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The Dutch Photobook
Frits Gierstberg and Rik Suermondt

The Dutch Photobook Frits Gierstberg and Rik Suermondt

The Dutch Photobook Frits Gierstberg and Rik SuermondtThe Dutch Photobook
Frits Gierstberg and Rik Suermondt


240 pages
246 x 284 mm
ISBN 9781597112000


The Dutch photobook is internationally celebrated for its particularly close collaboration between photographer, printer and designer. The current photobook publishing boom in the Netherlands stems from a tradition of excellence that precedes World War II, but the postwar years inaugurated a period of particularly close collaboration between photographers and designers, producing such unique photography books as Ed van der Elsken’s “Love on the Left Bank” (1956) and Koen Wessing’s “Chili, September 1973” (1973). Innovations such as the photo novel and the company photobook blossomed in the 1950s and 60s; later, other genres emerged to characterize the publishing landscape in Holland, including conceptual and documentary photobooks, books on youth culture, urbanism photobooks and landscape photobooks and travelogues. Examining each of these genres across six themed chapters, “The Dutch Photobook” features selections from more than 100 historical, contemporary and self-published photobook projects. It includes landmark publications such as “Hollandse taferelen” by Hans Aarsman (1989), “The Table of Power” by Jacqueline Hassink (1996), “Why Mister Why” by Geert van Kesteren (2006) and “Empty Bottles” by Wassink Lundgren (2007). Dutch photo historians Frits Gierstberg and Rik Suermondt contribute several essays on the history of the genre, the collaborative efforts between photographers and designers and their inspiration and influences, complementing the high-quality reproductions of photobooks throughout. Award-winning designer Joost Grootens contributes unique charts and diagrams that consolidate all of these elements, in a visually unique map of the Dutch photobook.

About the Authors
Frits Gierstberg
is art historian and critic. He worked as Head of exhibitions at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam since 2003, and currently as Curator. Between 2006 and 2010 he was Extraordinary Professor of Photography at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He publishes regularly on international photography in the Netherlands and abroad and is also (co-) editor of a number of books about photography and visual culture.

Rik Suermondt is a Dutch lecturer of photography based in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

About the Publisher
Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, is a magazine and photography organisation. Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as ‘common ground for the advancement of photography,’ Aperture today is a multi-platform publisher and center for the photo community. From their base in New York, we produce, publish, and present a program of photography projects, locally and internationally.

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