WAILING WALL OF LONELY SOCKS – Amsterdam public library

For one year only…



There’s always something going on at the Amsterdam Public Library, OBA, celebrating its fifth birthday this year.


We often take visitors there, for the view of the city from the cafe on the seventh floor (that’s considered a bird’s eye view in flat little Holland).

Light and airy, a building worth visiting for its own sake.

They’ve cracked down on the free wifi for backpackers by requiring library membership to access the internet there, but it’s still a great place to sit, have a coffee, read the foreign newspapers or listen to music from their enormous collection of CDs.

On our last visit our eye was caught by the seven metre long artwork by Stef Kreymborg – ‘Klaagmuur van eenzame sokken’ (Wailing Wall of Lonely Socks).

We all know the story of the socks lost in the wash, never to be seen again. The artist has assembled thousands of their bereaved partners, collected during a media appeal, into an artwork. It is intended to move to a different location in the Netherlands each year.

Klaagmuur in The Hague. Photo: stefkreymborg.nl


It’s served its time in the Parliament building in The Hague, and is now installed in the Amsterdam Public Library.

For more of Stef’s work, see stefkreymborg.nl

Perhaps there’s one of yours in here.

14 Comments

Filed under Art, Holland

14 responses to “WAILING WALL OF LONELY SOCKS – Amsterdam public library

  1. And very well executed too, Andrew.

  2. Carla Baas

    Nice the wall with the socks, Mrs. T. told me about it………….

    • Carla, there are a number of my comfortable but unattractive socks that Mrs T would cheerfully contribute to the wall.

      In some cases she’d even let them have both members of the pair.

  3. Jeannette

    And who is the man staring at the socks?

  4. Brian Morris

    Hilarious!! … and clever.

  5. Excellent. I had planned to catch the view from the top. Now I’ll check out the socks too.
    And I feel a piece of home artwork coming on…

  6. Dear Richard Tulloch,
    Thank you for sharing my wailing wall of lonely socks with your friends!
    Stef Kreymborg

  7. NM

    Fantastic idea – However Danish designers have resolved this problem! Have a look but at SOLOSOCKS.DK or URU.DK

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