Meppel, an odd year (Meppel, een raar jaar), ca. 1992 – 1995

After his retirement as a drawing teacher in 1992 Jan Vegter (1927-2009) started to work intensely on the visualization of his memories of crucial periods of his life. To focuse his memory performance he decided to build detailed scale models of certain technical and topographic conditions. This amazing series was the first example of his meticulous art of memory. It is divided into three sketchbooks and refers to his juvenile experience of the outbreak of World War II. His father was stationed then as a reserve-officer in the small town of Meppel, in the east of The Netherlands. He was able to bring along his familiy. In reality this “odd year” in Meppel lasted only a half-year, from December 1939 until April 1940, when the threat of war increased in such a way that his father thought it was better to return the family back their home in Voorburg. The series also covers the German invasion, the bombardment of Rotterdam and the first days of the occupation. All drawings are ink and color pencil. The varing sizes never exceed the sketchbook format 32 x 41 cm. The images are always on the right pages. The left ones have handwritten comments, translated here in English by Theo de Feyter. A few of them had to be slightly shortened for this pictorial.

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