Pastoe, formerly UMS (Utrechtse Machinale Stoel- en Meubelfabriek, ‘Utrecht Mechanical Chair and Furniture Factory’), established by Frits Loeb in 1913. After 1945, the company started to focus on modern contract furniture under the direction of Cees Braakman, who was responsible for product development until 1978. He came up with the Pastoe system, a product family of modular units made of laminated wood which could be combined according to one’s own taste. Pastoe also made other produced other modular furniture, chairs and tables, and the famous cube of 1967. The company won the BKI prize in 1968.
Pastoe cooperated with Harry Sierman (from 1952 to 1965) for the catalogues, which received the title Best Verzorgd Boek (‘Best Designed Book’) twice. Photos were taken by renowned photographers such as Jan Versnel and Hans Spies with Benno Premsela as the art director. In the late 1970s, the company was facing a crisis, but from 1981 onwards, under the directorship of Harm Scheltens, Pastoe resumed its collaborations with designers such as Aldo van den Nieuwelaar, Radboud van Beekum, Pierre Mazairac/Karel Boonzaayer, Shiro Kuramata and Shigeru Uchida. Scheltens focused on high-quality products, mostly cabinets, with a long service life.
The Dutch version of this biography is taken from the book Visies op vormgeving, het Nederlandse ontwerpen in teksten deel 2: 1940-2000 (2008) by Frederike Huygen. The following sources have been used for this biography:
– Vreeburg,, G., Martens, H. ‘UMS Pastoe, een Nederlandse meubelfabriek 1913-1983’, Utrecht (Centraal Museum) 1983.
– Tange, J., Ramakers, R. ‘UMS Pastoe 70 jaar’, Items 2 (1983) 9, pp. 32-33.
– Kuyper, D. de ‘Made to Measure. UMS-Pastoe and Cees Braakman: 1948-1968’, New York (R Gallery) 2000.