Designs for stained glass windows by W.A. van de Walle
The IISH has a unique collection of designs by the Dutch artist W.A. van de Walle for stained glass windows in trade union buildings. These designs, which date from 1927-1940, are executed full size and in splendid colors. Most of the windows were lost through fire or demolition, so the designs are the only remaining examples. They are monumental representations showing muscular workers, regal women, and waving flags. The stained glass windows lent an artistic touch to the trade union buildings. In those years the trade union movement also wanted to play a cultural role by bringing their members in contact with the arts.
Here we present a small selection from the designs. The first series, created for the Troelstra-oord in Beekbergen in 1927, shows heads of male and female workers around the emblem of NVV, the trade union confederation. The second series for the Troelstra-oord, from 1930, is a historical chronicle of the role of labor from antiquity to the industrial age. The designs as well as the actual windows were saved from the Amsterdam office of the Dutch Union of Factory Workers (1932). Van de Walle also designed a series of windows depicting the different branches of industry for the main office of De Centrale, the workers' insurance company (The Hague, 1936).
In addition, there is background information on W.A. van de Walle and his work on the Troelstra-oord and other buildings that had contained the stained glass windows.