Valentine’s Day in The Occupied Garden

Love & the art of papierknipkunst

We are still working away on the new paperback edition of The Occupied Garden and promise it’s coming very soon! It’s been so fun examining the old photos again, and reconnecting with the story of our oma and opa, Cor Post and Gerrit den Hartog. Recently on a visit to our aunt, who features prominently in the story, I noticed Cor and Gerrit’s engagement portraits on her wall, together in a frame. I’ve always loved these pictures — but what I hadn’t noticed before was an intricately cut paper tucked behind the photos, forming a pretty backdrop for their likenesses. Papercutting, or papierknipkunst in Dutch, is an old art form that has evolved all over the world in varying ways. My aunt doesn’t think my oma made this piece, but it’s certainly very old, and may have been made for her by a sister or a friend. In any case, with its mirror-image pattern of hearts and birds and twisting vines, it makes an appropriate backdrop for Cor and Gerrit, and a fine offering for Valentine’s Day.