Willem van Oyen

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Born in 1921 in Amsterdam, Dutch stained-glass artist Willem van Oyen attended Amsterdam’s R.K. Don Bosco Industrial School, where he studied drawing. He moved into glass art in the postwar period, coming into prominence in the midcentury with glasswork that utilized appliqué staining, alongside other techniques like sandblasting, opal grinding, and fusing.

Operating from his small BEVO Glas Industrie workshop (est. 1947) in the 1950s and 60s, he began to stake his oeuvre first on large-scale projects: e.g. monumental glass walls for factory and town halls, schools, and churches. But van Oyen eventually delved into product and smaller-scale industrial design, most saliently for Raak, for whom he produced several stained-glass lamps. A standout from this output is his Chartres Lamp (ca. 1964), which features a kaleidoscopic texture that evokes a melted painting. The series is notable for its misattribution to A. Lankhorst, which has been recently corrected by van Oyen’s son—a story which recalls Philip Arctander and his clam chair. So popular was the Chartres design that it was produced on a large scale in the 1970s and ’80s.

Van Oyen passed away in 2004.