Page 1


the rise of amateur photog­raphy in the netherlands 1880–1940

a photographer

Mattie Boom Rijks museum


1 Henry Pauw van Wieldrecht (1863–1912) Self-Portrait on the High Wheel, c. 1886, from an album compiled by the photographer Albumen print, 146 x 99 mm Zeist Municipal Archives

The Rijksmuseum holds one of the most important collec­ tions of late nineteenth-century amateur photo­graphy in the Netherlands. It consists of photograph albums compiled by named and unnamed Dutch enthusiasts. The collection includes the country’s first Kodak album, travel albums, women’s albums, photographs by celebrated artists and snapshots by gifted anonymous photographers. These and top works from the photographic holdings of other Dutch institutions provided the building blocks for this book in which Rijksmuseum curator Mattie Boom describes the rise of amateur photography, which until now has been a blind spot in the history of the medium. Around 1900 the young medium, which had only been in existence for half a century, underwent an enormous transformation. For the first time in history people ventured out with small handheld cameras themselves to record their daily lives. Photography was no longer the exclusive domain of professional photographers but was taken up by amateurs – often wealthy young men and women – also. For the photographic retailers these were golden years: ‘Everyone a photographer’ read the slogan on a poster promoting one of the Amsterdam retailers of the time. Photography had become a part of everyday life. In this book, Boom highlights the founding of the photo­ graphic societies and other key players and shows the enormous impact of the role of the burgeoning new technology on society. The amateurs discovered the city and the street, taking many of their images in the open air, sometimes literally just a stone’s throw away from the Rijksmuseum. It is striking how often the land behind the Rijksmuseum appears in this book: skating, tennis, horse riding and even cycle racing all took place here: it was a dynamic place in a dynamic era. In Everyone a Photographer: The Rise of Amateur Photog­ raphy in the Netherlands, 1880—1940 the amateurs and their photographs and albums are revealed for the first time. Their photographs are truly fascinating snapshots of amazing quality and historical importance. These are the roots of modern photography as we have come to know it. The images featured are highly diverse: they vary from intimate scenes of daily life in people’s homes to stereo­ graphs and lantern slides for presentation to wider audiences. Some amateurs were veritable photojournalists who shot reportages in a range of little-known places throughout the world. High points in this book are the albums compiled by Henry Pauw van Wieldrecht and by Queen Wilhelmina, photographs by such artists as Willem Witsen and George Hendrik Breitner, and the pictures taken by amateur photographers who have been lifted out of anonymity by this study. The only surviving Dutch Kodak album, for instance, turned out to belong to the Piek family, an Amsterdam family living on the Herengracht canal. This book is a valuable addition to the series of photobooks on photography in the nineteenth and twen­tieth centuries which includes Modern Times and New Realities. 11

The publication of Everyone a Photographer was made possible with generous support of the Familie Van Heel Fonds/Rijksmuseum Fonds, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds/ Wertheimer Fonds and the Marque Joosten & Eduard Planting Fonds/Rijksmuseum Fonds. Without the private gifts of special photograph albums received in recent years – all of which are mentioned in the list of photographs – the research project that resulted in this publication would have been impossible, and we are therefore highly indebted to all the donors. The same goes for the institutions whose works we are permitted to show in this book and at the accompanying exhibition. We wish to thank His Majesty King Willem-Alexander for granting us access to the photo­ graph album of the young Queen Wilhelmina from the Royal Collections of the Netherlands. The Leiden University Library, Rijksmuseum Boerhaave in Leiden and Amsterdam City Archives also made significant contributions. The ANWB, the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), the National Archives in The Hague, Rotterdam City Archives and Zeist Municipal Archives all made their albums and photographs available, and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, the IISG in Amster­dam and Middachten Castle near Arnhem supplied photog­raphs. Lastly, thanks to the private collectors Steven F. Joseph in Brussels and Ruud Hoff in Leeuwarden, we have been able to show a unique poster and the earliest cameras, including the very first Kodak camera of 1888. Taco Dibbits General Director Rijksmuseum

This book was made possible by: Familie Van Heel Fonds/Rijksmuseum Fonds Marque Joosten & Eduard Planting Fonds/ Rijksmuseum Fonds

Photography Image Department, Rijksmuseum Design Irma Boom Office (Irma Boom, basic concept / Eva van Bemmelen) Lithography BFC (Bert van der Horst)

The Cultuurfonds holds over 400 Named Cultural Funds. This publication was realized with support of the Wertheimer Fonds, held by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. The Rijksmuseum collection of nineteenth and twentieth century pho­tography has been established with the generous support of private and institutional benefactors. Cover photograph Willem Frederik Piek Jr, On Board, Warnemünde, c. 1892 [fig. 2] Author Mattie Boom, Curator of Photography, Rijksmuseum Translation Karen Gamester, edited by Sue Hart Text editing and coordination Geri Klazema and Barbera van Kooij, Rijksmuseum Image research Ellen Slob, Rijksmuseum Index Miekie Donner


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Printing Lenoirschuring Binding Van Waarden Published by Rijksmuseum PO Box 74888 NL – 1070 DN Amsterdam Distributed by nai010 publishers, Rotterdam © Copyright 2019 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. ISBN 978 94 6208 477 3 Printed and bound in the Netherlands

Also published in this series Modern Times. Photography in the 20th Century Hans Rooseboom, Mattie Boom ISBN 978-94-6208-176-5 New Realities. Photography in the 19th Century Hans Rooseboom, Mattie Boom ISBN 978-94-6208-348-6



everyone a photographer

In Search of a History of Amateur Photography

14 2 Willem Frederik Piek Jr (1874–1954) On Board, Warnemßnde, c. 1892, from the album Scraps, compiled by Johanna Margaretha Piek Gelatin printing-out paper, diameter 90 mm Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

In search of a history of amateur photography

‘. . . to admit to their endeavour a multitude of anonymous collaborators’


In the museum world where I work it is mainly the wellknown names in the history of photography which have enjoyed the limelight over the past forty years. Major retrospective exhibitions have been mounted of the work of Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, Brassaï, Man Ray, Bill Brandt, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Robert Capa, and Henri Cartier-Bresson and here in the Netherlands, of Ed van der Elsken. The photographs by these photographers appeal to a wide audience and have over time been wholeheartedly accorded a place in the world of art. We know virtually everything about the work and lives of these celebrated photographers: their photographs have been extensively examined, catalogued and described, and excellent bio­ graphies and many a catalogue have been devoted to them. But the task of a curator of photography is not confined to the work of the great alone. One day you can be in a New York gallery holding a vintage print – a print made at the time of the negative – by Walker Evans worth 300,000 dollars, while the next morning you can discover an interest­ing photo­ graph of equal calibre by an anonymous photo­grapher at New York’s The Garage flea market for a mere 99 cents. As a curator you have, as it were, one foot in art – the museum, the art trade and the auction house – and the other in brica-brac – the flea market full of forgotten and forsaken objects. Straddling these two worlds like this I often think of the wonderful photograph of boys leaping on the deck of a boat in the photograph album of the Piek family from Amsterdam and of how oblivious they are to this paradox [2]. In 1973 the Piek album was lying aban­doned at Amsterdam’s Waterloo­ plein flea market. Today it is cherished at the Rijksmuseum as the first and only nine­teenth-century Dutch album con­ taining the then still circular Kodak snapshots. The album is regarded as a key exhibit, representing an important turning point in visual culture, from slow and static to fast and dynamic. From there my thoughts turn to all that has been written about Walker Evans and the other renowned photographers while ignoring their invariably anonymous amateur counterparts. As a curator of photography I do not even know precisely when amateur photography started in the late nineteenth century: in the 1880s, in the 1890s, or was it around the turn of the century? The genesis of amateur photography in the late nine­ teenth century is of great importance for a number of reasons. First there are striking similarities between the develop­ments in image production in the late nineteenth century and in the present digital era. As today, technolog­ ic­al developments had gathered pace. Improved cameras were brought out in rapid succession just like the new models of laptop, notebook, tablet and smartphone in our era. Then as now, developments were driven by the rapidly innovating industry, led by the Eastman Kodak Company. Cameras were designed in all shapes and sizes and produced for a world market. In the nineteenth century technological innovation made it easier for inexperienced newcomers to take their own photographs and to share and exchange these with others. It was a time of prosperity and people were receptive to new visual media that had something to offer them. ‘Everyone a photographer’ was the slogan the Amsterdam photographic retailer Joan Guy de Coral inven­ted to express this trend in advertising parlance on his poster in 1901 [10].1 Amateur photography was just emerging and was later to prove unstoppable.

All these factors make the study of the origins and early development of amateur photography particularly exciting and challenging. The rise of amateur photography did not just cause an enormous turning point in the still early history of photog­ raphy (which had only been in existence for half a century). Its emergence also had a huge impact on the visual arts and visual culture. For it was inextricably bound up with the ad­vent of modernism and with the role of popular imagery that forms a leitmotif throughout twentieth-century art.2 The following examples illustrate this. Some years ago I saw Bill Brandt’s famous photographs from the series The English at Home (1936) in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. We always see these displayed in large format on the wall at exhibitions, but this time I saw these same photographs pasted like tiny postage stamps in Brandt’s photograph album [3]. It was only then that I realized how closely masterpieces in the history of photography can be related to amateur photography.3 What later came to be known as Bill Brandt’s oeuvre already existed in essence and small format in the photograph album that he compiled as a young man. This raises the question of when and how the amateur photographer Brandt became the art photog­ rapher Brandt. A second example concerns a double por­trait en profil of Theo and Nelly van Doesburg. For years it was taken to be a preparatory study for two famous photo­graphic portraits – likewise en profil – of Theo and of Nelly taken by Bauhaus photographer Lucia Moholy in 1924 [4]. Given its resemblance in form, the so-called preparatory study almost certainly had to be Lucia’s work. Moreover, the profile portraits that Lucia took were from the same auction lot as the ‘preparatory study’, namely, a group of photographs from Nelly van Doesburg’s estate. The ‘prepa­ratory study’ was pasted in a black photograph album, with a note written by Nelly in ink: ‘Weimar 1921’. When I did some research into the photo­graph, I discovered that the Van Doesburgs had not yet met Lucia in 1921.4 Lucia could therefore not have been the maker of the double portrait and hence nor of the preparatory study. What is more, letters showed that Van Doesburg himself (along with Nelly) had conceived and produced this ‘modern snapshot taken in the sun’, as he called it. This makes the snapshot of the Van Doesburgs an unadulter­ated Bauhaus photo­graph. As such, it is an intrigu­ing work: is it a snapshot or a work of art? It is doubtful whether this photograph will ever be considered a work of art. For art history of the modern era is at a loss as to what to do with amateur photographs. The above examples show that amateur photography provided all kinds of stimuli, to photography and visual cul­ture as well as to twentieth-century art. The photo­graphs of Van Doesburg and Brandt – the former belonging to the canon of modern art, the latter to that of twentieth-century photography – are closely related to each other individually, and, together, to the Kodak photographs of the Piek family taken around 1890. For they stem from one and the same branch of image production and share all its intrinsic characteristics. Popular but elusive Until now very little research has been carried out by photo historians into the important role of amateur photog­ raphy in the late nineteenth century. Reference is always made to the introduction of George Eastman’s Kodak box camera in 1888, whether in Beaumont Newhall’s Photography: A Short Critical History of 1938 or Helmut

3 Bill Brandt (1904–1983) London, June 1933, page from an album compiled by the photographer and his wife Eva Boros Gelatin silver prints, 210 x 290 mm London, Victoria & Albert Museum

4 Theo and Nelly van Doesburg (1883–1931, 1899–1975) Double Self-Portrait, Weimar, 1921, page from an album compiled by Nelly van Doesburg Gelatin silver print, 126 x 127 mm Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

10 Johann Georg van Caspel (1870–1928) Iedereen fotografeert (Everyone a photographer), poster for Guy de Coral & Co, 1901 Colour lithograph, 815 x 1110 mm Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

11 Eastman Kodak Company Kodak, the First Model, 1888 105 x 85 x 170 mm Leeuwarden, Ruud Hoff Collection

everyone a photographer

The First Fifty Years

32 24 Eduard Isaac Asser (1809–1892) Still Life with a Camera, a Frame, a Lens and One of the Photographer’s Albums, c. 1855 Salted paper print, 162 x 111 mm Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The first fifty years 33

If you wanted to take a photograph in the early years, a technical manual setting out the process step by step was indispensable. In the 1840s and 1850s – shortly after the introduction of photography in 1839 – hundreds of these printed guides were in circulation. The Leipzig bibliologist Ernst Amandus Zuchold listed 205 European publications in his book Bibliotheca Photographica in 1860.1 These manuals offer a tour of the complex processes and recipes that were used to produce a photograph in their day. If you wanted to put the theory into practice you needed both equipment – cameras and lenses – and chemicals, such as silver iodide, acetic acid, gold, and mercury. A knowledge of chemistry and physics was absolutely essential as you had to prepare the sensitive coating, the developer and the fixative yourself. But that was not all. You also had to have an insight into camera and lens technique, an understanding of the effect of light, and the knack of sensitizing papers or polishing silver plates and suchlike. Photography literally meant getting your hands dirty and constantly being able to come up with solutions for problems and imperfections. Early photography meant blood, sweat and tears, and learning through trial and error with countless proofs and experiments. The results fluctuated and the first photo­ graphers were more often confronted with failure than success. Photography was certainly not for everyone in the early days. In this germinal period amateur photographers were the main players in the photography field and determined the next developments. They were pioneers, inventors who, driven by their interest in physics and chemistry, persevered until they had mastered variations on the processes and learned to produce photographs. Their experiments were mostly conducted in their immediate environment. Then came the gentlemen photographers who had enough time and money to spend on photo­ graphy, at home as well as on their travels. This not infrequently resulted in costly, monumental publications on a specific subject for a select audience. From 1842 the real professional photographers gradually began to appear. At first they consisted of a few itinerant photo­ graphers who travelled around producing and selling extremely labour-intensive daguerreotype portraits. But it was not until the invention of the less expensive wet collodion glass negative in the 1850s that the commer­ cialization of photography really got underway. From then on, there was a steady increase in the number of photographers who crafted a living from a permanent studio.2 But the arrival of professional photographers did not mean that the amateurs disappeared. They conti­ nued to be closely involved with photography throughout, and saw their numbers suddenly and progressively soar towards the end of the century, after 1890. This chapter takes a look at what prompted this growth and the rise of amateur photography, and the technological advances that contributed to this development. The pioneers In 1839 when photography was introduced, the term ‘amateur’ already had a long history that dated back to ancient Rome. In Latin amator meant lover or admirer. In French it evolved into amateur, meaning an enthusiast with regard to a serious pastime, as in the expression amateur d’art or amateur d’astronomie. The term was especially prevalent at the end of the seventeenth and

the beginning of the eighteenth centuries.3 In this period an amateur was usually a member of the aristocracy with good taste. The term was also used to denote collectors with an interest in paintings, drawings, engravings and other artistic and archaeological objects. Sometimes ‘amateur’ was used to mean a benefactor or patron. In the eighteenth century the term ‘amateur’ had other conno­ta­ tions, such as an interest in art or archaeology, knowledge and learning. The object of a person’s interest could vary, but it was always something of beauty that was special, rare and precious. The term ‘amateur’ was used in this sense until well into the nineteenth century for experts and specialists in all sorts of areas. An amateur could be a collector of antiquarian books, of old drawings or paintings, of glass or porcelain.4 But we also come across references to an amateur du théâtre in the nineteenth century, or, as in Zuchold, to an amateur of photography.5 An amateur was an expert with a passion for their hobby and an almost scientific knowledge of their subject. They could also be enthusiasts who threw themselves into a new area of interest. One thing is certain: an amateur was a member of the upper class. In its early days, photo­graphy was to a very large extent the province of this group of enthusiasts. Another, more practical, tradition also had an impact on photography. Most young men from the upper echelons of society owned a collection of physics instruments. It was part of their upbringing to study science and technology in this way. Since the Enlightenment they had conducted experiments and research into physical phenomena in broader spheres – in clubs and academies of science. The British aristocrat William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877), for example, was mainly interested in mathematical problems and in optics. The invention of photography was but one of his many discoveries in the fields of physics and chemistry. In 1839 he submitted to the British Royal Academy his umpteenth report on an experiment: Some Account on the Art of Photogenic Drawing.6 The French inventor of photography Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851) may well have been more of an artist-entre­ preneur than a gentleman, but his invention of photo­g­ raphy on silvered copper plates was likewise the outcome of long scientific investigation. Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce had started this in the 1810s and it had taken Daguerre and his team well over twenty years to come up with a successful method. The Académie des Sciences in Paris was the place he turned to with his invention. In the Netherlands the Felix Meritis Society in Amsterdam was an important meeting place in its day and had a physics and chemistry division. One of the earliest photographers in the Netherlands, the Amsterdamer Eduard Isaac Asser (1809–1894) was able to combine two interests in photography: drawing and painting and physics and chemistry. In one of his photo­ graphic self-portraits we see Asser posing in front of a cabinet with his collection of physics instruments [25]. Thus, on the one hand the invention of photography was the product of the world of amateurs in the classic sense of the word, and on the other of the world of scientific exploration of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when the term amateur clearly had positive connotations. The photographic processes which were simultaneously developed in France and Britain were immediately published in the newspapers and magazines in 1839. The publication of Daguerre’s method by the French government prompted experiments and tests all over the world. Most of the early

33 Marinus P. Filbri (1853–1917) Spread with six microphotographs, from 2de Studie Photographieboek Marinus P. Filbri. Phot. Amat. 1887–1888 Albumen prints, 343 x 552 mm Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

34 Bram Loman Jr (1868–1954) Special detective model of the Reflex camera, designed and owned by Loman, made of wood, with keys to operate the shutter and speed, and Taylor, Taylor & Hobson Lens, c. 1889 185 x 154 x 235 mm (negative size 90 x 120 mm) Leiden, Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

35 Christiaan Snouck-Hurgronje (1857–1937) and/or his assistant Abd-al Ghaffār Six Views of the Ka’ba from the Square, Mecca, taken with Stirn’s Geheimkamera, c. 1886 Albumen print, 140 x 140 mm Leiden University Library, Special Collections

The first fifty years 47 37 Henry Pauw van Wieldrecht (1863–1912) Maarten Pauw van Wieldrecht Pointing a Rifle at his Brother, 1884, from an album compiled by the photographer Albumen print, 63 x 81 mm Zeist Municipal Archives

38 Henry Pauw van Wieldrecht (1863–1912) Page from the first album compiled by the photographer, 1886 Albumen prints, 330 x 279 mm Zeist Municipal Archives

Everyone a photographer

photographic Societies

46 Maurits Binger (1868–1923) Group Portrait of Members of the Amsterdam, Haarlem and Gelderland AFVs and the Helios Society during an Excursion to Nichtevecht, 25 June 1893, plate from Tijdschrift voor Photographie 3 (1893) Collotype, printed by Emrik & Binger, 115 x 163 mm Leiden University Library, Special Collections


photographic societies 55

The image that comes to mind when we try to visualize amateur photographers of the late nineteenth-century is one of gatherings of elderly gentlemen of high standing. In the group portraits that were made during the club outings they look well off and well dressed [46]. Their names are colourful and seem to be from a different era: Ignatius Bispinck, Joan Guy de Coral, Jacques Tutein Nolthenius, Hein van der Masch Spakler. Photography was, or so it seems, an activity for the wealthy with plenty of time to spare. These amateur photographers were bankers, stockbrokers or traders in sugar, coffee, tobacco and yarn. The lawyers among them took on the committee work. Many of them lived along the canals in the old city centre of Amsterdam. This distinct image of the amateur photographer at the fin-de-siècle is supported by what was written in the club journals. From these we gather that the gentlemen held regular meetings, organized ‘causeries’, soirees, outings and exhibitions and visited expositions at home and abroad. In spring and summer they went on outdoor photography excursions together. The group portraits that were taken on these occasions show the men with cigars, bowler hats, cases, tripods and cameras [50]. Now and then a photograph by a club member would be included with the journal as an art supplement: a landscape, a genre scene or a staid portrait. All these photography supplements exude the same air of lassitude. Jubilees were accompanied by occasional, often puerile, poems and songs. With their cameras and tripods these amateur photographers must have been a conspicuous presence in the city. For rather than photographing on their own, they tended to photograph with others, during a Sunday stroll round the city or an excursion to the woods or dunes. They were members of a club where they mixed with other amateur photog­ raphers, who, like themselves, were successful members of society. It is possible that the gentlemen were fonder of club life than they were of photography. In the smoky clubrooms they rubbed shoulders with directors, retailers, professors, doctors, councillors, barons, aristocratic jonkheren and headmasters. Their sons were also active amateur photographers. Around 1890 it was clear that a new type of photographer had emerged: ‘the amateur goes after booty and prey and tends to live in the safety of herds. He lives by the seasons and generally wakes up towards the spring,’ wrote the photography magazine Lux.1 For this group photography was a hobby, a pastime and a social activity rolled into one. The gentlemen were proud to belong to their clubs and referred to themselves as ‘amateur photographers’ as if it were a title, proclaiming the fact with a stamp amateurfotograaf or amat.fot. and their name on the back of their photographs. The club photographers are sometimes referred to as ‘art photographers’. They felt drawn to Pictorialism, the first international movement in photography. Many of them had artistic aspirations. They selected their finest photograph for club contests and the annual or biennial expositions. They framed the work and thought up an evocative literary title to go with their picture. It was then sent in to photography exhibitions at home and abroad. A condescending, patronizing tone often resonated in their reviews of the exhibits. They liked to expound in the club journals on what photography ought or ought not to be. Because of this, for a very long time a whole generation of art historians were reluctant to take the nineteenth century art photographers seriously. Moreover,

twentieth-century photography had veered off in a very different, impersonal, objectivizing direction. Nor did it help that nineteenth-century landscapes and genre pieces were so perishable. In the Leiden University Collection, which is the best in the Netherlands in this area, very little original pre-1900 exhibition work has been preserved.2 Origins Amsterdam was first off the blocks in 1887 with the foun­ ding of two amateur photographic societies in the same year: the Amateur-Fotografen Vereeniging te Amster­dam (Amsterdam AFV) and the Nederlandsche Vereeniging voor Dilettant-Photographen Helios. They were the first in the country. Later, amateur photographic societies were established in other cities and by 1896 the Netherlands boasted fifteen clubs.3 The origins of these societies in the Netherlands are described in this book for the first time.4 Since there is no archival material on amateur photography, the photography magazines from this period form the primary source of information.5 These were the Tijdschrift voor Photographie (1888–1897), Lux (1889–1927) and the Photo­graphisch Jaarboek (1891–1895).6 The Tijdschrift voor Photo­graphie was the mouthpiece of the club Helios from 1888 to 1897. The monthly magazine Lux was the publica­ tion of the Amsterdam AFV, bringing club news as well as catering for a wider readership. The magazines reported on club meetings, administrative matters, excursions and exhibi­tions. Every year Lux showcased a number of special photo­graphs by its members, which were mounted on board and issued as a special supplement. These publica­ tions are important sources that tell us more about how the societies were formed, their key figures and their mem­ bers. The older the society, the thicker the jubilee issues and the more detailed the accounts of the club’s history.7 The founding fathers regularly reflected on the early begin­nings and their recollections reveal 1887 to be a crucial year with a great deal of movement in the world of Dutch photography.8 In December 1887 the older photographic club Amsterdamse Photographen-Vereeniging (APV) – where professional photographers and a handful of amateurs had worked side by side for so long – was wound down.9 There professional photographers and amateurs had jointly pored over matters largely of a technical and chemi­ cal nature. On 28 December 1887 the amateurs decided to form a new club, under the name Helios.10 It was a club for and run by Dilettant-Photographen, as they called themselves [47]. Ex-APV-member Herman Haakman was appointed president. Under his chairmanship Felix A. van West, P. Fraissinet, J.W. Kerkhoven Tzn, A.J. Storm de Grave, and Hendrik (C.H.) Groote, son and an employee of the photographic retailer A.W. Groote & Co, sat on the first council. Haakman, an amateur photographer with a love of technology, however, left for London not long after Helios was founded. In 1889 he handed over his chair­ manship to Fraissinet and a new council was installed, composed of the new members G.H. van der Mey (professor of gynaecology), Dirk van Haren Noman (professor of dermatology) and the physician Jacob van Geuns [29, 48], and the returning council members Van West and Groote.11 Two months before, in September 1887, the other amateur photographic society, the Amsterdam AFV, had been founded at a meeting held at Amsterdam’s Hotel Americain.12 Bram Loman Jr, the camera maker and repairer, and Hein van der Masch Spakler and their friends Joan Guy

59 J.J.M. Guy de Coral (1868–1930) Group Portrait probably Made with a Cable Release. From left to right Guy de Coral behind the Camera, Adriaan Scheltema Beduin and Jules J. Kamp Standing, on the far Right Petrus Willem Scheltema Beduin, Hilversum, 18 September 1887 Albumen print, 103 x 155 mm The Hague, ANWB Historical Archives

Everyone a photographer

Exhibition Mania

74 74 Albert Kapteyn (1848–1927) Coin des Peintres. In ’t Gein (Painter’s corner. In the river ’t Gein), 1894 Gelatin silver print, 351 x 502 mm Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

In the Netherlands the amateur photographic societies mounted over thirty-five major national and international exhibitions between 1888 and 1910 (see Appendix 3). These exhibitions and the debate about what photography should or should not be in this age when it was increasingly adopted by uninitiated amateurs is discussed in this chapter. For what to photograph and how to do it were burning questions. The amateur photographic societies and their journals had an important voice in the debate. They secured a position for amateur photography as an art form and stood up for amateur photography as they envisioned it. Their approach soon tended towards what was known as ‘art photography’, which they sought in qualities that traditionally lay in the domain of painting, such as artisticity, craftsmanship and originality. This was in the spirit of the American journal Science which in 1889 urged its photographer readers to take an example from art above all else:

exhibition mania

There are charming Van Dykes to imitate, Rembrandts, Holbeins, Andrea del Sarto, Copleys and Stuarts. There are also some exquisite modern pictures which it would do you no harm to study . . . You will learn how persons far wiser than you, have managed their light and shade, how beautifully they have posed their subjects, how they have taken thought of every important line.1


Underlying the debate conducted in the clubs there were hidden players and stances, norms and standards as well as what could be called a ‘programme’ of activities, events and presentations. How did this programme evolve and what did it consist of? The first exhibition of the Amsterdam AFV was held in September 1888, less than a year after the club, which mainly consisted of young people, was founded. In the rooms of the Royal Antiquarian Society (KOG), on the top floor of the ‘Muntgebouw’ building in Amsterdam, four categories of photographs could be distinguished.2 These were landscapes (taken in the Netherlands or abroad), instantaneous pictures, glass and porcelain, and lastly genre scenes, with groups and portraits. It was a curious mixture of exhibits. There were carbon prints on porcelain by Lady E. van Oldenbarneveld from Utrecht. The biologist J.E. Rombouts sent in photographs of fish in an aquarium in Artis Zoo taken with magnesium flash powder lighting [75, 76, 78]. Ignatius Bispinck competed with pictures of ‘sailing vessels’. Bram Loman Jr – ‘who had succeeded in his momentary photographs’ – exhibited street scenes taken in Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse and Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat, which a newspaper had described as surprising, full of life and truth.3 The photographic retailer E. Welsing submitted landscapes. In addition, there were ‘townscapes’ by Guy de Coral, and home interiors and attractive pictures of groups of children by Johan Bakhuis from Olst. The critic reviewing the exhibition was ecstatic about the pictures of W.H. de Witt from Groningen: ‘his instantaneous pictures of flocks of sheep, of cows, of crowds of people are admirably correct and true.’4 Furthermore, there were scientific photographs (microphotographs) by Helios member doctor J.K.A. Wertheim Salomonson showing vaccines and symptoms of diseases. Cameras from Welsing and A.W. Groote & Zoon were also on display. Amateur photography could have gone in any direction at that point in time. In the minutes of the club meetings we learn how the members were primarily concerned with mastering

the technique. Tips and advice were exchanged over the con­ fe­rence table and at home they toiled over their negatives and prints. Helios chairman P. Fraissinet and council member professor Dirk van Haren Noman did their utmost to make their club magazine Tijdschrift voor Photographie instruc­ tive. At the Helios club demonstrations were given by, among others, camera maker and Amsterdam AFV member Bram Loman Jr, who explained how his Reflex camera worked and demonstrated his invention of flashlight using magne­ sium powder.5 At another Helios meeting members were invited to share their experiences with handheld cameras.6 They discussed which equipment gave good results. In effect the interchange was no different from that in preceding decades when photographers and amateurs talked and wrote about chemistry, cameras, lenses and negative plates, except that now you also had the handheld camera, the instantaneous image, the dry plate and the new chloro­ bromide papers. At a club contest that Helios mounted in 1889, two entries were apprehensively submitted: one of oak trees by A.P.J. van Barneveld Mathena entitled Eiken in Wolfheze [77], the other a view of the Vondelpark in the snow and a photograph of cats by chairman Fraissinet.7 For its second exhibition early in 1889 – which was likewise a contest – the Amsterdam AFV asked its members to send in photographs depicting four subjects: landscapes in the Netherlands, landscapes abroad, instantaneous photographs in which it had to be clear from the photograph that the action had actually taken place and pictures taken with a secret or hand camera.8 The exhibition was held at the home of chairman Adriaan Scheltema Beduin along Singel in Amsterdam to avoid the high rental costs incurred by the previous show. Johan Bakhuis from Olst sent in instantaneous images that the jury was forced to disqualify as it was not possible to tell from all the photo­ graphs that the objects were really moving at the time of the exposure. One of Bakhuis’ photographs – ‘three laughing children’s faces’ – had been featured as a supple­ ment to Lux. Council member Julius Kamp was praised for his ‘instan­taneous pictures of a parade in the Plantage [neighbourhood] in Amsterdam ... and with a secret camera, snap-shots of Amstelveld and people jumping off the diving tower at a swimming school. The latter are entirely sharp, attesting to the rapidity of the exposure.’ Outside the contest Schuver sent in snapshots of Paris and of the Eiffel Tower in 9 x 12 cm format. His photograph of ‘a person who was still completely sharp at 8 cm in size’ attracted attention.9 The Amsterdam AFVers were clearly interested in instanta­ neous pictures and hand cameras, in fast photography. The winners of the exhibition received an honourable mention and a medal.10 In this way the photographic societies pursued their mission to promote photography. The year 1889 – half a century after the introduction of photography – acted as a catalyst. The anniversary was festively celebrated with a major international exhibition in Paris that drew millions of visitors.11 It looked back on the founding fathers and inventors of photography but space was also set aside for the latest innovations. One of the novelties at this world exposition was the American Kodak camera [11]. It was one of the smallest cameras available at the time: handy and reliable.12 The results the camera produced received good press. Part of the Expo­ sition Universelle was given over to a group presentation by the French club Société d’excursions des amateur-photo­ graphes where, among others, the results of Lumière’s fast dry plates could be seen. Of all the exhibits, the instantaneous

everyone a photographer



265 Erik Kessels (1966) 24HRS in Photos, installation in Foam, Amsterdam, 2011–2012


‘The word amateur has two meanings. In its classical sense it is the antonym of professional, and refers to those who pursue a problem for love rather than for the rewards the world may offer. . . . The other and more popular meaning of the word identifies one who plays at his work: one not only less than fully competent, but less than wholly serious . . .’ —John Szarkowski


Were technology and economic activity responsible for the rise of amateur photography, and did they generate the demand for do-it-yourself photography? Or was it the other way round and was the need there first? It is an intriguing question to which there is no easy answer but which none­theless begs to be asked at the end of this study. Earlier in this book we saw how in the 1860s the idea of ‘fast’ photo­graphy was broached as a well-nigh unattainable vision for the future. And yet by the mid1880s such recordings – instantaneous photographs – were being produced. In the Netherlands we have exam­ ples from 1885. The Piek family had a camera even before the famous Kodak was introduced. The desire for faster images was fanned by the accelerating pace of life and increased mobility. Trains, bicycles, ocean liners: mobility had changed and with it the speed at which people trav­ elled about and the number of impressions and stimuli this brought. Around 1889 hotels were already offering darkroom facilities for amateur photographers who apparently could not wait until they got home to see the pictures they had taken. This shows that, even before the definitive thrust of the handheld camera, travellers clearly had a need to see the prints they had taken so far before going on to shoot the next series. Even in this early stage photography was omnipresent. Its popularity gathered momentum with the rise of the dry plate industry and the innovations in this area in the 1880s and 1890s. By 1890 one thousand amateur photographers were active in the Netherlands. In 1895 the number had risen to five thousand, and around 1900 it had soared to fifteen thou­sand, by which time there was something for everyone on the market. The explosive increase in the number of pho­ tographers and photographic goods was only possible by virtue of strong commercial activity and the fierce competition that accom­panied it in the late nineteenth century – a spin-off of the industrial revolutions in the United States and Europe. The dynamics of the field of photography in the late nineteenth century were also boosted by the young upperclass urbanites who seemed to have an insatiable desire for the latest technological innovations and were only too willing to try them. Photography and a new camera was for them like trying out a new bicycle model. They were the early adopters, the founders of the clubs, the makers of the magazines and, a few years on, the photographic retailers. It would seem that the rise of amateur photo­graphy in the Netherlands in the late nineteenth century can be attributed to the efforts of this group of enterprising young men, with the amateur photographic societies – every city had its own – as their PR instrument. They were the pacemakers who took naturally to the club life on which they depended for their activities. They acted as a fulcrum for the whole field. They turned effortlessly like a Janus head, first to one side (the commercial) and then to the other (the cultural). And if the young urbanites from these circles were not active as entrepreneurs they were as consumers.

Up-scaling continued in the twentieth century. The steady process was briefly interrupted by World War I when the German, British and French photography industries in part ground to a standstill. From 1913 Kodak shops finally made their appearance in the Netherlands. In this wartime period the company’s products, supplies and raw materials were no longer shipped via Antwerp but went through Rotterdam.1 What with censorship and materials in short supply, fewer pictures were taken in Europe during the war and the American company focused its efforts on Asia.2 But the call for photographs was all the greater for the scarcity, both in the personal sphere and the press, and after the war the photographic industry was soon running at full throttle. In the 1920s the German camera industry grew accordingly. The Leica, the most famous offshoot of Loman’s Reflex camera, was developed and brought onto the market in 1923. In Britain Kodak sales received a powerful injection too.3 In 1930 in the United States George Eastman launched a campaign to provide every American schoolchild with a Kodak camera: ‘A Gift of 500,000 Cameras to the Children of America’.4 World War II (when the German government encouraged troops to take a camera into combat), like World War I, worked as a catalyst.5 Whereas the American market had experienced steady growth throughout the war, it was only from the early 1950s that the photography industry in Europe picked up. In 1954 the German company Agfa brought out its ‘Agfa Clack’ camera, followed shortly after in 1963 by Kodak’s launch of the ‘Instamatic’, which sold seventy million copies in twelve years.6 The wars in the twentieth century had provided important boosts to the imaging industry. Growth came in waves, but always ever-more photographs were being taken, with production now in the millions. In the twentieth century photography became a true mass medium. The role of the amateur The similarities between the amateur photographer in the late nineteenth century and the amateur photographer in our era are striking. Today we too have to contend with an explosion of images, only a tiny fraction of which is produced by professionals. In 2000 the citizens of the world together produced eighty trillion photographs and in 2010 4.3 billion new images were posted on the web a day. Today, in 2019, the number has multiplied to hundreds of billions of images a day, and tomorrow the number will be higher still. The figures mean very little and yet they say it all. It is impossible to imagine life without photography. Photography has become our constant companion as we go about our everyday lives. Thanks to the mobile phone, we always have a camera to hand. Never have we seen ourselves portrayed so often in our daily lives as we communicate more and more often in images. Photography defines our ‘profile’ and our identity. Camera producer Nikon promotes its latest model with the slogan: ‘I am what I share.’ Photography has become a universal language which can be readily understood in every part of the world. Much thought and consideration has been given to the contribution of the amateur to present-day visual culture. In 2010 the art fund Amsterdamse Fonds voor de Beeldende Kunsten, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst (BVKB) commissioned a written study on the significance of the amateur.7 Two sides of the same phenomenon are discussed by researcher Seijdel. On the one hand the amateur appears to be primarily a product of the digital culture:

She calls this the culture of ‘prosumers: producers-con­su­ mers’. In short, this implies an exchange between the maker’s creativity and the recipient’s need to view, and hence consume, huge numbers of images. At the same time, Seijdel notes, in training courses as well as in pro­ fessional practice, an increasing fascination for the nonprofessional image and ‘the amateurish as subversive aesthetic, artistic position or critical style, the amateur is feted as a cult figure or an inspiring sparring partner’.8 She posits that this could be a reaction to the hierarchic and elitist structure which has increasingly come to dominate the world of professional art in the nineteenth and twen­ tieth centuries. As an example of an interesting counter­ stance Seijdel cites Erik Kessels, adman, curator and collector of photograph albums by anonymous amateur photographers. As guest lecturer at art college he looked for what he called ‘naive passion’ and got artists on the course to work in disciplines other than their own. A film­ maker had to draw and a dancer had to take photographs, et cetera. Technology today seems to offer every oppor­ tunity to depart from well-trodden paths and to explore interesting new avenues. New creatives have plenty of room to test their creativity. It was no different at the close of the nineteenth century. This raises questions about how the amateur relates to the professional image-maker. Do the amateur and the professional always form a pair and does the amateur exist only by virtue of the professional? But in the pioneering days of photography professional photographers did not even exist, they were all amateurs. It would appear that the ratio of amateur to professional photographers is only of significance when it alters and the existing balance is disturbed. You only talk about an amateur when the pro­ fessionals are forced to concede ground, and the changes are so sweeping and fundamental that an existing system has to be overhauled. This was precisely the case in the late nineteenth century, and the reason for so much debate within the amateur photographic societies. It is fascinating to see how in the 1880s the then still young field of photo­g­raphy – which until then had been dominated by pro­fessional photographers – became active and how great a landslide this caused. The amateurs were simply the upcoming new user groups. I-photos The fascination for the new form of photography lay in the first place in the enormous attraction of being able to take your own photographs. Previously, people had gone to a shop and bought ‘impersonal’ photographs. If you took your own photographs, you got the images that you wanted, tailored to your own wishes. Photography became more personal – producing what we would now call ‘I-photos’. All of a sudden everyone was able to take pictures of whatever they came across in everyday life or on holiday, and they photographed themselves in front of the Eiffel Tower or in a gondola in Venice. The travel photograph became a trophy or a visual memento to take back home. If you had photographs it was the proof that you had been somewhere. Hence photo­graphs also meant status:

a photograph album could be used to show others what you did with your life and what was important to you. In addition, a photograph was a reminder that helped recall memories of experiences, trips or holidays. The closing decade of the nineteenth century can be considered a critical moment in the transition from what until then had been a fairly static visual culture to a dynamic one. The city, the street, everyday reality, banal common-orgarden scenes all commanded the attention of the do-ityourselfers and were recorded in a raw, realistic style, in most cases with no significant direction or artistic signature. Scenes straight out of real life, in a vibrant, visual language, these images were circulated and shared primarily within the photographer’s inner circle. And so in the late nineteenth century we see the emergence of a new visual culture – a visual revolution – which prevails to this day. Then as now, that revolution had an important economic dimension in which industry and large companies played a defining role. Then as now, photography went hand in hand with transience and very often with poor quality. The disregard for technique and the new technology resulted in ‘mindless’ image production. Without ease of use none of this would have happened. For ultimately it was technology and usability that made it possible by removing obstacles and seducing people into buying cameras, taking pictures and publishing them on a large scale. Now everyone is a photographer, everyone can take pictures, share them instantly, and publish them world­wide if so desired. Our digital photographs are relayed by satellite or fibre-optic cable from one side of the world to the other in under a second. New generations are growing up with modern media and are able to make and post a continuous stream of visual, photographic notes. The flood­gates are open and we are swept along in the torrent. The web acts as a colossal, easily accessible and free social image bank. There is no longer any monitoring or any thresh­old. The quality of the image is now rarely questioned. A suitable image is soon made or found, if not in the profes­sional pond, then in the amateur pool. Individuality, freedom and flexibility, without the need for training or convention standing in the way: that was, and still is, the strength of do-it-yourself photography. Anything can come out of this unbridled freedom.

1 Rochester, Eastman Museum, Business Correspondence, no. 0958, letter George Eastman to Simon Haus in Harrow, 21 June 1915. 2 See Diehl, Hoffmann and Tabrizian 1976. 3 John Taylor, ‘Kodak and the “English” Market Between the Wars’, Journal of Design History, vol. 7, no. 1, 1994, pp. 29–42 4 A present for all children who were 12 that year, to mark the company’s 50th anniversary: ‘Parents! Children! This Camera FREE to any child born in the year 1918! Go to a Kodak Dealer and accept one . . . complete with Roll of Kodak Film FREE pay nothing, buy nothing’, see Poster no. 5606, Eastman Museum, Rochester. 5 Bopp 2009. 6 Davis 1999, p. 296; Bajac 2010, pp. 14–19. 7 Seijdel 2010. 8 Ibid., p. 13.

everyone a photographer

. . .an amateur who publicizes their products and activities on Flickr, MySpace or YouTube; the citizen journalist or blogger who reports in their weblog; the layman who fills Wikipedia; the Sunday painter who exhibits their works in virtual museums.



This appendix contains a list of Dutch amateur photographers, including, where known, their place of residence, address and profession, and the names of the societies to which they belonged. Professional photographers and photographic retailers were among the group of members who were active within the clubs and they too are listed. The details of all these photographers were gleaned from the minutes of meetings and member lists of the amateur photographic societies that were published in magazines and yearbooks until the year 1900. In addition, the documentation files at Leiden University Library, the Rijksmuseum in Amster­ dam and Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam were carefully searched, as was the website of the artists documented on the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD). Lastly, the list covers the amateur photographers known to us through their work in Dutch institutions and a few photographers whose images are privately owned. The work of these photographers is summarized in Appendix 4: Photograph albums 1880–1940. The full names of the societies referred to in this study can be found in Appendix 2: Amateur photographic societies 1887–1901. The literary sources consulted in connec­tion with the amateur photographers below are listed in the author’s original dissertation at Aalbersberg, Gerard(us) (1870–1934) Physician, surgeon, gynaecologist. Abel, Miss H. Genua Amsterdam AFV Adèr, F.C.T. Utrecht, Maliesingel 11b Utrecht AFV Aertnijs, M.W.L. Nijmegen Importer Benz automobile articles, founder and council member of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Automobiel Club Meer Licht

Anjema G. Azn, J. The Hague, De Riemerstraat 10 The Hague AFV, Amsterdam AFV Ankersmit Jr, J. Amsterdam Helios

Van Barneveld, H. Arnhem Gelderland AFV

Apol, A.G. Katwijk Amsterdam AFV

Bartels, H.A.F. Amsterdam, 1e Helmersstraat 115 Amsterdam AFV

Apol, Louis (1850–1936) The Hague Artist Amsterdam AFV

De Bas, F.C. The Hague The Hague AFV

Apol, J.A.C. The Hague The Hague AFV Arendsen, Bastiaan Willem (1867–1918) Amsterdam Pastry chef, later professional photographer in Amsterdam Van Arkel, Gerrit A. (1858–1918) Amsterdam, Singel 332 Architect Amsterdam AFV Arnold, A.E.R. Delft Student Delft AFV Arnold, C. Amsterdam, Kinkerstraat 1a Amsterdam AFV Arntzenius, C.L Tiel Amsterdam AFV Asbeek Brusse, W.E. Kampen Asser, Eduard Isaac (1809–1894) Amsterdam, Singel 548 Lawyer, founder of Maatschappij voor Photolithographie en Zincographie in 1892 Helios, honorary chairman Union Internationale de Photographie Avis Jzn, C. Zeist Baert, Adriaan Theodoor (1865–1945) Leiden

Van Albada, Lieuwe Evert Willem (1868–1955) Kampen Lieutenant in the infantry

Baerts, W. Hellevoetsluis Navy officer Amsterdam AFV

Aldenburg Bentinck, Count William Frederik Charles Henry (London 1880–1958 Stuttgart) Rotterdam, Boomgaardstraat, later Arnhem Amsterdam AFV, Gelderland AFV

Backer Gzn, F.J. Rijswijk Amsterdam AFV

Ameschot, Michel Joseph (1868–1936) Amsterdam, Weteringplantsoen 4; from 1894 Alexander Boersstraat 39 Clerk, chemical suppliers Spalteholz & Ameschot Secretary Amsterdam AFV, Union Internationale de Photographie Anderson, Alex C. Nadar Leiden Anderson, Edward Amsterdam, Sarphatipark 68 Amsterdam AFV André Amsterdam Architect Amsterdam AFV André, Miss D.W.D. The Hague, Suezkade 105

Van Barneveld van Mathena, A.P.J. Velp Helios

Ankersmit, F.A. Helios

Albach, B. Amsterdam

Altink, J.C. The Hague The Hague AFV

Barnet Lyon, H.W. The Hague

Bakels, Ant. (1852–1939) Zandvoort Professional photographer Amsterdam AFV Bakhuis, Joh. (1857–1934) Olst Bakhuis, Louis August (1855–1932) The Hague, De Perponcherstraat 49; Batavia Captain of the General Staff Dutch East Indies and ex-chairman of the Vereeniging van Amateur-Fotografen, the amateur photographic society in Batavia Amsterdam AFV Bakker, C.G.H. Haarlem, Parklaan 25 Helios, Haarlem AFC Bakker, D. Bloemendaal Amsterdam AFV De Balbian Verster, Jan François Leopold (1861–1939) Leiden Journalist

André de la Porte, J. Amsterdam, Weteringschans Amsterdam AFV

Van Balen, C.L.

Van Andringa de Kempenaer, Freule Groningen, Martiniplein

Van Bantwijk Arnhem

Angenend, Willem Hermanus (1867–?) Amsterdam Town clerk

Barchman-Wuytiers, Mrs. (probably Anna Maria (Marie) Wuytiers-Barchman-Blaauw) The Hague AFV

Den Bandt, A.

Batelt, Christiaan Amsterdam Chief of Police Beausar, L.A. Amsterdam Becker, H.C.N. Spuistraat 216 Junior clerk at the E. Welsing company. In 1889 employee of Loman & Co and then probably of Ivens before setting up as an independent photographic retailer. Amsterdam AFV Van Beek, H. Zehlendorf Beels, C.A. (?–1894) Amsterdam Helios Beers, Johan Gerrit (1865–1938) Amsterdam, Herengracht 212 Agent, employee of Lagranche & Co, later director of Nederlandsche Stereoskoop Maatschappij Amsterdam AFV Bekking Arnhem Gelderland AFV Van Bemmel Wortman, F.W.J. Amsterdam, Breukelen Helios Van Bemmelen, H.M. Naval lieutenant, second class Benschop, Maarten (1854–1919) Stone mason, Czaar Peterstraat Van Beresteyn, H. Amsterdam, Maastricht Helios Van den Berg, Hendrik Herman (1875–1944) Amsterdam Law student, later banker Helios V.d. Berge, C.J. Deventer Berger, Henri Den Bosch Den Bosch AFV or Amsterdam AFV Van den Bergh, J.J.M.M. The Hague Editor Weekblad voor Fotografie, 1900, publisher and editor-in-chief Fotografisch Jaarboek en Almanak, 1900 The Hague AFV Bergsma, Jan Carel Ferdinand (1873–1905) South Africa, friend of Karel van den Berg Berntrop Amsterdam Amsterdam AFV Bes, Jacobus Haarlem, Wilsonplein 9 Haarlem AFC, Amsterdam AFV Van Beusekom, Miss J.C. Elandsfontein Beuvery, J.E. Amsterdam, Plantage, Lijnbaansgracht 103 Lieutenant Amsterdam AFV Bicker, Jonkheer P.H. Helios

Bickhoff, Hendricus Jacobus Wilhelmus (Henri) (1866–1933) Amsterdam, St. Luciënsteeg 14; between 1895 and 1896 Spui 23–27 Photographic retailer, photographer, assisted amateurs in the darkroom at the Amsterdam AFV Bickhoff, Johannes Baptista (1881–1968) Amsterdam, corner Wolvenstraat and Herengracht; later Hugo de Grootkade 64 Van Biema Nijkerk, D.H. Amsterdam, Plantage Franschelaan 13b Amsterdam AFV Biengreber, J.D.B. (1838–1927) Amsterdam Headmaster junior school Prinsengracht Biersteker, A. Amsterdam Helios Van der Bijl, G.P. Amsterdam Van der Bijl Jr, Joh. Amsterdam, Fagelstraat 6 Amsterdam AFV Bijvoet, J.J.W. Delft Bijvoet, P. Overveen Amsterdam AFV Bingen, Jac. H. (1857–1902) Roermond Binger, Maurits H. (1868–1923) Haarlem, Oudegracht 47; Amsterdam, Oosteinde 24; in 1895 Haarlem, Anegang 41 In 1883 trained in Paris, then at Openbare Handelsschool Amsterdam graduating in 1884, director of Emrik & Binger, later film-maker Collaborator Photographisch Jaarboek and Fotografisch Jaarboek in 1891, secretary exhibi­ tion regulations committee Haarlem, 1896 Amsterdam AFV, Helios, Haarlem AFC Binger, Charles (1830–1916) Haarlem Ex-partner in the firm Emrik & Binger Amsterdam AFV Bins, Felix François Pierre (1868–1938) Wine dealer Birt Acres Bisschop van Tuinen, K. Zwolle Amsterdam AFV, Zwolle AFV Bispinck, Ignatius Lambertus Johannes (1860–1924) Bloemendaal; Amsterdam, Rokin 88 Director of yarn factory Bispinck & Kundert, Rokin 90 Photographed together with Frans Huijsser in his schooldays. In 1891 he was treasurer and in 1894 chairman of the Amsterdam AFV and was responsible for securing larger premises for the club, extending its facilities, and for organizing lantern slide evenings and its library. From 1910 until his death he was chairman of the NAFV. Amsterdam AFV, Helios, NAFV Literature: Boon et al. 1927, pp. 26, 89–90; Leijerzapf 1978, p. 91; Boas 1999, p. 100; Boom 2007; RKD artists Blaauw, W.H. Amsterdam Helios Blaisse, I.G.I. Blanckenhagen, J.J. (?–1895) Arnhem Bleckmann, A.T.
 Bleekrode, S. Amsterdam Helios Blikman, A. Amsterdam Partner Blikman & Sartorius Blitz, Adolf Amsterdam, Amstelveld 11 Amsterdam AFV De Block, Adr. Amsterdam, Leidsegracht 117 Amsterdam AFV

everyone a photographer

1. List of amateur photographers and their circles 1887–1900


Van Blommestein, Mrs. J. Pekalongan The Hague AFV Blommestein-Doijer, Mrs. Van Blummen Arnhem? Amsterdam AFV Boddens, Miss E. Apeldoorn Amsterdam AFV Boeke, Jan Amsterdam Possibly professor in Utrecht Helios Boeke, A.J.P. Utrecht Theology student Amsterdam AFV Boellaard, E. Utrecht Helios Boer, Adriaan (1875–1940) Nijkerk Editor Weekblad voor Fotografie, 1899; later professional photographer in Baarn and Bloemendaal Amsterdam AFV De Boer van der Leij Arnhem Gelderland AFV Boerma, A.C. Amsterdam, Keizersgracht Amsterdam AFV Boers, A.G.A. Amsterdam AFV Boers Jr, W.A. Böhtlingk Nijmegen Meer Licht Boissevain, A.A.H. Lage Vuursche Amsterdam AFV

Van Bosse, D. Amsterdam Helios Van Bosse, P.M. Delft Delft AFV Bottenheim, J.W. Amsterdam, Herengracht 505 Amsterdam AFV Bouman, F. Amsterdam, Quellijnstraat 49 h Clerk Amsterdam AFV Boumans, Mathias (1838–?) Maastricht Maastricht AFV Boursse, Johannes (1865–1944) Amsterdam, Prinsengracht 527, later Bussum Commercial agent, later chief clerk Hollandsche Yzeren Stoomweg Maatschappij (railway company) Amsterdam AFV Boutnief, F. Wageningen Wageningen AFV Bozenhardt, Otto Amsterdam, Oosteinde 3; originally from Hamburg Amsterdam AFV Brandon, Miss R.D. Utrecht Brands, A.G. Amsterdam Helios

Boissevain, Mrs. C. Amsterdam Helios Boissevain, Charles E.H. Editor and owner Algemeen Handelsblad

Brands, F. Gelderland AFV

Bokern, Ed von Haarlem Amsterdam AFV

Brantsen, Vivian, Baron (1880–1954) Angelo, Doesburg

Bonebakker, Carl (1862–1947) Amsterdam, Singel 32 Employee of the Bonebakker jeweller’s company Amsterdam AFV

Van Breemen, M. Haarlem, Bakenessergracht Amsterdam AFV Breitner, George Hendrik (1857–1923) Rotterdam, Amsterdam Artist Brinkman, J.H.A. Utrecht

Boom, Andries Augustus (1878–?) Suriname Dealer in typewriters, later worked for KNSM (steamboat company) on Curaçao

Britzel, H. Amsterdam, Frans Halsstraat 17 Theology student Amsterdam AFV

Boom, J.N. Utrecht Agent and librarian Stichtse Amateur Fotografen Vereeniging Utrecht in 1899

Van den Broek, W.G.

Boom, J.M. Amsterdam, Prinsengracht 318 Amsterdam AFV Boot, J.C. Delft Student Delft AFV Borel, W.J. Amsterdam, later Den Bosch Helios APPENDIX 1

Bosman, S. The Hague, Hoogstraat 8 Optician and photographic retailer Magazijn van Fotografie-Toestellen with rental darkroom The Hague AFV

Brandsma, Lieuwe Evert Willem (1867–1960) Amsterdam From 1890 camera builder at Loman, subsequently at the Reflex-Compagnie

Bommel, J.J. Zaandam Amsterdam AFV


Bosch-Evers, J.C.M.A. Dordrecht, Voorstraat 329

Van der Borght, D.C. The Hague The Hague AFV Bos Jr, A. Oudewater Bos Janszen, J. Amsterdam, Binnenkant 22 Amsterdam AFV Bosch, A.F. Arnhem Gelderland AFV

Broekema, C. Wageningen Wageningen AFV Van den Broecke, J.A. Amsterdam, Herengracht 397 Amsterdam AFV De Bruin, A. Amsterdam Bruyn, L. de Rotterdam Van Brummelen, J. Amsterdam Amsterdam AFV Brumund, J.K.H. Arnhem Gelderland AFV Bruynzeel Jr, C. Rotterdam Buckmann, M.C. The Hague, Malakkastraat 156 The Hague AFV Burkens, G. Helios

De Bussy, J.H. Amsterdam Helios

Coronel, J. Amsterdam Helios

Büttikofer, Johan (1850–1927) Leiden Ornithologist, director of Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo

Couturier Jr, J.J.

Buurman, Dirk Gabriel Stamp dealer Amsterdam Van Bylandt, Count J.E.O.A.A. (Jules) Calcar, R.P. van Amsterdam, Keizersgracht 446 Physician Amsterdam AFV Calkoen, E.C.M. The Hague The Hague AFV Canneel, J.A. The Hague The Hague AFV Canta, A. Nijmegen Caspel, Johann George (Geo) van (1870–1928) Amsterdam Graphic designer. Van Caspel designed posters and covers of price lists for the photographic retailers Guy de Coral and Ivens. In 1904 he stayed in Paris with Schuver. Cat van Hardinxveldt, Baron van Dordrecht Ten Cate Groningen Daguerre, Groningen Cazaux van Staphorst, H. Amsterdam Helios Chambry, J.K.J. Amsterdam, Vondelkade 81 Amsterdam AFV Claassen, G.K.J.H. Haarlem Haarlem AFC Clant van der Myll, A.A. The Hague The Hague AFV Clifford Nijmegen Meer Licht Cocheret, D.H. Rotterdam Cockuijt, P.H. Baarn Amsterdam AFV Cockuyt, W.F. Utrecht Coebergh, J.B.M. Schiedam Photographic retailer Amsterdam AFV Van Coeverden, W. Amsterdam, Kalverstraat 96 Amsterdam AFV Cohen, A.R. Helios Cohen, Prof. Ernst Julius Amsterdam, Roemer Visscherstraat 3 Chemist Helios Cohen, Karel Representative for a manufacturer of photographic articles in Halle Cohen, Samson Mozes (1871–?) Amsterdam Diamond worker Cohen, S. Amsterdam, Utrechtsestraat 84 Amsterdam AFV Copes van Hasselt, C.E.A. Gelderland AFV Coppens, Gerard Cornets de Groot van Kraijenburg, Jonkheer J.A.W.L. (1862–1923) The Hague Director of Keurenar & Co, cashiers and commission agents The Hague AFV

Couvée Jr, B.J. Haarlem Amsterdam AFV Couvee, H.H. Rotterdam, Leuvehaven 17; Arnhem Vijzelstraat 4; Amsterdam, Spui 8 Photographic retailer under the name De Nederlandsche Handel in Kunst- en Foto-Artikelen Couvee, J.W. The Hague The Hague AFV Couvee Jr, M.M. The Hague AFV Couvee, J.J. Middelburg Van de Craght, D.H. Leiden, Maresingel 23 Editor Weekblad voor Fotografie, employee at Leiden University Library and collector of over 2000 books on the history of photography Cramer, S.A. Amsterdam, Ruijschsstraat 33; Oosterpark 38 Amsterdam AFV Cramer, W.F.H. The Hague Vice Admiral, retired The Hague AFV Crans, F.H. The Hague The Hague AFV Crantz, E. Amsterdam, Parkweg 195 Amsterdam AFV Cremers, Miss The Hague The Hague AFV Crommelin, M. Amsterdam, Prinsengracht 176 Candidate notary Amsterdam AFV Croockewit, H. Breda Lieutenant Breda AFV Cruys, C. Helios Dalhuisen, H. Harderwijk Helios Dames, Martin Batavia Helios Dankelman, Joh. J.N. Amsterdam, Utrechtsestraat 101 Amsterdam AFV Dankelman, Jan Amsterdam, Singel 172 Amsterdam AFV Dannenfelser Jr, W.F. Amsterdam, P.C. Hooftstraat 145 Amsterdam AFV Decker, J. Zaandam, Spoorstraat Amsterdam AFV Dehlinger, G.M. Amsterdam, Leidsestraat 52 Amsterdam AFV Van Delden, A. Van Delden, W. Delprat, E.F. Amsterdam, Keizersgracht 214 Amsterdam AFV Delprat, Theodore Felix Albert (1851–1932) Solok (Dutch East Indies) Engineer with Staatsspoorwegen (Dutch railways), collector, later alderman in Amsterdam Helios Delprat, Miss Rotterdam Dencher, G.A. Dutch East Indies

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to express my gratitude to a number of colleagues at home and abroad without whose input this study would not have been possible: they drew my attention to the existence of various albums and continued to supply me with information: Martin Barnes, Horst Boelema, Niels Coppes, John Falconer, Wilma van Giersbergen, Anneke Groeneveld, Todd Gustavson, Loes van Harrevelt, Françoise Heilbrun, Elwin Hendrikse, Mieke Jansen, Jesse Peers, Michael Pritchard, Joke Pronk, Hans Rooseboom, Erik Schmitz and Anneke van Veen. I would also like to thank the many people who over the years have helped me find and trace photographs and albums, or have contributed in some other way to this book: Gerard Abrahamse, Malika M’rani Alaoui, Saskia Asser, Vera Asser, Freek Baars, Jet Baruch, Alexander Beelaerts van Blokland, Norbert van den Berg, Ton Bevers, Dirk Jan Biemond, Naomi Boas, Flip Bool, Anna Barbara Boom-Braun, Rixt Bosma, Wim Broekman, Pim Brikkenaar van Dijk, Duncan Bull, Tiemen Cocquyt, Liesbeth Crommelin, F.B. Douglas-Terbeek, Pieter Eckhardt, Ingrid Evers, Rakia Faber, Menno Fitski, Peter en Bobby Fritzlin, Jacques van Gerwen, Pem Hagers, Ludo van Halem, Gijs van der Ham, Richard Harmanni, Bert Hartkamp ( ), Freek Heijbroek, † J.L. Heldring ( ), Renny van Heuven-van Nes, Lien Heyting, † Ruud C. Hoff, Maria Holtrop, Jan de Hond, Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier, Micky Hoyle, Lodewijk Imkamp, Steven F. Joseph, Annelien Keen, Sara Keijzer, Erik Kessels, the Kessler family, and in particular Beppe Kessler, Wim van Keulen, Wim ter Keurs, Aart Kinds, Wim de Koning Gans, Klaas Konijn, Geert Jan Koot, B. Kristensen, Christiane Kuhlmann, Barbara van der Laan, Joan Labouchere, Mrs. M. van Loon-Labouchere, Ingeborg T. Leijerzapf, Richard Loontjens, Marlof Maks, Marita Mathijsen, Lukas Meursing, Bruno van Moerkerken, Carla Mulder, Emilie Nord, Saskia Ooms, Eva Pennink ( ), Pierre van der Pol, Laura Roscam † Abbing, Rebecca Roskam, Liesbeth Ruitenberg, Tineke de Ruiter ( ), Peter Schatborn, Mrs. Agnes Scholten van † Aschat-Sillem, Roos Schouw, Marja Stijkel, Nina Svenson, Jane Turner, Hans-Willem van Tuyl, Patricia van Ulzen, Annemarie Vels-Heijn, Luc Verkoren, Corien Vuurman, Durkje van der Wal, Jan Wingender, Doris Wintgens Hötte, Ester Wouthuysen and Johan de Zoete.

Every Rijksmuseum exhibition and publication involves the coopera­tion of many colleagues. I am particularly grateful to our directors Erik van Ginkel and Hendrikje Crebolder and my colleagues Eva Kalis and Valentina Salmeri-Bijzet from the Development department, whose enthusiastic support contributed to the realization of this book. I also thank Martin Jürgens and Rosina Herrera Garrido from the Rijksmuseum Conservation Studio; Amy van Harten, Albertine Dijkema and Cecile van der Harten from the Rijksmuseum Image Department, Margot Leerink from the Registrar’s Office and cataloguers Esther Doornbusch and Inge Giesbers. Barbera van Kooij, Geri Klazema and Ellen Slob from the Rijksmuseum Publications Department were responsible for the editing and production of this book. Karen Gamester once again provided the meticulous English translation, which was edited by Sue Hart. The index was compiled by Miekie Donner. Irma Boom and Eva van Bemmelen, assisted by Nina van Tuikwerd, transformed the manuscript into a beautiful book: a true feast for the eyes. Mattie Boom

everyone a photographer

My untiring critics and editors throughout the long project have been my promoter Marlite Halbertsma and my husband Marcel ten Hooven. They helped shape the story.


The Rise of AmateuR PhotogRaphy in the NetheRlands 1880–1940 ‘EveRyone a PhotogRapheR’ is the fiRst compRehensive study of the Roots and eaRly development of amateuR photogRaphy. VeRy little is known about its oRigins, and the late nineteenth centuRy can be likened to the DaRk Ages in the histoRy of photogRaphy. it is then that people fiRst staRted to RecoRd theiR daily lives with small handheld cameRas, which made photogRaphy moRe diRect, fasteR and moRe dynamic. This pRocess was boosted by young uppeR-class uRbanites who had a seemingly insatiable desiRe foR the latest technological innovations, accompanied by an eageRness to tRy them. TheRe aRe stRiking similaRities between developments in image pRoduction in the late nineteenth centuRy and in the pResent digital eRa. Then as today, these weRe dRiven by Rapid innovations in the cReative industRies. The meteoRic Rise in the populaRity of amateuR photogRaphy was Responsible foR the gReat tuRning point in photogRaphy and had a huge impact on the visual aRts and visual cultuRe in geneRal. ‘EveRyone a PhotogRapheR’ descRibes the Rise of amateuR photogRaphy in the NetheRlands: the photogRapheRs, the photogRaphs, the albums and the key figuRes. FoR the fiRst time, the amateuRs and theiR tRuly fascinating snapshots, which aRe of amazing quality and histoRical impoRtance, aRe lifted out of anonymity. Mattie Boom

ISBN 978-94-6208-477-3

9 789462 084773

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Everyone a Photographer  

By the end of the nineteenth century, people began to record their daily lives using small, handheld cameras. This made photography more dir...

Everyone a Photographer  

By the end of the nineteenth century, people began to record their daily lives using small, handheld cameras. This made photography more dir...