Gijs Bakker

Published: 07.03.2024
Gijs Bakker.
. Image Courtesy of Karakter Gijs Bakker.
Image Courtesy of Karakter


Gijs Bakker (Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 1942) was trained as a jewelry and industrial designer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and the Konstfackskolan in Stockholm, Sweden.
His designs cover jewelry, home accessories and household appliances, furniture, interiors, public spaces and exhibitions. He worked and works for numerous companies, including Polaroid, Artifort, Droog Design, Castelijn, HEMA, Royal VKB, ENO Studio and recently as creative director for Yii, Taiwan.
Bakker taught at various schools, among which the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, Delft University of Technology, and the Design Academy Eindhoven where he worked from 1987 until 2012 (since 2000 as Head of the Masters Programme). In 2016, Bakker joined as member of the Dutch Society of Arts (Akademie van Kunsten).
In 1993, Bakker co-founded Droog Design, a Dutch collective of designers, products and information. Together with Renny Ramakers, he was the selector and art director of all products within Droog Design until 2009. 

In 1996, Bakker co-founded Chi ha paura…? (Italian for Who’s afraid of…?). With chp…?, the new brand name since 2013, they wanted to show the international design world that a piece of jewelry is more than a decorative fashion accessory. chp…? invites internationally acclaimed designers to create a special piece for the collection.
Gijs Bakker travels around the world to give workshops and lectures about his own work, Droog Design, chp…?, Yii /HAN gallery and is frequently a member of juries. His work is represented in both public and private collections worldwide. In 2018, Bakker received the royal distinction of Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw. 
In 2016 Bakker founded the MASieraad foundation together with Ruudt Peters, Ted Noten, Liesbeth den Besten, Liesbeth in't Hout and Leo Versteijlen. MASieraad aims at the promotion of jewellery in a broad sense, through the organisation of education, workshops, lectures, exhibitions, and publications. MASieraad's first project started at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, as a temporary experimental 2-years Master called Challenging Jewellery.  In 2020 MASieraad founded the international two-years Masterclass Program MASieraad Hasselt – Amsterdam, or MASieraad H-A.


Known for privileging concept over craft and denying the market value of the materials he works in, Bakker has long disparaged the fetishization of the “authenticity” and prefers instead the potential for mass production. “I have never been interested in hand-made things, and I am, in fact, suspicious of the charm,” Bakker says. “It is the idea that matters, and whether it’s produced by me or by a machine, nothing must detract from the idea.”

Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  30 Nov 2019 - 30 Nov 2019  Dear Shanghai by Challenging Jewellery.
Exhibition  07 Nov 2019 - 10 Nov 2019  Marjan Unger Tribute.
Exhibition  01 Sep 2019 - 24 Sep 2019  Shining on the Stage. Dutch Spirit.
Lectures  17 Mar 2019 - 17 Mar 2019  The Necessity of Jewelry. A lecture by Gijs Bakker.
Exhibition  05 Aug 2018 - 28 Oct 2018  Rough & Raw: A selection from the Coda Museum.
Exhibition  08 Jan 2018 - 29 Apr 2018  All or Nothing: Collection Jurriaan van den Berg.
Exhibition  17 Nov 2017 - 28 May 2018  Jewelry of Ideas: Gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection..
Exhibition  10 Sep 2015 - 30 Sep 2015  Chp...? Chi ha paura...?.
Exhibition  06 Apr 2014 - 25 May 2014  The Jewellery Collection of Annie Brouwer-Korf.
Exhibition  10 Oct 2013 - 15 Dec 2013  Sconfinamenti / Digressions.
Exhibition  04 May 2012 - 05 Aug 2012  The Schullin Collection.
Exhibition  26 Nov 2005 - 28 Feb 2006  Schmuck kunst schmuck.
Exhibition  25 Sep 2005 - 01 Jan 2006  Retrospective survey of Bakker's jewelry design.

Publications      View / hide publications

Book:  David Bielander. Twenty Years. 2016-1996. Britton, Helen; Emmelkamp, Rutger; Bergesio, Maria Cristina; Wild, Julia; Bakker, Gijs; Unger, Marjan; Shobinger, Bernhard; hungerbühler, Benno; Hufnagi, Florian; Bitzer, Jochen; Greenbaum, Toni; Bielander, Raphael; Krohn, Tim; Veiteberg, Jorunn; Fritsch, KarlArnoldshe Art Publishers:  Stuttgardt,  2017
Book:  Jewelry of Ideas. The Susan Grant Lewin Collection.. Ilse-Neuman, UrsulaArnoldsche Art Publishers:  New York,  2017
Book:  1990s Jewellery. The Hans Schullin Collection. Beer, SophieArnoldsche Art Publishers:  Stuttgart,  2017
Book:  TRIPLE PARADE 2015. TAFA Art Museum:  Tianjin,  2015
Book:  Contemporary Jewellers. Interviews with European Artists. Bernabei, RobertaBerg:  London,  2011
Book:  Designers on jewellery. Twelve years of jewellery production by Chi ha paura...?. den Besten, LiesbethArnoldsche Art Publishers:  Stuttgart,  2008
Book:  Gijs Bakker and Jewelry. Arnoldsche Art Publishers:  Stuttgart,  2006
Book:  Gijs Bakker: Objects to Use. van Zijl, Ida010 Publishers:  Amsterdam,  2000