Fré Cohen
photo: Collection Peter van Dam

Fré Cohen: form and ideals of the Amsterdam School

From 02-11-2021 to 30-10-2022 Museum Het Schip presents an exhibition about the Dutch artist and graphic designer Fré Cohen (1903-1943).

Fré Cohen was a successful and image-defining woman in the men's world of graphic design. She was of great importance to the Amsterdam School. In her work, both the formal language and the ideals of the Amsterdam School are clearly expressed.


She designed graphic printwork for the city of Amsterdam, for the socialist movement, such as the Social Democratic Workers Party (SDAP), the Arbeiders Jeugd Centrale (AJC), trade unions and cooperatives.

Her Jewish origins are in keeping with the story of the Amsterdam School, which had an important basis in the Jewish proletariat, including the diamond working movement. Her - tragic - story with her death in the Second World War is largely the story of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam School.

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A number of years ago Museum Het Schip organized a successful exhibition on bookbindings of the Amsterdam School, in which the work of Fré Cohen formed a small part. In addition, graphic work by Fré Cohen is included in the permanent exhibition of Museum Het Schip. Her work is so interesting, however, that it deserves a retrospective, in which all facets of her work are discussed. The exhibition focusses on her social ideals, her feminist views and Jewish inspiration.



Fré Cohen's work is very varied. She made linocuts in the form of ex-libris and book bindings, as well as drawings, watercolours, posters, medals and even flags. Museum het Schip has a limited collection of its own. For the exhibition we collaborate with private collectors and other museums, the Amsterdam City Archives and the International Institute of Social History (IISH).

 Thank you to our funds and sponsors:

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Jaap Harten Fonds


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 Bouwinvest Logodescriptor CMYK Burgundy


Gemeente Amsterdam


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