Thursday, July 27, 2017

Joseph Henri Gosschalk

Joseph Henri Gosschalk (1875 - 1952) was a Dutch Jewish painter, known for his (primarily landscape) drawings from his travels across Europe.
During WWII he was first interned in the Nazi concentration camp Westerbork (Netherlands), before being transported to Theresienstadt.
While in Westerbork he continued his work, making drawings and sketches of camp life and the surroundings of the camp.
The picture below is of wagons taken from Roma, Sinti and travellers by the Germans and stored at the perimeter of Camp Westerbork. 
Gosschalk survived the camps and died in 1952 in the Hague. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Caricature artists Hugo and Marion

Caricature artists Hugo and Marion draw live on paper and digital (including iPad) at corporate events, trade shows or wedding parties.
Their workshop Drawing Caricatures is a cheerful and airy snack during any business or festive gathering!
Hugo Freutel will make any party a grand success when guests see him give a live performance as a caricature artist, cartoonist or as workshop facilitator. Hugo’s caricatures, cartoons, workshops, photos, films, accounts, creative networks and other blogs on his home weblog:
Marion was born in 1963 in Goirle, North Brabant. She loves drawing above everything else, especially in a comic-like cartoon style. During her high school years she was always drawing her classmates.
A training as a fashion artist at the School of Art in Arnhem didn’t change that in any way. She became an illustrator and caricaturist. Hugo and she have been full-time caricaturists since 1992. For two years now she also designs her own line of greeting cards: Jakima (also for sale at

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ode to the Beret!

The town Soriana of Valdegeña, halfway between Pamplona and Madrid, will erect a monument to honour the beret.
Avelino Hernández, brother of the writer Ricardo Hernandez, says: "I know that my brother would agree to pay tribute to the beret, an essential garment of the rural essence of Soriano and therefore Castilia”.  
The City Council of Valdegeña, birthplace of Avelino Hernández and his family, plans to place the monument to the beret, a sculpture of the 'iron artist' Isidoro Saenz, in the upper end of the district. Not just for the elderly but for the coming generations who want to root with the culture of their land.

Ricardo says that he puts the beret in September and removes it in April, "because in summer it just bothers". 
He recalls the times when the garment swarmed over the heads of the majority of the young people and adults of the Soriano area, and indicates that when they were 14 or 15 years old, it was part of the usual attire. "My father's grandfather, my grandfather, my father and then my brother Avelino and I used it at my house," he says.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Balmaseda during the Civil War

Balmaseda is a town and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the Basque Country. Balmaseda is the capital city of the comarca of Enkarterri, in western Biscay and serves an important role in the province thanks to its proximity to the capital city of Bilbao and the regions of Cantabria and Castile and León.
In the center of the photograph in dark uniform, Villanueva, commander of the Avellaneda Battalion.
Balmaseda is also an important town regarding the history of beret manufacturing: the La Encartada factory was one of the largest beret manufacturers ever, in operation from 1892 to 1992 (but that’s for other posts).
Four soldiers belonging to the battalion Meabe, died in December of 1936 during the offensive of Villarreal.
Balmaseda during the Spanish Civil War was a stronghold for the Republican (Loyalist) Army and many Balmasedans volunteered in the militias and army.
October Battalion. Militia and sympathizers of Balmaseda
Strong Basque identification was visible in the wearing of txapelas, or Basque berets.

A wealth of information on Balmaseda during the Civil War can be found here
Gudaris (Basque fighters) of the Battalions Saseta and Avellaneda in Marquina, December of 1936.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

"De Wateraar" (The Pee-er)

"De Wateraar" ("he who pees", in Dutch) is the Dutch version of Brussels' monument Manneken Pis. The monument can be found in the small village of Zorgvlied (Drenthe, Netherlands) and commemorates the 25 years it took to build social houses (after the Law of Social Housing had come into place); the bereted man "pees on the law" in protest.
Below his older brother in Brussels, Belgium.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Young Lords

The Young Lords was a Puerto Rican nationalist group in several United States cities, notably New York City and Chicago.
The Young Lords began in 1960 as a Puerto Rican turf gang in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Their president Jose Cha Cha Jimenez reorganized them and became founder of the Young Lords as a national civil and human rights movement on Grito de Lares, September 23, 1968. This new community wide movement then spread to nearly 30 cities including three branches in New York.
New York City, where one-fourth of Puerto Ricans then lived, and Chicago were the two largest Puerto Rican hubs. Puerto Rican mainland communities also developed elsewhere during the Great Puerto Rican Migration of the 1950s, so in 1969, subsequent branches organized themselves in Philadelphia, Connecticut, New Jersey, Boston, Milwaukee, Hayward (California), San Diego, Los Angeles, and Puerto Rico.
The Young Lords were a target of the FBI's COINTELPRO, which had long harassed Puerto Rican independence groups. The New York-Chicago schism mirrored the "Divide and Conquer" divisions within other New Left groups like the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, Brown Berets and many other new left movements. All of these organizations were repressed. At first, the splits were believed to be the result of growing pains, as this movement was very young and spread quickly. But it is now documented that it was primarily due to police infiltration by informants and provocateurs, and planned and shaped by the ongoing undercover work of the FBI's COINTELPRO.
The Young Lords were a target of the FBI's COINTELPRO, which had long harassed Puerto Rican independence groups.[10] The New York-Chicago schism mirrored the "Divide and Conquer" divisions within other New Left groups like the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, Brown Berets and many other new left movements. 
All of these organizations were repressed. At first, the splits were believed to be the result of growing pains, as this movement was very young and spread quickly. But it is now documented that it was primarily due to police infiltration by informants and provocateurs, and planned and shaped by the ongoing undercover work of the FBI's COINTELPRO.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Berets for the Hip, Young & Trendy!

So, once more to all those moaners and wisecracks who tell us the beret is dead, or only worn by those close to death, here an article found on Hello Giggles (and definitely aimed at a younger audience!):
Trends may come and go, but it seems French girl style will always have an eternal je ne sais quoi. So when a Parisian-influenced trend pops up, we’re never completely caught off guard. We are, however, always deeply impressed, and the resurgence of the beret has us feeling no less inspired.
This sleek hat trend is cropping up as one of the biggest under-the-radar trends on the verge of total Instagram explosion, but apparently, supermodels Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner, plus mega-popstar Rihanna, have already gotten the memo. Between the three of them, we’ve seen quite a few chic berets as of late.
Now, between Bella and Kendall bringing this trend back to life like the seasoned fashion muses they are, we were already sold. But like we said, they’re not the only ones who caught onto it. Nope, Rihanna also sported a posh leather beret during Paris Fashion Week, as did the majority of the Dior darlings both on and off the runway at the designer’s recent show.
Clearly, this is piping up to be one trend du jour that will soon be everywhere. But thanks to these fashion-forward ladies, we’re already in the know!
Thanks, Lisa

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Passes of the Pyrenees

Posties and couriers are very frequent visitors at Beret HQ in Wellington, but the best deliveries are those that are completely unexpected.
This morning, I found a small parcel in my mailbox with two books from my German artist friend PLG (see here and here). One the famous Pyrenean book by Kurt Tucholsky (a 1952 edition in it's original language), but even more spectacular to me, a fantastic guidebook to the Passes of the Pyrenees by motorcar from 1912!
What a delightful book! Written by C.L. Freeston, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and full of maps and photographs, typically showing horse drawn carriages and early automobiles on what was already then a very advanced road network across the passes.
And yes, even a few berets, worn by pelote players, road workers and carriers.
If you have the chance to lay your hands on a copy, I'd highly recommend it.
I found several available on and even an e-book version in downloadable PDF.
Thanks, Peter

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Traian Băsescu in Pink Beret

Traian Băsescu (1951) is a Romanian politician, who served as the fifth President of Romania from 2004 to 2014. His two consecutive terms in office are marked by the adhesion of Romania to the European Union in 2007, but also open conflicts with the Parliament, leading to two failed impeachments attempts against him in 2007 and 2012.
Pictured here in pink camouflage on a satirical website, claiming “In this camouflage suit Basescu looks like a hero of the Resistance - Resistance to drink” and “very effective camouflage when he wants to hide from waiters that come with the bill”.

Mr Băsescu has some image problems with corruption…

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

The New Foulards Aotearoa!

The latest addition to the range of berets under the Boneteria Aotearoa label, and quite different at that too.
The brief for the manufacturer was a beret similar in quality and comfort to the Basque Super Lujo; the lightness of the Uruguayan Cataluña and the softness and smooth touch of an Auloronesa. And last, a very competitive price!
I think it worked out pretty well!
These berets weigh only 70% of comparable berets, making them excellent for summer and in-between seasons. Soft to the touch and super comfortable.
The bérets foulard Aotearoa come in a range of four plateaus (diameters) and in two distinct colours: Graphite grey and Fox; a beautiful brown with a hint of red.
All models @ $50.00.
In the same quality comes the majestic Txapeldun ('Champion' in the Basque language) in traditional black and a plateau of 36cm, @ $52.50

TOSHIBA Batteries

TOSHIBA, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo. Its diversified products and services include information technology and communications equipment and systems, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, consumer electronics, household appliances, medical equipment, office equipment, as well as lighting and logistics.
For some reason unclear to many, berets featured highly on puppets advertising TOSHIBA batteries.
In line with the look of these batteries, Toshiba has been judged as making 'low' efforts to lessen their impact on the environment. In November 2012, they came second from the bottom in Greenpeace’s 18th edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics that ranks electronics companies according to their policies on products, energy and sustainable operations.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Jacques Henri Lartigue

Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894 –1986) was a French photographer and painter, known for his photographs of automobile races, planes and Parisian fashion female models.
Born in Courbevoie, France to a wealthy family, Jacques Henri Lartigue started taking photographs when he was seven. He photographed his friends and family at play – running and jumping; racing home-built race cars; making kites, gliders as well as aeroplanes; and climbing the Eiffel Tower.
Although best known as a photographer, Lartigue was also a good painter. He often showed-up in the official salons in Paris and in the south of France from 1922. He was friends with a wide selection of literary and artistic celebrities including the playwright Sacha Guitry, the singer Yvonne Printemps, the painters Kees van Dongen, Pablo Picasso and the artist-playwright-filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


The Brits might have a deeply-steeped tea tradition. The Kiwi's coffee culture is incredibly strong, Americans know where it’s at when it comes to iced coffee, but none of that compares to the strong tradition that South America has with its energy-boosting beverage of choice, maté.
Mate is an infusion made by steeping the dried leaves of the yerba mate plant (a species of the holly family) in near-boiling water. It is traditionally drank from a calabasa gourd — though these days the drinking vessel can be made out of just about anything — with a silver metal straw called a bombilla. The straw is integral to the drinking process because it filters out the leaves. Drank straight, a sip of hot mate will taste a lot like a strong, slightly bitter tea and it has been enjoyed in the Southern Hemisphere for hundreds of years.
Mate has a long history in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Southern Brazil and Bolivia. It is not uncommon to see people walking the streets with mate in hand in those countries — some even with a thermos of hot water in the other hand to refill the drink as it gets low. It’s custom to add water to yerba mate around 15-20 times, until it loses its flavor. Drinking mate is often times a group experience; it’s a symbol of hospitality and friendship. A host will commonly pass mate around in a circle so every one can have a few sips.
Mate gives the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee, without the jittery feeling that some people get from caffeine. The LA Times proposes that it’s because one cup of yerba mate contains 80 milligrams of caffeine, which is twice as much as black tea but significantly less than a cup of coffee. (Other schools of thought believe that mate does not contain caffeine, but another type of stimulating compound which is the reason for the cleaner buzz.) 
One thing everyone agrees on is that it’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which only adds to its energy boosting power.