under Professor I.Q. van Regteren Altena (1899–1980), Rookmaaker began his a teaching career as a lecturer at the University of Leiden in 1957. In 1964 he was invited to become the founding Professor of Art History at the Free University, where he eventually attracted students from all over the world. During his time as professor, he lectured widely in Europe (especially the UK) and North America. He became a partner with his friend, Francis A. Schaeffer, in the work of L’Abri Fellowship, which led to the establishment of a Dutch L’Abri as well as the opportunity to speak to large gatherings of students and others in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the USA. The British InterVarsity Fellowship (now UCCF) sponsored lectures at universities and other prominent public institutions, while dozens of Christian colleges in North America, as well as churches, warmly welcomed him as a lecture.
Rookmaaker was an unusual academic. He was equally at home in the university and in the public square, among academic colleagues and among ordinary citizens, with students of art history and with practicing artists, in church and at the cinema or jazz club. At first glance he looked like an unlikely persons to have much to say to a radical and rebellious generation bent on changing not only the university but also society and its mores. He was not physically large or imposing. Dressed in an English worsted suit and smoking his pipe, he looked more like a typical, comfortably positioned bureaucrat or bank manager than an art historian. He was a masterful communicator in both Dutch and English, capable of addressing an academic or a lay audience with equal aplomb. When the lights went down and he started to show slides of great works of art of the past or startling contemporary art and comment on them, his hearers were fascinated, whether they agreed with him or not. His lecturing style was highly unusual for a professor, as he spoke not from a written manuscript but extemporaneously, without notes and fully engaged with his listeners. His lecture was an art form, a performance. Like the historic jazz musicians he so admired, playing inventively with themes, he would improvise within a given structure (the lecture topic) with mastery and control, skill and intensity. He would bait and shock, amuse and bemuse. A lot hung on the sequence of visual or audio examples he used. The more often he repeated a lecture the richer it got.
In contrast to the typical academic specialists who ‘know more and more about less and less,’ Rookmaaker’s knowledge and interests were as broad as they were deep. He had come to faith while studying philosophy and the Bible in a prisoner of war camp. Long before he became an art historian he had a serious interest in music, especially African American music. His book jazz blues spirituals (in Dutch, 1960; now Complete Works 2: 155-314) was published the year following his doctoral dissertation on Paul Gauguin, Synthetist Art Theories (1959) (CW 1: 3-227). His early experience as a commentator on the arts for Trouw (1949-56), annotator of classic jazz records for Riverside Records, and his years of service on the Nederlandse Filmkeuring Kommissie/NFK made him knowledgeable concerning the big picture as well as many small details. He was a master of the integration of the arts as well as of faith and scholarship. Having early on found much wisdom in Dooyeweerd’s philosophy of the cosmonomic idea, he proceeded to apply this insight in his calling as an art historian and critic as well as mentor to a new generation of scholars, artists, and other leaders, apart from the pedantic use of the technical language of Academe.
His Modern Art and the Death of a Culture (1970) (CW 5: 1-164) was one of the first (and perhaps, to date, the only significant) crossover book published by InterVarsity Press (UK and USA), selling in both secular and Christian bookshops. To his great surprise, it sold proportionately more copies in Japanese than in North America or Europe. It was reviewed in Art News and also noted by journalist Malcolm Muggeridge in Esquire and The [London] Observer, where he nominated it as one of the best books of the year.3
Family, Childhood & Youth
Rookmaaker was born in The Hague on 27 February 1922. His father, whose name he shared, was in Holland on study leave at the time from his post in the Dutch colonial service. His grandfather had also served in the colonial service, and his father had been born in Batavia, the Dutch Indies. HRR senior had served as a ‘Controleur’ in the southern part of Celebes (today Sulawesi) and was home on leave in order to improve his administrative skills by taking a course offered at the Nederlandsch-Indonesische Bestuursacademie in The Hague. He was to rise through the ranks to Resident of the Lampong districts of southern Sumatra. For his service, he was honored with the Oranje-Nassau medal from the government.4
Theodora Catharina Heitink, Hans’s mother, was born on 17 March 1890 in The Hague. Han’s father seems to have enjoyed life in the Indies to the fullest. Among other things, he undertook a number of expeditions to discover new flora and fauna, including one that resulted in capturing a dozen Komodo Dragons (the earth’s largest monitor lizards) for European zoological gardens and research. He had a species of frog and shell named after him, as well as a sub-species of bird.5 Hans’s mother never really warmed to living abroad and sought to create her own alternative pattern of life, if not reality, when she lived in the East Indies, right down to preparing Dutch food daily for herself. Life abroad, along with travel to and fro by ship, seemed to have left its impact on young Hans. From the onset, he loved exotic food, unusual scenery, and diverse people. As a young child he developed an early love for African American music — jazz, blues and gospel — a subject of an early work and a lifelong fascination. His interest in ships later led him in the direction of engineering and entrance into the Naval Academy at Den Helder.
H.R. Rookmaaker senior’s Residency in Sumatra was cut short by ill health. In 1936 he returned to the Netherlands to live in The Hague. A heart condition finally forced him into retirement a year later. His parents lived through the war years in The Hague, while Hans opted to enroll in a technical high school in Leiden instead of going to a gymnasium for a classical education with Latin and Greek and an emphasis on the humanities. Intellectually, he was an energetic all-rounder. He did as well at mathematics and science as he did at history and the humanities.
Han’s parents were decent, Dutch citizens, but not particularly religious. He described his own upbringing in this way:
I come from a family that can in no way be described as religious. There was no profound opposition to religion. My father did believe that God existed and that the Bible was a worthwhile book – perhaps his grandparents had been Protestants – but that was all. They even forgot to have me baptized. As a boy I did go to a Christian secondary school – because it was such a good one – but I was not in any way reached by the gospel there. It is really remarkable, by the way, how little mission-minded Dutch Christians often are. Apart from one conversation with one of my teachers no one ever tried to tell me anything more of the gospel. (CW 2: 10) 6
Hans’s early artistic passion was for music, especially authentic African American music. He was not interested in the modified styles created to cater to a consumerist white audience. From the beginning, he demanded the genuine thing. He listened over and over to the same pieces. Precociously he developed a discerning taste for the nuances of this music and a considerable knowledge of its development. He also became an almost obsessive record collector. He spent any available money he had on them and regularly borrowed from or traded records with his friends. In due course he possessed one of the best collections of early jazz, blues and gospel music in Europe.
In 1938, Rookmaaker entered the Royal Netherlands Naval College at Den Helder as a midshipman (adelsborst). Less than two years later the college was closed by the Germans. At this time, he transferred to a course in engineering at Delft Technical University. During this time Hans met and became engaged to an attractive young woman named, Riki Spetter. Before they could be married, he ended up in prison for the possession of anti-German literature, because he was caught with a pamphlet given to him by one of his lecturers. He spent six and a half months in the maximum-security prison at Scheveningen, very near his parents’ and fiancée’s home though they were not allowed to visit him. They could, however, exchange letters.
After Hans’s release from Scheveningen Prison there were to be only five months before commissioned officers like him were commanded by the Nazis to report in Breda, a city historically associated with the Royal Netherlands Military Academy. That call came in April 1942. From this centre, Rookmaaker was dispatched with a group that became Oflag 67 (Offizierslager für kriegsgefangene Offiziere = ‘POW camp for officers 67’). They were sent to Langwasser in the southeast environs of Nuremberg in Bavaria. Four months later, his fiancée and her family (they were Jewish) were taken into custody by the occupying forces and eventually transported to Auschwitz, where they died. After the war, Hans could only surmise that Riki Spetter had died during the Holocaust, but he never was able to confirm the time and place of her death (which occurred on 30 September 1942 at Auschwitz).8
Conversion and Calling
Shortly after his call in April 1942 to report with other commissioned officers to Breda, he was transported with a group of his fellow officers to the very centre of the fanatical Führer cult at Nuremberg. It was here that the infamous Nazi Party Rally Grounds, designed in 1934 by Hitler’s favorite architect Albert Speer, were located. A camp zone southeast and adjacent to the Party Rally Grounds from 1939 on served as a prisoner-of-war camp. This was Langwasser, where Oflag 67, Rookmaaker’s designated camp, was located. Less than six months later, following the German invasion of the USSR, he was moved to a camp designated Stalag 371, situated in Stanislau in the historic region known as Galicia, an area that is part of the western Ukraine. Today this city is known as Ivano Frankivsk. Here he was to remain until sometime in February 1944.9
His fiancée’s letters suggest that Hans had begun to study the Bible seriously. In 1967 he wrote that he had started thinking seriously about spiritual matters after the German invasion of the Netherlands:
In those days I began to think more seriously about matters, and sometimes I had the feeling that God could play an important role in our lives. But only when I … was made a prisoner of war and landed in a camp near Nuremberg did I begin to think about seriously reading the Bible. There were no other books available and, as a civilized man with cultural interests, I thought it would be good to know something about it. As I was reading, I gradually came to the conviction that the Bible reveals the truth to us. (CW 2: 10) 10
The relatively long stay of over a year at Stanislau allowed Rookmaaker more time for sustained thought and reflection. Here he had access to quite a few books; thus he read philosophy, psychology, literature, and especially the history of literature. In short, he began to saturate himself in the humanities. Among other subjects, he began work on the Greek and Latin that he had missed by not attending a classically oriented gymnasium. At the same time he worked clandestinely to finish his training as a naval officer and also to continue his studies, at a distance, from Delft Technical University. He even sat exams during this time.11
At Stanislau he apprenticed himself to mastering the Bible. The Dutch Bible that he had at his disposal during this time is marked and cross-referenced in a range of handwritings that suggests the wide range of his emotions during these months.12 It reflects a mind that remembered the content of the Testaments, Old and New, especially as they related with each other and made an impact on him. It shows an ardency and intense engagement in a personal way with the Scripture that continued to be borne out throughout the rest of his life.
While a prisoner of war he wrote two documents that foreshadow the mission and focus of the rest of his life. The first was entitled, ‘Prophecy in the Old and New Testaments’ (Betreffende de Profetie). ‘Aesthetica’ is the second. Rookmaaker movingly dedicated his study of the Old Testament prophets to his fiancée, Riki. In it he explores his reading of Scripture in order to understand how the Hebrew Bible is related to and fulfilled in the New Testament and how prophetic utterances might have contemporary meaning.13 Towards the end of his time at Stanislau, Hans came into contact with a person who proved to be one of the most influential and faithful friends of his life. Captain (later Professor) Johan Pieter Albertus Mekkes (1897–1987) was 25 years older than Rookmaaker, a convinced Christian and a deeply intellectual man appeared at exactly the right time, to serve as a mature and willing guide for this young and inchoate autodidact.
Hans did not seem to be aware of Mekkes’ presence at Stanislau before the second half of 1943. It may have been that Mekkes arrived at Stalag 371 with an elite Dutch group that arrived some time in the summer of 1943 from Castle Colditz in Germany.14 At the end of 1943 or possibly at the very beginning of 1944, Stalag 371 was evacuated to Neubrandenburg, a city north of Berlin and about halfway to the Baltic in Mecklenburg-Lower Pomerania.15
In his essay, ‘What the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea has Meant to Me,’ Rookmaaker told of meeting Mekkes:
During that decisive time, I was introduced to Captain (later Professor) Mekkes. It was just at the time that we were being evacuated to Neubrandenburg. I heard about Dooyeweerd from Captain Mekkes and started to read Dooyeweerd’s book [De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, 1935–1936]. Rather, I devoured it. For I discovered, right from page 1, that someone was speaking who started with precisely this question [of whether there would be a place for philosophy within Christian belief], and offered a clear solution, namely that being a Kantian and being a Christian were irreconcilable but that, nevertheless, the Christian has a clear task, also as a philosopher
Having once taken this step, I learned a lot from Captain Mekkes, and through him I was further inducted into the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea. We had very many discussions, and in this way I was shaped as a scholar. (CW 2: 11)
Rookmaaker never became a slavish follower of Herman Dooyeweerd (1894-1977), but Hans found his astonishing intellectual range and detailed investigation compelling. The Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea became for him precisely the tool to help him think systematically and critically from a Christian perspective. Under the tutelage of Mekkes, he began writing a systematic work applying Dooyeweerd’s approach and entitled it Aesthetica: structuuranalyse van het muzikale kunstwerk, which was the second work he wrote during this period.16 This brought together all of his major interests and passions: music, philosophy, and a biblical worldview.
Soon after he returned to the Netherlands, Hans was baptized at a church in The Hague and became a member of the Reformed Church (Vrijgemaakt/Liberated). His ‘catechism’ had been an unusual combination of intensive personal Bible study and Dooyeweerdian philosophy.17 Thus, his conversion was more of a ‘change of mind’ (in the root meaning of the New Testament concept of conversion) than an emotional experience. It also marked the beginning of his scholarly career. Faithful Mekkes continued to stand by him and help the budding scholar develop academically. Rookmaaker realized later how his struggle to come to faith and to grapple with the Bible in many ways recapitulated the struggle of the early church to come to its historical orthodox position. When he became a Christian, he committed himself to a confidence in God and his Word that would not be undermined by nebulous ideas of liberal Christianity.18 His perception that the Liberated Churches were more biblically oriented and more conservative than the Hervormde and Gereformeerde Kerken was also probably the main reason for his joining them.19
Some might assume that Bible belief coupled with a philosophical system structured in a hierarchy of ‘modal lawspheres’ was a readymade formula for a rigid form of Fundamentalism. But it would be a serious mistake to believe that this combination had such an effect on him. With his own words Rookmaaker states that what he found Dooyeweerd saying was ‘that the Christian’s thinking is not closed off, but is actually opened up.’ In a striking way he discovered for himself a classical Christian formulation of Anselm following Augustine: credo ut intelligam (‘I believe in order that I may understand’). Something dynamic and clarifying had happened to his thinking that he was convinced gave his ideas a firm intellectual foundation while allowing them to roam and range and soar over the whole wide world.
During the darkest days of the war, Hans Rookmaaker experienced the light of new life in Christ. While physically confined as a POW, he became spiritually and intellectually liberated. Like the Apostle Paul, his conversion translated almost seamlessly into a calling for his work and mission.
When Hans returned to the Netherlands after the War, his ‘father in the faith,’ Captain Mekkes did not abandon him, but rather kept in regular touch with him and nurtured him in every way, spiritually and intellectually, and probably emotionally as well, by his firm friendship. Presumably it was Mekkes who helped him find a church where he could be baptized. Because soon after his return to the Netherlands, Hans was baptized, confirmed and became a member of the Reformed Church (Vrijgemaakt/Liberated). Mekkes also quickly helped set him on his way professionally by encouraging him to develop and elaborate his thoughts on aesthetics that he had begun to set down at Neubrandenburg. These were brought to fruition and published in two parts in the journal Philosophia Reformata (1946–1947).20
Hans’s love of learning only increased through his discovery of his love of God. As immediate as his finding Christian affiliation on his return to The Netherlands was, so was his seeking a place where he could continue his education. Thus in 1946, without skipping a beat and with hardly a cent to his name, he enrolled as a student at the University of Amsterdam.
In many ways it was easier for Hans to know his calling as a scholar than it was for him to find the right subject to study, one that could lead to a meaningful career that would provide support for the family he one day hoped to have. With his conversion, he recognized immediately his spiritual and intellectual home in a biblical and Reformed tradition. The Christian philosophy of Dooyeweerd was confirmed for him by its high degree of congruence with Scripture, especially in its understanding of God’s law perceived in the broadest sense of its co-inherence with the structure of reality. He had not discovered this philosophy and then read it all back into the Bible. Quite the reverse was true. His reading of the Bible prepared him to recognize a way of thinking that could open up biblical insight into the world, scholarly disciplines and normal human activities. Instead of being scattered in his thinking, he was given aid to think rigorously in a systematic but dynamic way, across categories, without losing his intellectual or spiritual footing because he had a place to stand. However, for all its benefit to him, it did not provide him with a tidy formula for a career. The questions remained: What specifically was he going to study? What kind of career would his choice create?
Although he had done well with scientific studies and had even completed his naval officer studies secretly while in German detention at Stanilau in western Ukraine, his real passion had been music. He loved classical music and African American music, and he knew a great deal about both. Musicology seemed to him an ideal subject. In high hopes of pursing the history of music, he was disappointed when he was told that he did not have the technical prerequisites required for this study. He found out that he needed to be able to play a musical instrument competently to be admitted to a degree in musicology. Ironically, for all his knowledge and appreciation of music, Hans could not make music. For that matter, he could not sing or even carry a tune in the midst of voluminous support during congregational hymn singing. Thus it was that he eventually turned to the study of art history, a subject that he was more than adequately suited to and one that permitted him quite compatibly to continue his serious and abiding interest in African American music history.
Art history proved to be far more than a default subject for Rookmaaker. Its range of subject matter and meaning is as wide as the spectrum of life itself making it a peculiarly fascinating field for someone like Rookmaaker who was attracted by a grand and sweeping view of ideas and human experience. Art history and criticism accorded well with his natural penchant for broader cultural and philosophical observation and analysis embedded in concrete and particular expressions rather than theoretical thought. It gave him a discipline in which he could integrate and focus his considerable breadth of learning and interests. It was also conducive to stimulating his keen interest in the manifest world of ordinary experience and his love and affinity for seventeenth century Dutch art – an art that he, along with Abraham Kuyper, found reveling in everyday life in large measure because of the profound influence of Calvinism on it.21
In 1949 the year he passed his kandidaats examination, Rookmaaker gained employment as an art critic for Trouw. In the same year he was appointed assistant to Professor I.Q. van Regteren Altena (1899–1980) of the University of Amsterdam, a connoisseur and specialist in the art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and one of the editors of the prestigious art historical journal, Oud Holland.22 Being a graduate assistant to such a distinguished scholar had its advantages (besides helping to cover fees). First of all, it allowed Hans to see more of his professor in action, to learn what was actually involved in an academic career. Secondly, it allowed him to receive more attention from his professor that was otherwise possible. Thirdly, it gave him invaluable experience in teaching even as he was learning.
Van Regteren Altena taught his students to look carefully and meticulously at works of art in order to get thoroughly acquainted with them. He also emphasized at the same time the study of them in their art historical context. Though he wore this lightly in later years, Hans was given an excellent apprenticeship in connoisseurship by his professor, who at the time of his studies was also the Director of the Print Room of the Rijksmuseum. Hans’s art historical education was founded on constant exposure to original works of art under expert guidance.
To this erudite and classical formation he added an extraordinary self-education in contemporary art. His reviews for Trouw required regular visits to art exhibitions and museums all over the country and occasionally abroad. Although many of the shows he saw were of older art, there was also a burgeoning of modern art to be seen. The young man who had independently cultivated a discerning taste for the nuances of African American music and a considerable knowledge of its development now applied these same kinds of sensibilities to understanding the visual art of his own era.23 As both the history of jazz and modern art are now established academic subjects, it needs to be pointed out that when Rookmaaker began writing about these subjects in the early 1950s, they were not universally recognized as scholarly subjects. His own contribution in this area, at least in The Netherlands, helped them gain serious attention.24
Hans was building his unique blend of competencies. Alongside his technical expertise in art history and firsthand familiarity with contemporary art, he was beginning to hone his ability to communicate with a wide public without pandering to the lowest common denominator of his audience. Furthermore, he was thoroughly imbued with biblical understanding that did not remain locked in a text but dynamically sought a horizon in everyday life. In his reviews, his style was simple and direct. He knew how to hook his readers’ interest in his first paragraph, if not his first line. He always informatively gave historical, cultural or religious background information that aided his analysis. Without a hint of patronizing, his reviews registered warmth and an undisguised desire to teach and persuade his audience to take action. They are studded with exhortations to: ‘take a closer look,’ ‘go see,’ ‘take a trip,’ ‘hop on a train.’
In 1956, Hans finished his work with Trouw and turned his focus fulltime to obtaining a doctorate in art history, at the same time struggling with his burning desire to write a book on jazz, blues, and spirituals. He drove himself harder than ever. He was back at the University of Amsterdam with his old professor, van Regteren Altena. He loved the art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but he felt a tremendous pull toward understanding the art of the century in which he lived. He was convinced by everything he had experienced so far in his life that the crisis of the modern condition, which had reaped chaos and devastation for most of the twentieth century, could be understood through modern art, which presented a way of disclosing what was at stake in assuming the validity of modernity’s presuppositions. The powers of persuasion that he charmed his Trouw readers with must have worked on his professor as he made the case for a dissertation on Paul Gauguin and Synthetist art theories as a critical bridge between the art of the ages, as it were, and what was created in the twentieth century.
At the time, it was rare for an established art historian to focus on modern art; this was not really a worthy task for a true scholar. That Hans, along with his contemporary, Hans Jaffé, curator at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, who investigated the De Stijl movement of the 1920s, were allowed to research areas of modern art, affirms that the faculty of art history at Amsterdam was willing to move beyond its reputation for impeccable historical scholarship to a progressive consideration of contemporary art. It put Hans in the vanguard of what the Dutch art historical establishment was willing to concede as serious research.25
Moving into his doctoral work, Hans found a position in 1957 as assistant to Professor Henri (Hans) van de Waal (1910–1972) at the University of Leiden, whom the great Polish art historian, Jan Bialostocki, called ‘one of the masters of the study of images’.26 Although Hans never intended to earn a degree at Leiden, it is safe to say he learned as much there by assisting van de Waal as if he had earned a second doctorate. As a scholar of Dutch historical iconography of the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in its relation to religion, literature and social history, van de Waal pioneered the systematization of iconological groups as they relate to specific typological contexts. This was one of the greatest boons those studying the content and meaning of historical art could have hoped for, as it made collections of art works readily accessible on the basis of subject, not just by artist or more general categories such as landscape, portrait or still life. Working with the thousands of photo cards of artworks amassed by the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD/Netherlands Institute for Art History, founded in 1932), van de Waal designed an ingenious system of number/letter/code classification called the Decimal Index of Art of the Low Countries (DIAL) which he presented in 1958. To make his system more easily available to international scholars, van de Waal chose English. The system was so successful that an improved and extended version of DIAL, which no longer focused only on Dutch art, was published in 1968 and called the Iconclass System.27
During most of the decade of the development of Iconclass, Hans was van de Waal’s right hand man at Leiden until his own appointment as Professor of Art History at the Free University of Amsterdam (1964). The model van de Waal provided Rookmaaker with should not be overlooked. Van de Waal kept up cordial collegial relations with many leading art historians inside and outside of The Netherlands. He founded a special collection on the History of Photography as one of the divisions of the Leiden Print Collection. He was an outstanding lecturer and much loved as a teacher by his students, both of art history and other disciplines. He was committed to art education for young people. R.H. Fuchs said of him: ‘the history of art, in his experience, was not just an area of human endeavour to be documented, mapped, analyzed and interpreted. To him it meant, above all, the opportunity to study how individuals function within their culture, and, conversely, how a culture nurtures and shapes an individual.’28 Those familiar with Rookmaaker’s own breadth of interests should not have trouble seeing how van de Waal’s approach would have appealed to him and implicitly influenced his emphasis on the content of art in its cultural context and given him ideas about the scope of what can be included and brought to bear on the understanding of works of art.
Van de Waal’s decision to set up DIAL/Iconclass in English may also have influenced Hans’s decision to go the harder route and write his dissertation on Gauguin in English so that it could reach a wider academic audience.
In Synthetist Art Theories, Hans’s dissertation on Paul Gauguin, he broke new ground for the study of the dynamics of thought and artistic practice at play at the inception of modern art. Sifting through a monumental amount of nineteenth-century French art theory, selecting, translating and analyzing pertinent texts, have won Rookmaaker regard for decades. To this he added an analysis of Gauguin’s contribution as a major figure who fought for the artist’s freedom to find new forms apart from any previously held established tradition, conceived an understanding of the iconic character of the visual arts (that is, colour and line representation of the visible world could express what is unseen but equally as real) and created a new and higher value for the decorative aspects of art.
Near to his heart during the time of his graduate research was a project that he had dreamed of and nurtured for a long time, namely, his book, Jazz, Blues, Spirituals (1960). Even as he was in the last throes of writing his dissertation, he was lining up details regarding publication permissions for this book. It was the book he had wanted to write since he was a boy.
In 1961 he was granted funding by the Dutch government to travel to the United States for the purpose of learning how art history was taught there. It provided a special opportunity to spy out the land to see if he might have a professional future there. Professorships were much more limited in number in The Netherlands than they were in North America. For three and one half months he toured Ontario, Canada, the eastern and Midwestern meeting literally hundreds of people, visiting every major art collection in these regions, attending the College Art Association meeting in New York City, contacting dozens of prominent art historians and seeing at least 20 college and university campuses. He also took this opportunity to make connections with numerous leading figures from the African American community.29
During this time and for a year or so afterwards, he considered a variety of academic opportunities in North America. It is doubtful whether he really wanted to leave The Netherlands, except for pragmatic reasons (he needed money to support his family). Possibly he also hoped that, if rumour spread that he was about to be hired for a job in America, he might appear more valuable at home and some people would not want to lose him. Whether or not that was the case or in his mind, in late 1963 or early 1964 Rookmaaker was approached by academic representatives of the Free University of Amsterdam who came to his home in Leiden with an invitation to become the founding professor of a new department of Art History at the Free University. He accepted the invitation almost immediately. At last he had found a place where he could be faithful to his calling as he furthered his career. He could create and contribute something new within the Dutch Calvinist ethos that often shied away from serious engagement with the arts. This was to be his academic and professional home for the remainder of his all-too-short life.
Family and Marriage
Hans’s father did not live to see his son return home from Germany. He had been in poor health for a number of years, and the deprivations of the war years took their toll. He died on 30 January 1945 at the age of 57. Hans’s mother was 55 when he returned to The Netherlands. She was in good physical health but was beginning to develop signs of emotional strain, which eventually led to dementia. She died on 12 July 1971.
Weaving the strands of life together again after the war was not simple. These years were active, full and complex ones for him as he sought to shape his personal life and develop a career.
Almost the first thing Rookmaaker did when he returned to the Netherlands after the war was to place advertisements in newspapers in several Dutch cities asking if anyone had seen or had any knowledge Riki Spetter, who had been seen last at Westerbork on 18 August 1942.30 He knew for almost the entire time of his imprisonment that his Jewish fiancée, had been taken away with her family from The Hague to the province of Drenthe in the north of Holland; nevertheless, as he had no confirmation of her death he continued to hope and to write letters to her via his family until shortly before his return to the Netherlands in 1945.31
Upon returning home, Hans not only found spiritual fellowship in the Liberated church community of which he was now a part, but he also reestablished links with friends and acquaintances from before the war. Most notable among these was a young woman who had been a close friend of his fiancée, Anna Marie (‘Anky’) Huitker (1915-2003). In August 1942, she had dutifully reported to Hans that the Nazis had taken Riki Spetter and her family away. Together they searched for Riki, fiancée and friend. The Huitker family had valiantly united to resist the occupying forces and had hidden Jews in their home for the duration of the war.32
Anky had a similar background to that of Hans. She was born and spent her childhood in the Dutch East Indies. Her parents were nominal Protestants (Nederlandse Herevormde Kerk) who had also neglected to have their daughter baptized. Following the trauma of WW II, she was spiritually hungry and open as she began to see more and more of this young and enthusiastic convert. The message that had fallen on closed ears in his family, she slowly received with warmth and sincerity as he shared it with her and engaged her questions. She did not rush into faith or take it lightly. Though they were in contact immediately after the war, it was not until sometime in 1947 that her commitment to the Christian faith became clear and defined. She still waited until 1949 (the year in which she and Hans were married) to be baptized and to become a member of the Reformed Church (Vrijgemaakt/Liberated) in Amsterdam.33
Anky Rookmaaker-Huitker was a natural organizer. She was a person who knew how to get things done. She was multilingual, bright, highly motivated, and full of practical intelligence. She had gravitated to office administration, in keeping with her gifts. These skills were later to be utilized in the development of the Dutch L’Abri Fellowship and especially in the work of Redt een Kind, which she founded to support orphans and poor children in developing countries and which she was to direct for 38 years.
Hans and Anky developed their relationship in a gradual and natural way and very much out a respect for Riki Spetter in the thought and hope that she might somehow be still alive. Hans resumed his university studies, while Anky continued her work in the office. Over the next two years, they got to know each other and, in due course, decided that their lives should be united together in marriage. In 1947 they announced their engagement. Two years later (1 June 1949) they became husband and wife. Over the next five years the Lord blessed them with three children: Henderik Roelof (also nicknamed ‘Hans’) (15.7.50), Leendert Cornelis (‘Kees’) (21.2.53), and Maria Helena (‘Marleen’) (26.8.54). All three children have followed in their father’s footsteps by pursuing graduate studies and by engaging in research and writing.
Student Work and Mission
Rookmaaker was intrinsically mission minded. From the outset he took a missional stance that he derived directly from his reading of Scripture and the example of the early church. He had no ecclesiastical tradition or assumptions through which to filter his reading of the biblical text. He had only his cultural and personal history with which to read the Bible. Though guided by Captain Mekkes and inspired by reading Dooyeweerd, Rookmaaker’s own experience of studying the Scriptures for himself was the critical element in his conversion. Thus it is not surprising that the student work he initiated for university students from the Gereformeerde Kerken (Vrijgemaakt) in Amsterdam in 1947 (when he was a student himself) should have originated in a Bible Study group (Vereniging van Gereformeerde Studenten Amsterdam or VGSA). Prevalent amongst Liberated students at that time were groups focused on current church questions or dogmatic issues that tended to stir up conflict.34
Although the VGSA was looked on with some apprehension, especially by the Groningen ‘Hendrik de Cock’ group, it was determined to remain open and in fellowship with other Liberated student groups and avoid bickering over ecclesiastical matters that might make it lose sight of a wider vision of mission and service in the world.35 Rookmaaker’s leadership focused the group on starting with studying the Bible and being able to discover foundational principles in this way. He discerned the need for Christian students, especially those coming from his church, to have strong support in the midst of a university environment that frequently was hostile to the faith and was inclined more to uphold a secular humanism. The VGSA encouraged friendships that nurtured Christian maturity through Bible study and reflection that brought biblical thought to bear on the issues of life and learning. For the rest of his studies and for the rest of his career, Rookmaaker in one way or another supported VGSA and its mission. In appreciation, he in turn was honoured by being made a lifelong member.
Rookmaaker’s apologetic outlook undergirded by rigorous Bible study was perfectly suited to the vision of Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984) with whom in 1948 he began a friendship that was to have a powerful impact on both men and their families as well as countless students around the world.
The occasion of Rookmaaker and Schaeffer’s meeting each other was the founding assembly of the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC) that met 11-19 August 1948 at Amsterdam under the leadership of Carl McIntire (1906-2002) as an alternative to the World Council of Churches (WCC), the first meeting of which was scheduled for the following fortnight, also in Amsterdam.
Hans was only 26 and not exactly an experienced churchman at this stage, nor was he an official delegate to the ICCC meeting. He was a fulltime university student who checked in intermittently with the young woman working in the office, namely Anky Huitker, whom he had recently asked to marry him. Later comments by Hans suggest that he did attend some of the sessions.36 Short of pestering Anky, he was eager to have her find any Americans at the assembly who might know something about Black music and be willing to talk with him about it.
So it was on an evening in August 1948 that Hans accompanied Anky back to her office for her to do some more work that they unexpectedly ran into Francis Schaeffer, the very person Anky thought might be able to help Hans out, busily working away there.
Immediately upon being introduced, Hans respectfully asked Schaeffer, ten years his senior, if he had some time to speak with him. Anky remembered Schaeffer looking at his watch and telling Hans he could spare about half an hour. Then, they disappeared to talk. Anky never saw Hans for the rest of the evening. When she saw him the next day she asked him if he had gotten his questions answered. She was amazed to hear him say he had never gotten around to asking them because he and Schaeffer had streaked straight into an extensive discussion of modern art and its presuppositions that did not end until 4:00 AM!37
Friendship with Schaeffer only deepened through the years. Although their relationship had been sparked initially by intellectual exchange, it was not limited to this realm. Their friendship soon became a rich and complex friendship of four people and two couples, all sharing a vision of serving rather than careerism. When Swiss L’Abri Fellowship was formed in 1955, the Rookmaakers were some of the Schaeffers’ first guests. The ethos of hope and hospitality they experienced with their friends strengthened the bonds of their appreciation and inspired them to continue and to expand their own reception of students and seekers (many of them artists) into their home that had started by often hosting the VGSA. Eventually their efforts grew into a full-fledged L’Abri Fellowship in The Netherlands. By 1971, a huge welcoming, white eighteenth century farmhouse (Huize Kortenhoeve) at Eck en Wiel in the province of Gelderland was purchased through the L’Abri Foundation of The Netherlands (Stichting L’Abri Fellowship Nederland). There the widening circle of transforming friendship with students begun in the Rookmaaker home could grow and a new stage in the work of L’Abri in Holland could burgeon forth that would shape the Rookmaakers in Hans’ last years almost as much as they shaped the work.
The spiritual hunger of the West that was evident in the appeal and growth of Eastern religion between the World Wars resurged in the ‘sixties. Schaeffer and Rookmaaker, despite their different backgrounds, were both able to see that the spiritual quest of the younger generation was not focused only on the religious sphere itself, but that it also was driving unrest in other areas of cultural life and experience. As the passionate urge to political reform was often linked to Marxism and left-wing politics, the religious element appearing in a myriad of forms in the striving for reform during these times often has been overlooked or obscured in hindsight as historical interpretation has stressed the rise of various socio-political movements such as civil rights, feminism, and the environment.38 Mentors, guides and gurus were in demand to aid understanding and share wisdom. Many, if not most of them, proved less than reliable. There was also a great longing for community. The Rookmaaker/Schaeffer friendship and the communities they laboured with love to develop prepared them in a remarkable way to meet these spiritual conditions during the late ‘sixties and ‘seventies.
Both Rookmaaker and Schaeffer shared a courageously wider view of the world that was not based on a slavish adherence to a cramped consensus of academic opinion or credentials for its interpretation. They both had a bold confidence backed by considerable experiential learning that transcended a need to have academic respectability. They did not mean to flaunt this. They had a mission that was not advanced by finicky correctness for every detail being covered before a word could be said on a subject. Justifiably and unjustifiably, they were often criticized for lack of precision or for generalizations they made about subjects they had little expertise in. Generally, Rookmaaker was more cautious. Schaeffer was that rare evangelist who was an intellectual. Rookmaaker was that rare academic who was also an evangelist. While the scholarly establishment felt constrained to contain and maintain discrete fields of knowledge and research in the university, students were seething to know how knowledge applied to their yearnings for a different world. In short, they hungered after wisdom as to how they should live. Both Schaeffer and Rookmaaker movingly identified with their spiritual and intellectual longings and communicated this compassionately.
Throughout the sixties Rookmaaker was having wide contact and experience
with churches outside of Vrijgemaakt circles, principally through L'Abri and
Inter-Varsity Fellowship (IVF) in the UK and its global community, International Fellowship of International Students (IFES), linking student movements at that time in nearly one hundred countries around the world. This brought him into contact with a broader spectrum of evangelicals and biblically based Christians that crossed different denominational lines. In turn this seems to have influenced his natural lack of appreciation for intense debate over dogmatic matters that paralyzed the church and inhibited it from true missional engagement with contemporary culture. Though conservative in his views theologically, Rookmaaker never had an inclination to either cultural or ecclesial provincialism, which he appears to have felt the Vrijgemaakt were often inclined to through their inward focus on dogmatic and ecclesiastical matters. This led to his finally breaking away from the Gereformeerde Kerken (Vrijgemaakt) in the late sixties and his identification with the Nederlands Gereformeerde Kerken. His main reasons for this seem to be his concern over the Vrijgemaakt tendency to legalism and to consider themselves the only true church in the Netherlands along with their strong emphasis on the classical Reformed confessions of faith (the Belgic Confession of 1561; the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563; the Canons of Dordt of 1618/19) rather than clear adherence to the primacy of the Bible.39
Criticism of Rookmaaker’s View of Modern Art
Many, on first engaging Rookmaaker’s thinking, especially his utterances on modern art, did and do dismiss him and his ideas summarily. One often hears thoughtful people, many of whom are practicing artists, reject his work because they perceive that he did not understand modern art, that he hated it and wanted only to see contemporary art that looked like it was made for, if not in, the seventeenth century. In their view, abstraction was anathema for him. Rookmaaker’s provocative style and unwillingness to bow to the fashionable trends of the times only made him all the more susceptible to bracketing his views and considering him reactive and out of touch rather than seeing him as offering a broader and deeper, boldly sophisticated, critique. Although it is understandable how some have stayed at this stage of engagement with Rookmaaker’s thought, it is unfortunate that they have missed his philosophical criticism of modernity and confused it with a dismissal and damnation of modern art.
For the man who formed the foundations of his thinking in the furnace of World War II, the stakes were high. Ideas reflected in modern art were not just neutral or nice, coincidental concepts. They were loaded with philosophical presuppositions as to the meaning of reality. When art institutions went out of their way to evangelize, one might say, for the cause of modern art, there was more happening than just making the general public aware of new art. In Rookmaaker’s judgment, they were preaching and making propaganda for a view of reality totally antithetical to the acknowledgement of a creational order given by a loving and living Creator. It was ‘[r]eality. . . experienced as an alien power, irrational, strange, imprisoning humankind with its laws. . . . They experience their own lives as meaningless accidents and feel they have been thrown into a sick reality.’40
Rookmaaker had come near to walking down the same road himself in the chaos of war until he became convinced of a richer and deeper way of experiencing life in Christian freedom. He longed for others to know such fullness of life. He understood the temptation of this route; and, in many ways, he had tremendous compassion for those captivated by their alienation and seduced by modern art as a surrogate religion. Rookmaaker took modern art with absolute seriousness. He decried Christians who dismissed it and ignored it. For him, it was a key indicator of the condition of the times. He saw value and a certain achievement in Picasso’s rejection of Enlightenment thinking, but he was not beguiled by the creed the artist went on to promote in its place.41 He also could appreciate modern art’s breaking down of the dogma of naturalism espoused by much of nineteenth century academic art that in its own way distorted reality as much as any art of the twentieth century.
Rather than a specific style or particular spiritual pedigree, Rookmaaker was looking for evidence of the affirmation of our humanity situated in meaningful reality in contemporary art. His deep appreciation of the art of Georges Rouault’s dark, yet redemptive, vision is a case in point to disabuse those who believe that he never had any appreciation for the art of the modern era.42 He could acknowledge the beauty in an abstract painting by Jackson Pollock. But the arrogance of willfully trashing a world still filled with evidences of God’s glory despite sin and evil incensed him. Still, he was aware that ‘[i]f modern art is sometimes oppressive and negative in direction, then we as believers [also] bear some of the responsibility.’43
In fifty-five years (exactly the same number of years allotted to his spiritual ancestor, John Calvin), Rookmaaker’s work in this world was completed. He died on Sunday evening, 13 March 1977, after going to church in the morning in the newly dedicated chapel at L’Abri in Eck en Wiel.
The legacy of his labour has followed; and, in many ways, it is only getting underway twenty-five years after his death. His work continues not only to benefit believers of all denominational stripes who are active in the arts, but also to honour the Calvinist tradition he identified himself with. The publication of his Complete Works in 6 volumes (Carlisle, UK: Piquant, 2002-2003), most translated into English for the first time only, contributes further to his reputation as being one of the most articulate Christian spokespersons on behalf of the arts in the past century.
Rookmaaker’s drive and activism was anything but average for a professor of his era. As far back as 1959, Hans showed unusual energy by writing and publishing his book, Jazz, Blues and Spirituals, while completing his doctoral dissertation. Here we also see nascent evidence of the range of his interests that translated into a breadth of influence beyond the discipline of art history. Ordinarily, scholars influence other scholars in their field through their research and writings. However, the reach of Rookmaaker’s impact on others extends well beyond academic art historical circles, through both his writings and personal contact, to include artists and musicians, poets and publishers, filmmakers and philosophers, and even a few theologians and educators in other areas. While the exceptional diversity of his impact reflects Rookmaaker’s many interests, it also refracts a personality of complexity and character not easily classifiable by convenient categories, sacred or secular. Those who possessed a desire or a capacity to nurture their imaginations toward goodness were drawn to him like bees to honey when they read him or heard him speak. He might not have articulated his basic aim in these terms, but this was what he was after and accounts for the amazing diversity of individuals from different nationalities he managed to interest, his appeal across disciplines and professions, his credibility with women as well as men, and his persuasiveness with a younger generation coming along today.
How does one sum up the influence of Hans Rookmaaker’s life? Several impressions of the man and his work stand out. First and strikingly, there was his refreshing modesty, lack of pretension, and willingness to be a servant of the arts and artists, and in this, a servant of Christ and his church. This set him apart from many of his academic peers, who were sequestered in their professional work. Secondly, there was his love of life, all of life: music, art, good food and drink, good conversation, new experiences, new friends. Thirdly, he had the ability to discern the gifts that young men and women whom he met along the way possessed and to encourage them to move in the direction that would best develop their God-given gifts, giving them freedom to be themselves. Fourthly, he was a willing mentor to many young adults, both scholars and artists, in a wide variety of vocations. It is especially noteworthy that he mentored a remarkable number of women as well as men. This was unusual for his time, as it is perhaps even today. Fifthly, he was a bridge builder, linking the scholarship of art to the work of artists, celebrating all of the arts and developing a broad mastery of different eras and disciplines, communicating effectively with both scholars and the general public. Sixthly, he sought to reclaim the arts for the Reformed Christian faith. Although there is still much land to be possessed, the contributions of Rookmaaker’s intellectual and spiritual children and grandchildren bear witness to the progress that has been in the past half century and give much hope for the next. Seventhly, he was committed to living and thinking as a Christian in the midst of the world rather than in a cloistered sectarian shelter. And he challenged all who came under his influence to do likewise.
About the author. Laurel Gasque is a cultural historian, writer and lecturer who lives on Camano Island, Washington, USA. She is the author of ‘Hans Rookmaaker: An Open Life,’ which is Part IV of Volume 6 of The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker, edited by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker (Carlisle, UK: Piquant, 2003). She is the founder of Graduate Student and Faculty Ministry of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada and teaches at a number of universities and graduate schools in both Canada and the USA. She serves as a Consulting Editor of Christian History and Biography and a Contributing Editor of Radix.
Acknowledgements. I would like to thank Dr Roel Kuiper for his assistance in understanding some of the history of the Gereformeerde Kerken (Vrijgemaakt) and the Vereniging van Gereformeerde Studenten Amsterdam. I would also like to express my appreciation to Marleen Hengelaar-Roomaaker for her insights into the history of these two groups as well as her steadfast encouragement of my research on the life and work of her father. My thanks also go to Wim Rietkerk for his help in considering Rookmaaker’s church relations. Last but by no means least, I am deeply grateful to Jaco Bauer for help and guidance in reading Dutch documents related to my research.
1. For the biography of Rookmaaker, see my ‘Hans Rookmaaker: An Open Life,’ in The Complete Works of Hans R. Rookmaaker [CW], edited by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker (Carlisle, UK: Piquant, 2003), vol. 6, 301-430. See also Linette Martin, Hans Rookmaaker: A Biography (London: Hodder & Stoughton; Downers Grove: IVP, 1979); Graham Birtwistle, ‘Henderik Roelof Rookmaaker (1922-1977),’ in the Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, edited by Timothy Larsen (Downers Grove and Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 2003), pp. 563-565; Birtwistle, ‘H. R. Rookmaaker: The Shaping of his Thought,’ CW 1, xv-xxxiii. Jeremy S. Begbie, Voicing Creation’s Praise (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1991), pp. 127-141, offers a perspective on Rookmaaker’s aesthetic as it relates to the neo-Calvinist tradition. Primary documents for the life and work of Hans Rookmaaker that have been consulted include: The Complete Works of Hans R. Rookmaaker 1-6, edited by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker (Carlisle: Piquant, 2002-2003); Hans Rookmaaker Papers in the Special Collections of the Buswell Memorial Library, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, USA; and papers, photographs, letters, official documents, annual appointment agendas, in the possession of the Rookmaaker family. From 1970 to 1977, I had serious and sustained personal conversations with HRR in Vancouver, Seattle, Amsterdam, Eck en Wiel, Lausanne, Huémoz (Switzerland), Mittersill (Austria), London, and other locations in the UK. During this time, I had the opportunity of hearing HHR lecture in many different contexts. I have also had extensive personal communication with members of the Rookmaaker family and a multitude of his former students, friends, colleagues, associates, and others who have been greatly influenced by him. A detailed list of bibliographical and personal sources for the life and work of H. R. Rookmaaker is contained as Appendix II to Volume 6 of The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker (CW 6: 417-429).
2. Mark Noll, pre-publication comment on ‘Hans Rookmaaker: An Open Life,’ in CW 6: 301-430.
3. The review by Michael Shepherd is in the British journal, Art News, in 1971; I have a copy of the review with a note from HRR indicating the source, but I have been unable to locate exact issue and page number. Muggeridge lists Modern Art and the Death of a Culture as one of his four nominations for Books of the Year for The Observer (20 December 1970), p. 17; see also Esquire 75 (March 1971), p. 16.
4. L. C. (Kees) Rookmaaker, ‘The life of H. R. Rookmaaker (1887-1945), pioneer of nature conservation in the Dutch East Indies,’ Säugetierkundliche Mitteilungen 41/1 (1998), pp. 2-6.
6. From his essay, ‘What the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea has Meant to me,’ first published in Mededelingen van de Vereniging voor Calvinistische Wijsbegeerte, June 1967.
7. Personal correspondence in possession of the Rookmaaker family.
8. Information concerning the date and place of Riki Spetter was obtained from the Center for Research on Dutch Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
9. Rookmaaker family papers.
10. ‘What the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea has Meant to me’ (see n. 6 above).
12. The Bible Rookmaaker used was the so-called ‘Utrecht Translation’ by H. Th. Obbink and A. M. Brouwer of 1942.
13. The original manuscripts of ‘Betreffende de Profetie’ and ‘Aesthetica’ written in prison are in the Special Collections at Wheaton College. The former document is found in CW 6: 91-119 as ‘Prophecy in the Old and New Testament: God’s Way with Israel.’ The latter, first published in two parts in Philosophia Reformata (1946-47), is found in the CW 2: 24-79 as ‘Sketch for an Aesthetic Theory based on the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea’.
14. Information concerning the movement of Dutch prisoners from the POW camp at Colditz Castle to Stalag 371 at Stanislau [Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine] in June of 1943 came from www.geocities.com/schlosscolditz/colditz.html. L. Martin and others have incorrectly located Stanislau in Poland.
15. Rookmaaker family papers.
16. See n. 13.
17. ‘What the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea has Meant to me’ (CW 2: 11).
18. CW 2: 10-11.
19. Personal communication with Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker.
20. CW 2: 24-79.
21. A. Kuyper, ‘Calvinism and Art,’ in his Lectures on Calvinism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1931. Kuyper’s 1898 Stone Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary were published in Dutch and English in 1889 (Amsterdam, London, Edinburgh and New York). Since 1931, Eerdmans has had the copyright for the English edition of Lectures on Calvinism and has kept the book in print until today. See also Peter S. Heslam, Creating a Christian Worldview: Abraham Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998); and Kuyper Reconsidered: Aspects of His Life and Work, edd. Cornelis van der Kooi and Jan de Bruijn (Amsterdam: VU Uitgeverij, 1999).
22. On van Regteren Altena, see the electronic A Biographical Dictionary of Historians, Museum Directors and Scholars of Art (DAH) www.lib.duke.edu/lilly/artlibry/dah/regterna.htm and Graham Birtwistle’s essay in CW 1: xv-xxxiii.
23. See ‘Rookmaaker as Art Critic (1949-1956),’ CW 1: 231-361.
24. ‘Jazz, Blues and Spiritual,’ CW 2: 157-314; ‘Articles on African and African-American Music,’ CW 2: 315-376.
25. Graham Birtwistle in CW 1: xx-xxi. On ‘De Stijl’ movement, see H. L. C. Jaffé, De Stijl, 1917-1931: The Dutch Contribution to Modern Art (Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1956; repr. 1986). See Jaffé’s obituary of HRR in Lier en Boog (Jan 1978), 82.
26. Jan Bialostocki’s comments on van de Waal is in his review of van de Waal’s Drie eeuwen vaderlandsche geschied-uitbeelding, 1500-1800: Een iconologische studie (1952) in The Art Bulletin 52 (1971), p. 264. On van de Waal, see DAH www.lib.duke.edu/lilly/artlibry/dah/vandewaalh.htm .
27. On the RKD, see www.rkd.nl/frame-e.htm. On Decimal Index of Art of the Low Countries (DIAL)/Iconclass, see www.iconclass.nl .
28. R. H. Fuchs, ‘Henri van de Waal, 1910-1972,’ in Simiolus 6/1 (1972/73), pp. 5-7.
29. Rookmaaker’s annual appointment agendas, Rookmaaker family papers. Rookmaaker papers, Special Collections of the Buswell Memorial Library, Wheaton College, USA.
30. Rookmaaker family papers.
32. Rookmaaker family papers; personal communication with Anky Rookmaaker.
33. Personal communication, Anky Rookmaaker; also, much information concerning Anky Rookmaaker and her family is found in ‘Lifting up Holy Hands,’ in Lane T. Dennis, ed., Francis Schaeffer: Portraits of the Man and His Work (Westchester: Crossway, 1986), 153-162.
34. Roel Kuiper, ‘Het Gedecimeerde Corps: Gereformeerd studentenleven en wetenschappelijke Initiativen, 1944-1977,’ Vuur en Vlam [vol + date?], 75.
35. Art. Cit., 75-76.
36. CW 4: 413.
37. ‘Lifting up Holy Hands,’ 156.
38. On the spiritual hunger of the West in the 1960s, see Camille Paglia, ‘Cults and Cosmic Consciousness: Religious Vision in America in the 1960s,’ Arion (Winter 2003).
39. Personal observation; personal communication with Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker.
40. CW 1: 321.
41. ‘Modern Art and the Death of a Culture,’ CW 5: 69-74.
42. CW 5: 94-95.
43. ‘The CCS, towards a Christian art academy,’ CW 4: 370-371.
44. See Laurel Gasque, ‘Hans Rookmaaker: An Open Life,’ CW 6: 384-412.