The Complete Works of Philippe Smit
by Andreas Narzt and Florence Castellani
Print this page
quick search:

Literature & Primary Sources


Niehaus 1955

Niehaus, Kasper. Philippe Smit, unkown genius. Revised and edited by Marjorie Bell. Typescript, 1955.

After Philippe Smit’s death, Theodore Pitcairn wanted to publish a book dedicated to him. The art critic, Kasper Niehaus, agreed to write the text and Leo Hubscher undertook to oversee the project.

As early as 1949 Niehaus drafted a first version, which Hubscher thought needlessly chatty with too little focus on Smit’s work. Reluctantly, Niehaus amended the text but even the revised version was not considered by Hubscher to be satisfactory.

Theodore Pitcairn wanted a hundred colour reproductions of Smit’s works to appear in the book. Photographers were contacted in the United States, the Netherlands and France to photograph 200 works from which a choice would be made later. Similarly, publishers were approached in all three countries with a view to publishing the book.

However, the reluctance of Smit’s widow Berendina to cooperate with the project, the lack of enthusiasm for the revised Niehaus text, the cost of proofing quality reproductions, the price of publishing the book, not to mention the major problems of translation, caused Pitcairn to hesitate.

It seems that Pitcairn - tired of all these difficulties and fearing that the book would have only limited success, disproportionate with the investment already made and yet to come, decided to abandon the project only five years after having initiated it. However, Marjorie Bell makes accessible part of the preparatory work with this present edition.1

1. See Leo Hubscher, lettres (mostly copies of TL) to his sister Berendina, 1950-1954, LNC archives.
Works in this publication / source
view by:
Record last updated May 21, 2016. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Narzt, Andreas and Castellani, Florence. "Niehaus 1955." The Complete Works of Philippe Smit. (accessed on May 21, 2024).