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About the artist

(*) Bibi Smit has been chosen as the artist to create a unique chandelier for the Atrium of the Mauritshuis on the occasion of its 200th anniversary. (Annemarie Sabelis)

About Bibi Smit

Bibi Smit has been a glass artist for 30 years and her enthusiasm for working with hot fluid glass is undiminished. She first learned the craft at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in England, but especially from teachers such as Willem Heesen from Leerdam.

In the circle of life

For this assignment, Bibi was inspired by the Mauritshuis exhibition In Full Bloom, where she was amazed by the refined craftsmanship of the painters and their eye for detail. She was delighted by the humorous elements such as insects and butterflies, and was moved by the beauty of the everyday versus the unexpected.

As Bibi says,“This work celebrates life, in all its colour and beauty and imperfection. It shows the beauty of transience and invites the viewer to be a part of it, celebrating the return of the seasons and the cycle of nature. Tulips are a good example of this in miniature for me. I like tulip petals when they are just past their peak, becoming semi-translucent and slowly withering, and even more so when they fall off, curl up and shrivel. With blown glass, which in its hot fluid state seems almost alive and moves just like in nature, I can see what happens, the colour changes, the movement and the faded glory. The glass reflects the unique characteristics of the cycle of a flower, the cycle of life and death.”

The artwork will be comprised of colourful elements of blown glass, which will blossom in the Atrium. These glass petals become a metaphor for the circle of life and the passing of time in all its transience. In installations of this size, which are so large that you can walk around them and see the work from all sides, you are included as a viewer so that you yourself become a part of it. This makes the finished piece an experience through which she hopes joy and healing can be found, and that the viewer experiences enlightenment, strength and inspiration.

Bibi is very honoured and delighted to create this commission for the Atrium of the Mauritshuis, in celebration of its 200th anniversary.

Clouds, Bibi Smit, 2021
Photo: Laura Majolino

Public Collections

  • National Museums of Scotland (UK)
  • Nationaal Glasmuseum Leerdam (NL)
  • Museum Jan (NL)
  • Glassmuseum Lednické Rovne (SK)
  • North Lands Creative Glass Collection (UK)
  • Museum für Glaskunst (DE)
  • Glasmuseum Alter Hof Herding, Ernsting-Stiftung (DE)


2016-2021 Bibi Smit, Salone del Mobile, Milano, Palazzo Francesco Turati, IT
2018 “Glas en Keramiekbeurs”, “Copier Unveiled”, National Glassmuseum Leerdam, NL
2011-18 “Meesterlijk”, Amsterdam, NL
2010 “Future Memories”, Galerie Broft, Leerdam, NL
2006 “Fragile Connections”, (with Elizabeth Swinburne), Gallery Leon Salet, Maastricht, NL
2001 Glass Gallery Leerdam, Leerdam (with Floris Meydam), NL

Zwerm Kroonluchter, Bibi Smit, 2018
Photo: Sacha Gerdsen


2022 Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass, Coburg, DE
2021 National Glass Prize, Sunderland, UK
2021 Venice Glass Week HUB, Venice, IT
2021 Connections, Glass Art Society Members Exhibition, Virtual 2021, USA
2021 Kunstexpositie, De Kliuw Gallery, Heeze, NL
2020 PAN Amsterdam, Galerie Wilms, NL
2019 Gallery Bonnard, NL
2018-2019 Masterly The Hague, NL
2015-2016 “Royal Showpieces”, Paleis Het Loo, Apeldoorn, NL
2016 “A Vases is a Vase is a Vase”, AD Gallery, Antwerp, BE
2015 Maison & Objet, Paris, FR
2014 “Glass of the Netherlands”, Glass Museum Immenhausen, DE
2013 Palace Oranienbaum, DE
2012 Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, NL
2008 “Reflections: A Decade of North Lands Creative Glass”, Royal Museum/Museum of
Scotland, Edinburgh, UK
2007 “Moderne Hollandsk Glas”, Lærken Galeria og Museum for Moderne Kunst, Nykøbing
Falster, DK
2007 “Masters and Techniques”, Het Glazen Huis, Lommel, BE
2006 Museum Jan van der Togt, Amstelveen, NL
2006 Coda Museum, Apeldoorn, NL
2004 “Het Meervoud van Glas”, National Glassmuseum Leerdam, NL
2004 “Dutch Glass Art at Nordstan”, Götenburg, SE
2002 “Contemporary Art in Glass”, exh. by in Gemeente Archief
Amsterdam, NL
2001 “Glass Connections”, National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK
1997 Expo Glass Art Society International, Tucson, Arizona, USA
1996 “Venezia Aperto Vetro”, Museo Correr, Venice, IT
1994 “British Artists in Glass”, Guinness Gallery, Dublin, IE
1992 Transparence Gallery, Brussels, BE

Sands, Bibi Smit, Exhibitor Coburg Prize 2022, 2021
Photo: Ron Zeilstra

More information

Documentary "Moving Glass' by Rosa Ruth Boesten.