Johannes Vermeer Award 2014 goes to Irma Boom

The Dutch state prize for the arts, the Johannes Vermeer Award, has been awarded this year to Irma Boom. The jury, chaired by Ernst Hirsch Ballin, unanimously nominated Boom for her unparallelled achievements in the field of graphic design. The Minister of Culture, Jet Bussemaker, presented the prize to Boom on Monday 27 October at the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

The jury acknowledged Irma Boom’s artistically striking and content-sensitive approach to book design. Through her editorial input, every book is unique. She experiments, searching for the boundaries of the book, and thereby transcending the function of mere information carrier with every one. They become small - or larger - art objects, tempting us to read and marvel at them. Her carefully constructed oeuvre is the result of the collaborations she inevitably enters into with her customers, authors and artists. For her, the book is a fundamental part of our tradition and the carrier of culture. Through her work, she proves herself a persuasive advocate of the printed book.

About the award
The Johannes Vermeer Award was established in 2009, when the award went to opera director Pierre Audi, and has subsequently been awarded to filmmaker, writer and artist Alex van Warmerdam (2010), photographer Erwin Olaf (2011), artist Marlene Dumas (2012) and architect and essayist Rem Koolhaas (2013). The award was instituted in 2008 by the then Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ronald Plasterk (PvdA), with the ambition of honouring and encouraging outstanding artistic talent. The award consists of a sum of 100,000 euros, mainly to be used for the realisation of a special project. The award is intended for artists working in the Netherlands and across all disciplines, ranging from dance to design, from fashion to music, from writing to painting.

Irma Boom photo © Teo Krijgsman

Photo © Teo Krijgsman