'Akbar en de Gouden Bol' (Haak In, 1955).

Henk van Faassen was a Dutch graphic artist, as well as an innovator of artistic education in Amsterdam. In the mid-1950s, he provided a couple of comic stories to the promotional children's magazine Haak In.

Early life
Johan Hendrik van Faassen was born in 1931 in Amsterdam. He attended the local Arts and Crafts School - later known as the Gerrit Rietveld Academy - where graphic artists like Piet Klaasse and Jan Elburg were his teachers.

De Werkschuit
In 1953, Van Faassen was introduced by his teacher Klaasse to De Werkschuit, a foundation initiated by a group of artists and social workers to explore new forms of education through art and other forms of expression. Van Faassen hosted workshops in metal and woodcraft, primarily aimed at children, but also available to parents and teachers. He was also a teacher at the IVKO, a secondary art school, part of the Montessori educational system.

An important aspect of De Werkschuit's activities was developing and exploring new educational methods. Following the movement's social vision, Henk van Faassen was one of the initiators of the IVKO's Taaldrukwerkplaats Amsterdam, a workshop that merged the disciplines of language and printing. For many years, he continued to explore possibilities for children to communicate with words and images, often in collaboration with museums and other educational centers.

'De Visser en de Geest' (Haak In, 1950s).

Graphic art & comics
Apart from teaching, Henk van Faassen was also active as a graphic artist, expressionist painter and illustrator. In the mid-1950s, he worked in a collective atelier in Amsterdam's Commelinstraat, alongside fellow artists like Flip van der Burgt, Mies Kroon, Henk Buskermolen, Ko Sagel and Herman Stammeshaus. In their shop, the group exhibited their lithographies, etchings and silkscreens.

Around this same period, Van Faassen made his only comic stories for Haak In, a promotional children's magazine, published weekly by the Brinkers Margarine Factory for its Leeuwezegel Haak In junior club. Together with writer John Lantermans, Van Faassen provided the Persian tale 'Akbar en de Gouden Bal', about a poor cobbler's son who finds a magical golden ball, as well as an adaptation of the Arab fairy tale 'The Fisherman and the Demon' ('De Visser en de Geest'). Among the other artists contributing colorful and exotic comic stories to Haak In were Henk Albers and Friso Henstra.

Later years and death
For many years, De Werkschuit was a physical ship in the Amsterdam canals, with its original berth opposite the Carré theater. By 1976, the organization went ashore, until in 2005, all activities were dissolved. Henk van Faassen inventoried the archives, which were then transferred to the Amsterdam City Archives. On his website tussentaalenbeeld.nl, he continued to provide documentation and articles about language visualization, visual poetry, education and art, as well as the history of Amsterdam's Jordaan district. Henk van Faassen passed away on 7 May 2022, at the age of 90.

De Telegraaf reporting on the collective workshop in Amsterdam-Oost (19 September 1956). From left to right: Flip van de Burgt, Mies Kroon and Henk van Faassen.


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