Bart van der Leck
Dutch, 1876 - 1958
Shopping bag, c. 1935

image:   H. 9 1/4 x W. 9 1/4 in.
bag:   H. 18 3/4 x W. 18 in.

Anyone wanting up-to-the-minute interior decor in the 1930s patronized one of the branches of Metz & Co. for the stark, modern designs of the Thonet brothers or Gerrit Rietveld, glass from Leerdam, and colorful fabrics designed by Sonia Delaunay or produced by the fabric manufacturer Weverij De Ploeg. Since 1900, Metz & Co. had been under the far-sighted management of J. de Leeuw, who imported the internationally renown Liberty fabrics from London. In the 1920s he introduced stylish, deluxe furniture from Paris and Vienna while gradually taking on more Dutch industrial artists.

De Leeuw’s introduction to Rietveld and the painter Bart van der Leck around 1930 brought renewed vigor to the store. Van der Leck designed the firm’s logo as well as an assortment of bags and boxes in his inimitable style of fragmented letterforms with primary colors, all properly reflecting Metz & Co.’s combination of exclusivity and the avant-garde. The bag’s restraint and air of sophisticated modernity is no less contemporary today.