BIOGRAPHY Jantina De Boer-Munneke 31-01-1912 *-*-* 12-01-1999


She was born in the Netherlands in the province Drenthe, in the village Drouwen-Borger.
Her parents,Jannes Munneke and Anna Klara Smid later moved to Emmen (now famous for the Zoo). Jantina had two sisters, Bertha and Hillie. When she joined the youth-movement of the Socialist Party, she met her future husband, Pieter Jan de Boer. They married in 1936.
At the end of the Second World War they went to live in the city of Groningen. In April 1945 their first daughter, Anna Bertha, was born, and in 1950 they welcomed a second daughter, Ingrid Remy.
In 1948 they opened a shop on the island Ameland. At first they mainly sold books, newspapers, magazines and postcards, for which mister de Boer made the photo’s himself. In later years they expanded and one could buy almost anything in their store. In the first years the shop was open only during the summer season, when tourists came to the island to enjoy the beautiful beach and the North sea. The rest of the year the family lived in Groningen and there too their income came from selling books.
In 1964 they decided to stay on the island permanently and keep the store open all year round. In 1974 Mr. and Mrs. de Boer ended their business. They moved to an old house in the centre of the village Nes. That’s when they finally could spend time to their hobbies and go on holiday-trips.
Both daughters were married by this time and there were five grandchildren now. They enjoyed their new role as grandparents and, when the grandchildren were old enough, they went with them, one at a time, to Drenthe. The land of their youth and first years of marriage was very dear to them.
And Mrs. de Boer, after a life of hard work, finally got the chance to explore her creative talents. She started with her unique embroidery work, almost as if she painted. A piece of cloth, with a pattern or special texture, threads of silk or wool in every possible colour, putting different materials together; an idea was forming.
But the end result was never determined or certain at the moment of the first stitches. Inspiration could come from anything; flora, fauna, sea life, insects, but also the rich cultures of the world, images from science and technology. An image of pollen, taken with an electron microscope, a picture of a distant galaxy, an African mask, it could all provide her with an idea for her artwork. And always with her own, unique interpretation. Mrs. de Boer also liked to use geometric shapes, what resulted in beautiful abstract works.
The colours she chose were sometimes harmonious, sometimes strong and clashing. A frequently returning theme was her garden. Gardening was always a great passion. In all her gardens she worked with colour, texture and shape in a special way. Painting artists, such as Germ de Jong and Potgieter, often used her garden as a source of inspiration for their work.
Just a few months before their 50th wedding anniversary her husband suddenly died. This was a terrible blow that caused a period of depression, during which time she could not create anything. Fortunately she pulled herself out of it and started again.
But in the years that followed she began to lose her eyesight. Cataract and retinitis made it impossible to maintain her earlier way of working. She switched to application techniques. The choice of colours also changed because of these eye problems. However, until her death in 1999 she went on creating beautiful and unique work.
Although she favoured working with needle and thread, she also made some remarkable paintings and drawings. Some examples of that work can be found on the page PAINTINGS