The story behind ANVIA

Past meets future!

Algemeene Nederlandsche Verlichtings-Industrie Almelo (ANVIA)

In 1906 Max Liebert took over a decoration company from Lessmann Moset in Berlin. In almost 30 years Max managed to build up a successful decoration and lighting company, consisting of 3 factories. Shortly after the National Socialist government took over, Max Liebert was deprived of 2 of the 3 companies. The factory that produced lighting fixtures was moved from Berlin to Almelo. At the end of 1933, this factory was registered as Algemeene Nederlandsche Verlichtings-Industrie Almelo (ANVIA). Together with his son Werner and son-in-law Fritz Kaufmann, Max and Käte Liebert managed to rebuild a successful company in the Netherlands.

The Liebert family had to hand ANVIA over to a German administrator in 1942. Shortly afterwards Max, Käte and their son Werner were arrested in 1943 and murdered in Sobibor and Auschwitz respectively. Ilse, daughter of Max and Käte, and Fritz Kaufmann were able to go into hiding and survived the war. Shortly after the liberation of the Netherlands, they were asked by the factory staff to restart ANVIA. A challenging time. Raw materials were hardly available. Fritz Kaufmann travelled to Amsterdam every month to find out how much steel was available for ANVIA production. In 1952 Fritz Kaufmann suddenly died. From that moment onwards ANVIA was managed by attorneys-in-facy (in Dutch so-called Procuratiehouders). In the early 1950s, ANVIA also entered into a cooperation with an industrial designer from Haarlem, Jan (J.J.M.) Hoogervorst. This was the beginning of a very successful period in the company's history. TheHoogervorst designs gave ANVIA a renowded international status. Many of his designs were very pure and functional, yet very subtle. He designs many well-known products such as the well-known wall or bedside lamp 7013, the desk lamp 6019, the horseshoe floor lamp 8025, the famous wall lamp 7058 (also known as Paperclip) and of course the world-famous ANVIA counterbalance lamps in its many shapes, including the very popular model 5018.

Each and every one of them iconic designs, timelessly functional Dutch design and still loved and relevant today.

Jan Hoogervorst designed most of the collections for ANVIA until 1982. In the 1950s and 1960s, ANVIA was one of the larger Dutch lighting companies, together with Philips in Eindhoven and Hala in Zeist. In the early 1970s, Ilse Kaufmann-Liebert sold the company to an external director, Mr Veen. He led ANVIA through a period of further industrialisation. In the mid-1980s, ANVIA was taken over by a Dutch window decoration company. A few years later, the ANVIA brand disappeared from the market. Then nothing happens to ANVIA brand for about 30 years. In the summer of 2014, an idea is born bring the once renowned ANVIA brand back to life. What follows is an inspiring search for the extraordinary history of ANVIA. On 5th January 2015, ANVIA was officially re-established.

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