Dutch lighting manufacturer Anvia is best known for its masterfully minimal floor, table, and ceiling lamps, especially the brand’s midcentury collaborations with celebrated Dutch designer J.J.M. Hoogervorst.
An acronym for Algemeene Nederlandsche Verlichtings Industrie Almelo (Dutch General Lighting Industry Almelo), Anvia was founded in the small Dutch town of Almelo in 1933 by German-born entrepreneur Max Liebert. As a man of Jewish heritage, Liebert was forced to sell his company and relocate to the Netherlands, where he established Anvia as a continuation of his nearly 30-year-old, Berlin-based lighting company Lessmann Moset. In the early years of the company, Anvia was operated by Liebert, his son Werner, and son-in-law Fritz Kaufmann. During the Second World War, Liebert—along with his wife and son—were placed in concentration camps in Sobibor and Auschwitz and executed in 1943. Liebert’s daughter and son-in-law survived by hiding in a neighbor’s house during the war. They began to rebuild Anvia in 1946, after the war ended.
In the early-1950s, Dutch industrial designer Jan "J.J.M." Hoogervorst (1918-1982)—who began his career as an illustrator—met and befriended Ilse Liebert. This marked the beginning of a very successful and fruitful partnership. Although Hoogervorst had his own design agency, Interdesign, he began designing for Anvia on a regular basis, creating a new collection each year. During the 1950s and ’60s, Hoogervorst designed many now iconic products, launching himself into international acclaim and establishing Anvia as one of the three largest Dutch lighting companies, alongside Philips in Eindhoven and Hala in Zeist.
Hoogervorst’s early designs were influenced by progressive Italian lighting companies like Artemide, Stilnovo, and Arteluce; while his later designers are characterized by a strict, functionalist aesthetic. Iconic Anvia designs by Hoogervorst include the 8025 Floor Lamp (mid-1950s), 6019 Desk Lamp (design date unknown), Grasshopper Floor Lamp (1955), and the Counter Balance Lamp (1957).
The company closed production in the mid-1980s. Thirty years later, in 2014, Dutch entrepreneur Michel Klein decided to re-launch the company after finding inspiration in a vintage Anvia lamp from the 1950s. Today, all of Anvia’s lamps are based on Hoogervorst’s original designs and are produced in the Netherlands, close to the original factory site.
* Images courtesy of Anvia