Albert Hahn, jr.
Albert Hahn Jr.
(his real name was Albert Pieter Dijkman)
Amsterdam 1894 – 1953 Amsterdam
Albert Hahn Jr. was a Dutch political cartoonist, illustrator and bookbinding designer.
change of surname
Albert Hahn Jr. was born on September 10 1894 in Amsterdam as Albert Pieter Dijkman. His biological father was Albert Pieter Dijkman Sr., a typographer who had young Albert Hahn as his student. Dijkman Sr. was a heavy drinker and his marriage to Emma Robijns ended in divorce.
From about 1898 Albert Hahn took Sr. Emma and her children under his wing, including the young Albert Pieter.
Albert and Emma married in 1911, making Albert Hahn the stepfather of Albert Pieter Dijkman. Albert Pieter’s family name was officially changed to Hahn Dijkman in May 1922.
Albert Hahn Jr. also used the pseudonym: A. Poussin. He signed with H. Jr., Hahn Jr. and A. Poussin. Poussin is the French word for chick and because Hahn Jr. was the stepson of Hahn Sr. (pronounced Haan, meaning rooster in Dutch) he called himself Poussin.
education and teaching
Hahn Jr. received his formal education at the Quellinus School of Applied Arts in Amsterdam, but he also learned a lot from his stepfather. Hahn Jr. was in possession of the Secondary Education Certificate in decorative drawing (1914) and later also in rectilinear drawing (1916). From 1914 to 1948 he was an arts teacher at schools such as the muloschool and the Industrieschool van de Maatschappij voor de Werkende Stand, which later became a secondary technical school.
His stepfather, Albert Pieter Hahn (1877-1918) was a Dutch political cartoonist, poster artist and book cover designer, known for his socialist and anti-militarist views. During his career he produced more than 4,000 drawings.
His print on the occasion of the 1903 railway strike is known, with the caption ‘Gansch het raderwerk staat stil als uw machtige arm het’ (the whole system will halt if the powerful arm wants it). At the turn of the century he was an influential and central figure in the socialist movement.
Hahn Jr. became a member of the SDAP on September 15, 1912. In 1915 he drew under the pseudonym A. Poussin for De Nieuwe Amsterdammer and De Notenkraker and illustrated children’s books.
When Albert Hahn Sr. dies in 1918, Albert Dijkman will sign his work as Hahn Jr. as a tribute to his stepfather. Hahn Jr. inherits clients and connections in socialist circles and can fall back on the repertoire of socialist symbolism that he got to know through Hahn Sr.. After Hahn Sr.’s death, Albert Hahn Jr. becomes a permanent employee of De Notenkraker until 1936.
political prints, posters and calendars
He made about a thousand political prints for De Notenkraker. He made a number of posters for the SDAP, the NVV and other organisations, as well as calendars and covers of yearbooks and brochures. He also designed a number of ex-libris.
Austrian working-class children
Hahn Jr. had special relations with Austria. After World War I and World War II, he was concerned about the fate of Austrian working-class children. In 1921 he sketched the conditions under which they lived. These sketches were published in 1922 by the Central Committee for Austrian Workers’ Families in the Netherlands with a foreword by Edo Fimmen. In 1930 the Austrian Socialist Party invited him to Vienna to draw election pictures and supervise the election printing. In 1947 he again helped intensively with the Austrian children’s transport to the Netherlands. On that basis, the Vienna City Council appointed him an honorary citizen of that city on September 27, 1949.
The number of books for which he provided illustrations and book bindings is extensive. These include: Charles de Coster, Tijl Uilenspiegel (1927), Selma Lagerlöf, Legends of Christ (1929), Cervantes, Don Quichotte (1931) and René de Clercq, The History of Doctor Johannes Faustus (1931). Hahn Jr. also compiled the booklet Troelstra in de caricatuur (Amsterdam 1920), Prints of Albert Hahn Sr. (Amsterdam 1928) and Beauty and Society (Amsterdam 1929). He also wrote the booklet: Caricatuur (Amsterdam 1935).
With the disappearance of De Notenkraker in 1936, Hahns’ basis for political prints also disappeared and he faded into the background as a political cartoonist. Hahn Jr. was a man of quite large stature and a calm and soft character with a sense of humour. Despite a certain stiffness, he easily socialised. The Second World War deeply disillusioned him. Partly due to his increasing blindness and a mental illness, he became lonely. He died in 1953 at the age of 59 as a result of a fall from the stairs.
Work by Hahn Jr. can be found in the Municipal Archives, the International Institute of Social History and the Netherlands Press Museum.
sources: wikipedia / vormvanvermaak.nl / socialhistory.org / lambiek.net