Cees Braakman: UMS-Pastoe Furniture

Dutch furniture designer Cees Braakman (1917-1995) acted as manager and design director at UMS-Pastoe from 1945-1978. Never "formally" trained as a designer, Cees began working at Pastoe at 17, where he learned the trade while working under his father, D.L. Braakman (1885-1966), who was manager and head draftsman at the company. During WWII, production ceased and the factory was dismantled. 

Following the war, the company was able to salvage enough machinery to resume production and the "radical decision" was made to begin producing contemporary furniture. This decision led to an inspiration trip to the United States, where Cees, now design director, visited several companies to study their designs and production methods. Of all the manufacturers he visited, Cees was mostly inspired by Herman Miller and the work of Charles and Ray Eames, whose influences can clearly be seen in his work.  Under Cees direction Pastoe earned its reputation as a modernist furniture company and achieved great success. 

The following images from Pastoe's 1956 catalog feature many Cees Braakman pieces. via Bint Photobooks

 This poster by Donald Brun is displayed on the wall in the above photo. via Grain Edit

One thing I noticed while researching Braakman's work was the large amount of conflicting information on dates and style numbers out there, so much so that it was giving me a headache trying to piece it all together. In lieu of wasting more time and aspirin, I have decided to post anyways, therefore if you find a mistake, please let me know so I can correct the information!  You will also see, I kind of got carried away with the amount of pieces that I wanted to share, but I found it very difficult to limit myself. Enjoy!

CB01 writing cabinet, part of the Berken (Birch) Series, early 1950's. via VervlogenJaren

Birch secretaire-bookcase, mid 1950's (I believe the chair is also by Braakman). via VervlogenJaren

DB51 sideboard, part of the Combex Series, mid 1950's. via VervlogenJaren

U+N "Japanese" Series cabinet, 1958. via VervlogenJaren

FB03 Combex Series lounge chairs, c. 1954. via Lauritz, Denmark

Very rare FM03 lounge chairs, c. 1954. via VervlogenJaren

SM01 wire chairs and table, 1954. via City Furniture, Belgium

FB14 lounge chair, c. 1956. via VervlogenJaren

Designed in 1958, the SM05 wire chairs were reissued by Pastoe in April of this year (2011).

 EB02 desk and SB02 chair, c. 1952-54. via VervlogenJaren

 Wire leg desk, late 1950's; Wire stool, 1958. via VervlogenJaren

 Wire stools, 1958. (Collaboration between Pastoe and Tomado)

SB03 chairs with round extendable dining table. via VervlogenJaren

Sewing box stand attributed to Braakman, however it could be by Joos Teders for Metalux?  I can never tell the difference between those attributed to Teders versus Braakman.

TB14 side tables, part of the Combex Series, c. 1952. via VervlogenJaren

 Various Braakman wire leg side tables, c. 1950's. via VervlogenJaren

Pastoe, originally known as UMS (Utrechtsche Machinale Stoel & Meubelfabriek) was founded by Frits Loeb (1889-1959) in Utrecht, Netherlands in 1913. It wasn't until after WWII that they adopted the name Pastoe, which was derived from the French term "passe-partout", roughly translated as all-purpose; feeling that their clean understated collections would fit into any home interior.

Left: Portrait of the company's founder Frits Loeb, via.  Right: The UMS logo in 1930

Workers unloading a shipment of wood at the Pastoe factory, c 1920's. Photo via Pastoe

Pastoe assembly line, c. 1950. Photo via Pastoe

Pastoe bookcase in a forrest setting? 1964. Photo: Jan Versnel, via Pastoe

Photo via Pastoe

Relief depicting furniture making on the exterior of the Pastoe factory, by Jan van Luijn, 1959.

The Pastoe showroom and factory, Utrecht, Netherlands. For more images click here.

Cees Braakman (1917-1995)

During his tenure as head of design at Pastoe, Braakman also set out on improving the look and feel of the company's catalogs and marketing collateral. To accomplish this he worked with many of the era's top commercial artists including Harry N. Sierman, Theo Stradman, Otto Treumann and Dick Bruna. 

 1956 catalog cover, artist unknown

Harry N. Sierman and Gerard Wernars, c. 1950

Otto Treumann, c. 1950

Dick Bruna, c. 1958

Bonini, 1959

Dick Bruna, c. 1961

Related Links:
Go to- Pastoe Furniture
Go to- Slide show featuring images of Pastoe from past to present.
Go to- Bint Photobooks site about Cees Braakman and Pastoe- with links to catalogs
Go to- R-Gallery's Cees Braakman section, note various navigation tabs on right.
Go to- VervlogenJaren's online store; where most of the images for this post were sourced.

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