Cor (Cornelius Louis) Alons


Dutch interior designer and product designer Cornelius Louis (Cor) Alons was born in Groningen in 1892. Alons studied at the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen (1911-1913) and subsequently at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague (1913-1917). After graduating in 1917, Alons joined the firm H. Pander & Zonen, working alongside fellow designer J. Brunott (1889-1951) at the new department of Modern Interiors, which was headed by the Dutch architect-designer Henk Wouda (1885-1946). From 1919 to 1922, Alons designed furniture, interiors, and stained-glass windows for the firm.

Inspired by the designs of British modern artists such as Charles Robert Ashbee and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as well as the work of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Alons left Pander in 1923 and established a design agency with designer Frits Spanjaard (1889-1978). Dedicated to the construction and renovation of private houses, the pair belonged to the first generation of interior designers, designing not only furniture, but also the space in which the furniture inhabited. As an advocate for functionalism, Alons often sought out simple furniture with sober forms in his interior design.  He preferred clear, simple, and often enduring shapes from dark, mostly valuable, building materials and colors.

During the 1920s, Alons also designed simple and decorative vases, utensils, and crockery for the ceramics workshop Plateelbakkerij Duinvoet (which he co-founded with  CJ Muyen in 1923), lead glasses for the Atelier van Geldermalsen in Rotterdam, wallpaper samples for Kinheim in Beverwijk, and steel tube furniture for Oostwoud Fabrieken in Franeker.

Over the course of his career, Alons focused on avant-garde developments in both the Netherlands and abroad, and was a proponent of the De Stijl movement, some elements from which can be seen in his coffee tables, dining chairs, and lounge chairs.

In 1929, Alons was appointed a lecturer at the Department of Furniture Design at the seminal Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. Under the Bauhaus’ influence, new departments emerged at the Academy, including graphic design, advertising, photography, industrial design, and furniture design. Alons lectured alongside other avant-garde designers such as Gerrit Kiljan (1881-1961), Paul Schuitema (1897-1973), and Paul Citroen (1896-1983).

In 1962, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, Alons was honored with a special exhibition at the Hague Gemeentemuseum.

Alons passed away in 1967.