Nijntje's 'Spiritual Father' has passed away
February 18, 2017 10:52 AM   Subscribe

On Thursday, Dick Bruna died in Utrecht. He was 89 years old. CBC obit, WaPo obit. The Dutch artist created Miffy in the 1950s.

The rabbit has her own museum in that city, as well as an ongoing dispute with Hello Kitty.
posted by Rash (14 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Miffy is one of things I associate with arriving in Schiphol.
posted by infini at 11:10 AM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's at times like this that I really miss the img tag
posted by DreamerFi at 11:40 AM on February 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

posted by neushoorn at 12:10 PM on February 18, 2017

posted by Pendragon at 12:23 PM on February 18, 2017


Miffy is the reason I still call my uncle Jonathan Uncle Bob. At 40.
posted by gusandrews at 1:56 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by Lesser Spotted Potoroo at 2:09 PM on February 18, 2017


I named my yellow New Beetle Miffy, because it looked like the kind of car she would drive.
posted by Lucinda at 2:54 PM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nijntje was a big part of my early childhood, particularly in bridging my Dutch immigrant family in Canada with the rest of the family overseas. I stuck with her well past my childhood, even carrying around a Miffy agenda throughout grad school.

So nice. So genteel. So simple.

Not gonna lie -- I was trying to hide the tears at my office desk when I heard the news.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:44 PM on February 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Quote from a 2008 interview [apologies for linking to The Torygraph]:

[Bruna] rises every day at 5 or 5.30, squeezes a glass of orange juice for his wife, Irene, and draws her a picture. The pictures - all of which she has kept - are about things she has done, or reminders of things she is planning to do. He says that, on the morning of my visit, 'I did a little drawing about bridge, because she's going to bridge tonight'.

Dick Bruna - like Jan PieĊ„kowski and Janet & Allan Ahlberg - was such an enormous cornerstone of my earliest childhood. Dad brought an ancient battered copy of Bruna's Snow White to my wedding to hold up during his father-of-the-bride speech, it having been Baby!Morfil's favourite book. Mum, decades ago, scaled up illustrations from The Christmas Book to make sugar- and tissue-paper "stained glass" Nativity figures, which were stuck on the church windows during Advent. My youngest brother is partially sighted, so the clear, stark pictures and contrasting colours of Bruna's work were very accessible to him when we read with him as a young child.

Thank you, Dick Bruna. We read your books to my nephews now. They're the kind of books you delight in passing on to the next generation.
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 4:52 PM on February 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've always loved Dick Bruna's illustrations--so simple and charming and instantly recognizable.

posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:18 PM on February 18, 2017

posted by anadem at 7:03 PM on February 18, 2017

My kid's reactions to the characters in those books belong to my dearest memories.
posted by Namlit at 12:03 AM on February 19, 2017

posted by runincircles at 9:50 AM on February 20, 2017

My first school class photo was in front of a large Miffy mural. Much of my travel takes me through Schiphol, which doesn't have a dedicated Miffy shop but might as well have, because the toy shop there is dominated by her presence. I have a KLM Nijntje; I have Dutch friends who travel a lot in Japan and the continuity from Nijntje to Miffy is something that they always notice.

What's interesting to me is how Bruna managed to balance out the marketing opportunities with the sweet integrity of the character. You can buy a lot of Miffy merch, but it's all very understated and fitting: the crochet Miffys are really beautiful craft objects.

posted by holgate at 10:49 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older RIP Jane Roe   |   "The Straight Men Who Made America's First Gay... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments