Herman Brood

Where once the buttercups bloomed (1992, acrylic paint)
Art Collection

Herman Brood - Waar eens de boterbloemen bloeiden (1992)

The Pluriforme Uitspannings (or Uitpuf) Faciliteit (multiform café) was a household word for students who studied between 1985-1997. The somewhat precarious name referred to a rather messy student café, located in an extension of the Mensa, where drinks could be obtained at a low price.

The so-called platform café—including a student administrator—was created by active students. The editors had the task of contributing to a lively campus culture and the formation of a critical attitude by offering a platform for discussion. Some of the themes: career and ethics, cultural coercion in student life, student-centered education (wesdè? (What’s that?)), traditional role patterns, genetic engineering, travel, the slenderness ideal, and students and ideals. There was also an open stage with some regularity, to be mounted by anyone who makes music, sings, dances, yodels, recites poems, or tells stories.

Herman Brood in actie in de Puf 1992

The high point in December 1992 was the arrival of pop icon—also painter—Herman Brood. Students had foresightedly bought canvas and spray cans, after which Brood was prepared to make a painting on the condition that a bottle of whisky could be fetched in a hurry. At the completion of the canvas, Brood wondered where he had actually ended up. When he understood that in the distant past the university grounds had consisted of heath and sand drifts, the title 'Where once the buttercups bloomed' was born.

The work is in the university's art collection and graced the wall of the Esplanade Café until the summer of 2017. It had to make way because of a restyling of the café, into which, incidentally, the PUF had merged in 1997. With—as it was called then—maintaining low prices.

More about history and academic heritage

The Tilburg University academic heritage is a very diverse set of archives, visual materials, collections, devices, recorded stories, et cetera that relate to the history of the university.