Martin Visser was a celebrated Dutch furniture designer and art collector. After studying civil engineering in Amsterdam, he worked as an architectural draughtsman. In the early postwar era, he was hired as Head Furniture Buyer for De Bijenkorf department store in Amsterdam. In 1954 Visser became head of design of the Dutch furniture manufacturing company ’t Spectrum.
Visser’s designs are recognizable by their minimalist style and the use of square steel tubing for the legs of his chairs, tables, and storage pieces. This industrial-style look very well suited the atmosphere of postwar recovery in the Netherlands. In our days Vissers unadorned aesthetic and economical approach to materials, attracts a new generation of fans.
Successful designs by Visser for ’t Spectrum include the BR 02 Sofa Bed (1958/60); SZ 01 and SZ 02 Armchairs (1960); TE 06.7 Table (1960); and SE 05, SE 06, SE 07 Dining Chairs (1960)—all of which remain in production with Spectrum today. The SZ 63 Easy Chair (1960–1965), no longer in production, is among Visser’s most highly sought-after pieces on the vintage market.
At the request of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Visser created the slatted bench BZ in 1960-1961. The design was such a success that in 1965 ‘t Spectrum decided to include the bench in it’s collection. The slatted bench stayed in the collection until 1974 and was reintroduced at the furniture exhibition in Cologne in 2010.