See where Miffy was created!

Dick Bruna’s studio opens to the public in his home town of Utrecht

Fans of the children’s character, Miffy, can see where the white bunny came to life when a reconstruction of her Dutch creator’s studio opens to the public in Holland, tomorrow.

From 19 September 2015, Studio Dick Bruna will be a permanent exhibit at the Centraal Museum in his home town of Utrecht, the Netherlands, where it will serve as a backdrop for a changing selection of works from the graphic artist’s rich oeuvre.

The studio has been reassembled in an attic room at Centraal Museum, and is an exact replica of the nearby atelier in which Dick Bruna wrote and illustrated his children’s picture books during the last 30 years of his career.

He retired as an artist in 2011, having published 124 books, 33 of which feature Miffy, the character that made him a household name. Today, the Miffy stories are published in more than 50 languages.

Surrounded by personal memories, photos of memorable encounters, gifts from fans and letters from fellow artists, Dick Bruna worked in his studio every day, honing his distinctive style of illustration and typing out his stories. It was also a place where he where he relaxed while waiting for inspiration and where he entertained guests.

The interior of the reconstructed studio at the Centraal Museum has been reassembled with the original furniture: Dick Bruna’s drawing board, his desk and typewriter, and the library which includes every edition of all his published works. Every detail has been accurately recreated: the cards, the photos of friends, family and colleagues, the pencils, scissors and rulers lined up neatly on his drawing board, his personal stationery and, of course, his own work. There is even a place for the bike he rode through the streets of Utrecht on his daily journey to work. To visit the studio is to enter the world of Dick Bruna.

Display cases will show a changing selection of works from the Dick Bruna collection, which has been placed with the Centraal Museum on long-term loan. More than 7,000 works in the collection range from book covers for the Black Bear paperbacks to designs for humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross and, of course, his popular storybooks.

Dick Bruna started drawing and painting at a young age. He designed thousands of book covers and posters for the publishing company founded by his great-grandfather, A.W. Bruna & Zoon. He also produced many works on commission. While in Paris at the end of the 1940s he was inspired by artists such as Henri Matisse and Fernand Léger. This led him to develop his own distinct style, which is characterised by its simplicity, clarity and understated humour. He experimented with collage, simplification of line and blocks of colour. When designing book covers he worked freely, incorporating newspaper cuttings, photos and pieces of wrapping paper in his creative and original images. It was this same freedom that led him to create his first picture books in the 1950s.

No matter whether he was designing a book cover for one of the Havank paperbacks in the Zwarte Beertjes series, children’s books such as the apple or Miffy, a poster for the Dutch Dairy Board or a card for the World Peace Is Possible movement, Dick Bruna always managed to convey the essence of his subject matter through his simple clear design. Dutch design is characterised by simplicity and clarity. Dick Bruna’s work is consistent with this tradition. The elimination of all superfluous details, reducing the image to its most basic elements is the hallmark of his style.

60 Years of Miffy

The opening of Dick Bruna’s studio at the Centraal Museum in 2015 coincides with the 60th anniversary of the first appearance of Miffy, which is being celebrated throughout the year. Visit the official Miffy website for more information:

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About Miffy

This is the UK Official Online Press Office for Miffy

Dutch artist, Dick Bruna created the classic children's character, Miffy, in 1955 whilst on a rainy seaside holiday in North Holland. A little bunny kept hopping around the garden of his holiday home - he sketched it by day and at night Dick Bruna made up stories about it to entertain his one year old son. That bunny later became Miffy.

More than 60 years later, there are 33 storybooks about Miffy, which have sold over 85 million copies and are translated in more than 50 languages. Now published in the UK by Simon and Schuster, 16 Miffy storybooks have been refreshed for a modern British audience by award winning poet, Tony Mitton and are available from all good bookshops.

There is Miffy merchandise sold across 5 continents, a new TV series and a movie. Celebrations for Miffy's anniversary will take place worldwide throughout 2015.

The publishing and international rights to Miffy are managed by Mercis bv in Amsterdam.