Tot Zover

Cake urn for the ashes of Guus Vleugel (1998)

Exceptional funerals are of all times, but in the nineties of the last century we saw many, and they can often be called extravagant. It was the time when many people from the LGBT scene succumbed to AIDS. Their funerals were often the way they had lived: festive. The funerals of Manfred Langer (1994) and Peter Giele (1999) are very well known. This urn for Guus Vleugel fits in this trend, it is an extravagant cake, cheerfully decorated and over-the-top. The original candles are still in it.

The urn is our most recent addition, a true masterpiece. It is made of ceramic and designed by visual artist Guusje Beverdam. She mainly produces brightly colored ceramic sculptures.

Guus Vleugel (1932-1998) was a well-known lyricist, playwright and writer of (cabaret) songs and novels. His ashes were kept in this urn for twenty years. The urn was at home with Vleugels partner Ton Vorstenbosch (1947-2017), also a playwright. When Vorstenbosch died, their ashes were scattered together on De Nieuwe Ooster. Gerard van Heusden - the later partner of Vorstenbosch - donated the urn to Museum Tot Zover.


At the request of the museum, Guusje Beverdam wrote about the urn and how the commission came about in 1998:

I met Ton Vorstenbosch, the previous partner of Guus Vleugel, when he came to café Krom in the Utrechtsestraat. A friend of mine lives in the Kerkstraat, at Krom we usually had a drink when I came to Amsterdam, and the five of them were on the clock and Ton Vorstenbosch often sat there with his white wine diluted with water. When he saw what I was making, I was commissioned by him to make an urn for the ashes of Guus Vleugel.

The urn by Guus Vleugel is made of ceramic and lined with red velvet on the inside. It is made for indoors, not frost resistant, unsuitable for outdoors. The assignment was to make an artwork / urn that visitors to the house would not recognise as an urn.

I made it in the form of a large pink cake with symbols of love, his orientation and work.

  • The heart, roses and doves represent love.
  • The wings relate to his name and of course because he has ascended to heaven.
  • The color pink, the golden picks in the cream and the banana candlesticks represent his sexuality.
  • The golden lion with drawn sword, represent the irony and his aversion to the royal family in his work.

Ton was very satisfied and happy with it, he really appreciated the irony in the work, it suited Guus, he also found the shrinkage crack in the bottom no problem.

Mission fulfilled satisfactorily! Guusje Beverdam, email of October 18, 2018