First overview of the development of the Dutch photo book since 1945 and its significance for the Dutch photography. With highlights from the past 65 years, including many important Dutch photographers and graphic designers.
The Dutch photobook is highly regarded and praised internationally. Recently the British photographer and collector Martin Parr asserted, “The Dutch continue to be the best bookmakers in Europe.” Thus it is high time for the Dutch photobook to have centre stage for itself in an extensive survey of its immense richness and allure. In the exhibition Celebration of the Photobook the Nederlands Fotomuseum is focusing directly on the recent history of the Dutch photobook for the first time.
The occasion is the publication of The Dutch Photobook, edited by Rik Suermondt and Frits Gierstberg, which is appearing simultaneously with the exhibition. The exhibition shows a selection of the titles dealt with in this publication, together with related dummies, photos, contact prints, design sketches and a selection of children's photobooks. The production process, the collaboration between the photographer and graphic designer, and the development of the photobook since 1945 come up for examination. Given the time span over which the exhibited photobooks were produced, the recent history of The Netherlands also is visualized. On Saturday, 10 March, 2012, the exhibition Celebration of the Photobook will be opened with the presentation of The Dutch Photobook and a visual and musical photobook party during Museum Night.
The photobook is on the ascent, with no sign of stopping. Despite – or perhaps thanks to – the digitizing of photography, the ‘old’ medium of the book is tremendously popular among photographers today. They see the photobook as an ideal form for presenting their photos and telling their story. The selection of the images and paper, design, typography and text are all-important in this. The photobook is almost as old as photography itself, and in retrospect was the most important means of distribution for photography, both among photographers themselves and between the image makers and their audience. Books have a long life, and can be distributed internationally; as a result, they have an enormous range across time and space.
In general, photographers do not make photobooks all by themselves. Most photobooks arise out of a collaboration with a graphic designer, an author, a publisher and a printer. The interchange between photographer and designer, the convergence of their disciplines, make the photobook an interesting artistic and cultural phenomenon. And even while the latest generation of photographers are embracing the photobook enthusiastically as an important artistic expression and experiment extensively with it, academic and museal appreciation is growing.
The Dutch photobook has built up a good reputation in this rising international interest for photographic publications. Many photobooks from The Netherlands are already included in the collections of foreign museums and private collectors. The Netherlands has a long and internationally unique tradition of collaborations between photographers and graphic designers, in which writers and printers also play a large role. In the period after 1945 it was especially the close cooperation between graphic designers and photographers that was definitive for the high quality of Dutch photobooks. From corporate book to autonomous artistic expression
Both the book and the exhibition present the selected photobooks in six themes: landscape, the city, travel, youth culture, the economy and autonomous expression. The most remarkable photobooks in each theme are singled out. In the exhibition Celebration of the Photobook specific characteristics of the photobook, such as the dummy, the print run and the printing technique are also examined through striking examples. For example, Ed van der Elsken's famous Love on the Left Bank provides an opportunity to look at the relation between the medium of film and the photobook. In addition to familiar photobooks like the renowned Vuur aan zee and Anton Corbijn's Famouz, the most beautiful children's photobooks are also presented.
Opening celebration & book presentation
On Saturday, 10 March, 2012 the exhibition Celebration of the Photobook will be opened with the presentation of The Dutch Photobook and the announcement of the titles of the photobooks selected/included. Following this there will be a sparkling visual and musical photobook party which is the contribution of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, SKVR BeeldFabriek and LP2 to Rotterdam's Museum Night. Also during Museum Night in Las Palmas: Nocturnal guided tours through the exhibition and making a visual novel in which anyone can shine as a character or as a photographer.
The Dutch Photobook
The editors, Rik Suermondt and Frits Gierstberg, chose over 120 of the most important Dutch photobooks and placed them in the context of photographic and social developments. Selection and editing Frits Gierstberg, Rik Suermondt | Authors Tamara Berghmans, Flip Bool, Patricia Börger, Martijn van den Broek, Karen Duking, Frits Gierstberg, Karin Krijgsman, Claudia Küssel, Pieter van Leeuwen, Pim Milo, Mirelle Thijsen, Mireille de Putter, Max van Rooy, Bart Sorgedrager, Rik Suermondt, Anneke van Veen | Design Studio Joost Grootens | Photography Hans Bol Specifications hardbound | 240 pages | 24 x 28 cm | Dutch edition ISBN 978-90-5662-845-1 | English edition ISBN 978-90-5662-846-8 Price € 49,50
With support from Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Mondriaan Fonds, SNS Reaal Fonds, NAi Utgevers and Aperture. Spread uit ‘Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint Germain des Prés’ (1956) Cover ‘Hollandse Velden’ Hans van der Meer Ed van der Elsken Nederlands Fotomuseum would like to thank Ministry of Education | Gemeente Rotterdam | BankGiro Loterij | Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds | Mondriaan Fonds | ABN AMRO | Loyens Loeff | OVG | Port of Rotterdam
Image: Cover: Famouz. Photographs 1975-88 | Anton Corbijn 1975. Foto rechts: Spread: Youth is an Art | Daan van Golden 1997
Pr and marketing
Femke IJsinga-van Boxsel tel. +31 (0)10-2030403 e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening: March the 10th at 8 p.m
Wilhelminakade 33 - Rotterdam
Hours: Tuesday to friday 10-5 p.m.
Saturday & sunday 11-5 p.m.
Entrance fee: Adults: € 7
Children under the age of 13: free entrance
Museumkaart, Jaarkaart Fotomuseum, ICOM: free entrance
Students/CJP € 3,50
Groups (> 15 p.) € 3,50
Free admisson on Wednesdays
Free tour: Every Sunday 2 p.m.: free guided tour. You can register at the same day at the museum desk (full = full).