:host { --enviso-primary-color: #FF8A21; --enviso-secondary-color: #FF8A21; font-family: 'boijmans-font', Arial, Helvetica,sans-serif; } .enviso-basket-button-wrapper { position: relative; top: 5px; } .enviso-btn { font-size: 22px; } .enviso-basket-button-items-amount { font-size: 12px; line-height: 1; background: #F18700; color: white; border-radius: 50%; width: 24px; height: 24px; min-width: 0; display: flex; align-items: center; justify-content: center; text-align: center; font-weight: bold; padding: 0; top: -13px; right: -12px; } Previous Next Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest Tiktok Linkedin Back to top
24 August 2023

Book Launch 'The Firebird Generation: Artists in a Destroyed City'

At 4.00 pm on Friday 8 September 2023, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will present 'The Firebird Generation: Artists in a Destroyed City', a book by art historian Sandra Smets about the lives of Rotterdam artists in the aftermath of the bombing of 14 May 1940. The presentation will take place at the Donner bookshop in the heart of Rotterdam. Everyone is welcome!

In The Firebird Generation: Artists in a Destroyed City, Sandra Smets takes a closer look at Rotterdam’s art world during the occupation years. She delves into the lives of ten artists who related in different ways to the bombing of 14 May 1940 and the National Socialist’s cultural policy. What were their lives like in the aftermath of the bombing? How did they survive? The book paints a picture of a city in ruins and shows how artists put the pieces back together. It makes tangible the various dilemmas that played a role during the war: issues that were swept aside by the reconstruction. 

The publication of The Firebird Generation coincides with the exhibition Art Amid the Ruins at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen from 4 September 2023 to 14 January 2024. 


The launch will be held in the Donner bookshop in Rotterdam on 8 September at 4.00 pm. Sandra Smets will be interviewed by social historian Marianne Klerk, after which audience members will have a chance to ask questions. Cathy Jacob, Director of Presentations at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, will present the first copy of The Firebird Generation to Monique Chabot, daughter of the painter, Wim Chabot, one of the main characters in the book. 

Practical information

  • The Firebird Generation: Artists in a Destroyed City. Author: Sandra Smets. ISBN 978-90-6918-327-5. 312 pages. Publisher: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.  
  • Launch date: Friday 8 September 2023 
  • Time: 4.00 – 6.00 pm
  • Entry: free, without reservations  
  • Location: Donner bookshop theatre | Coolsingel 129 | Rotterdam
Practical information

Image in header: Marcel Broodthaers, Untitled, c.1958, collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Photo: Studio Tromp.