Dr. M.H. (Marjan) Groot

  • Senior lecturer
  • Art history
  • Design and socio-cultural engagement
  • Dutch applied art 1890-1940

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2749
E-Mail: m.h.groot@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Centre for the Arts in Society, KG Kunstnijverheid
Office Address: Johan Huizingagebouw
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 2.18b
Personal Homepage: art-design-science-ethics.tumblr.com

Atelier Tipografic 2

Dr. Marjan Groot co-initiated the cooperative European educational project Atelier Tipografic 2, together with Hans Bockting, Dinu Dumbravician and Piet Gerards.

Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis / Yearbook of Women's History

Marjan Groot is a member of the editorial board of the Yearbook for Women’s History.

Fields of interest

Marjan Groot is historian of Design and Decorative Art, comprising furniture, metal work, ceramics, glass, graphic design, textile design, etc). Her main academic interest lies in historical and theoretical approaches and contemporary viewpoints with respect to Design and Decorative Art. She aims to combine historical knowledge and viewpoints with developments in contemporary society and interdisciplinary connections between visual art, architecture and the art of non-western cultures. She is a generalist on the history of all European Decorative Art and its relations with other cultures.


Recent research and publications explore design as an engaged cultural expression in society. Gender is an important element in this expression. She explores the interaction between design and various biotechnologies in their socio-cultural impact. Recent papers focus on art, design and nature and biotechnology; on cross-cultural encounters related to design and crafts; and on the blurring of boundaries between decorative arts, folk art and gender constructions. Highly specialised art-historical research concerns decorative art in the Netherlands between 1880 and 1940. Her book Vrouwen in toegepaste kunst en industriële vormgeving in Nederland 1880-1940 gives a first historical overview of women designers and gender constructions in the Netherlands on the basis of unpublished archival source material. Older publications concern commercial enterprises and consumerism in decorative arts and design, and the meaning and workings of animals in decorative art.

Curriculum vitae

Marjan Groot (1959) has a propaedeuse in Cultural Antropology from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, a first grade teaching qualification from the Amsterdam Academy for Art and Design, a Doctoral in Art History from the University of Amsterdam and University of Leiden, and a doctorate from the University of Leiden. She specialised in the History of Decorative Art and Design. She lectures and gives seminars on European decorative art and design at the University of Leiden in BA and MA programs Arts and Culture.

Teaching activities

  • First-year BA Introduction course on the History of European decorative arts and design 500-2000
  • Second-year BA Specialised thematic courses on decorative arts and design
  • Second-year BA General Art historical excursions to European cities ( Paris, Berlin)
  • Third-year BA Introductory course for the minor Art History, a series of lectures on art historical subjects of different ages around art historical concepts and approaches
  • Third-year BA Research seminar on various subjects and themes, such as Decorative Art and commerce; Sources of decorative arts and design
  • Third-year BA Methodology seminar on research methodologies and viewpoints for research on decorative arts and design
  • Mphil Research seminar on Design and culture
  • Guest lectures on art in thematic series on postcolonial literature, primitivism


Most recent publications

‘Visualizing genes and gender in speculative realities of the natural and the synthetic’, in Gender and genes. Yearbook of Women’s History / Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis. 33, Hilversum/Amsterdam: Verloren, 2013.

‘The Amsterdam School: irrationality as implicit visual criticism’, in: Reflections on the collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: nai/010 publishers, 2012, 121-132 (also in Dutch).

‘Katagami and Japonisme in the Netherlands’, Exh. cat. Katagami Style, Tokyo (Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum) 2012, 66-68 (also in Japanese).

‘Herhaling in verhalen over ornament’, in: Sjef Houppermans, Jef Jacobs, Remke Kruk (eds.), Déjà Vu. Herhaling in literatuur en kunst, Leiden: Leiden University Press 2011, 147-180.

‘Katagami,  japonisme en crossculturalisme in Nederland, 1860-1930’, in Textielhistorische bijdragen 51 (2011), 24-50.

Design en gender: van object tot representatie, Amsterdam: University Press, 2011 (211 p.).

‘Nature? en een vloertapijt. Over de relatie tussen kunst en natuur’, Entomologische berichten 68 (2008) 1, 2-11.

Bangelaer, bungalow en de reikwijdte van ‘invloed’, in: Annemiek Ouwerkerk (ed), Het Nederlandse binnenhuis gaat zich te buiten. Internationale invloeden op de Nederlandse wooncultuur (Leids Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 14), Leiden: Primavera Pers, 2007, 342-368.

'Underneath a yellow fleece: a Daily Record of the Knights’ Hall', in: Atelier Rijksbouwmeester. Tanja Karreman, Janine Schulze, Huib Haye van der Werf (red.), Present. Kunst bij rijksgebouwen 2004-2006, Rotterdam: episode publishers, 2007, 428-429.

Vrouwen in de vormgeving in Nederland 1880-1940, Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010, 2007 (598 p.).

 ‘Frits Lensvelt als ontwerper van lampen en als binnenhuisarchitect’, in: Licht als Leidraad. Leven en werk van Frits Lensvelt (1886-1945), Assen: Waanders, 2007, 77-136. (with Henriette Wijmenga)

‘Cell and Womb as Metaphors for Dwellings’. Paper for the Design History Society Conference September 2006 in Delft, NL. Published on Conference CD-Rom, December 2006.

‘Crossing the Borderlines and Moving the Boundaries. ‘High’ Arts and Crafts, Cross-culturalism, Folk Art and Gender’, Journal of Design History vol. 19 no 3 (2006), pp. 121-136. [Also online]

Biography of Elis. M. Rogge for Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland 6, online May 10, 2006

‘Teppichschoner en Crying Carpet. Het oosterse tapijt als teken’, Kunstlicht 26 (2005), 3/4, pp. 46-55.

Marjan Groot, ‘Vrouwen in de vormgeving’, Historica  28 (februari 2005) 1, 16-18.

Marjan Groot, Hanneke Oosterhof, Textielkunstenaressen art nouveau art deco 1900-1930, Tilburg (Nederlands Textielmuseum) 2005. Publicatie bij een tentoonstelling.

Last Modified: 04-12-2013