March 11, 2010 - Marres, House for Contemporary Culture - Beyond The Amateur – A collector’s perspective on the history of photography
March 11, 2010

Beyond The Amateur – A collector’s perspective on the history of photography

Photo Eline Portman (Arjan de Nooy collection)

Beyond The Amateur 
A collector’s perspective on the history of photography

14 March – 30 May 2010

Capucijnenstraat 98
NL-6211 RT Maastricht

As a collector, Arjan de Nooy amassed the work of dozens of Dutch photographers. His scientific background as a chemist led him to pursue a research-based method of collecting, focusing on the lives and oeuvres of largely unknown photographers. In years past, Marres has organised a number of different projects addressing the role and significance of “the collector,” such as La Collection Imaginaire and After Cage. This time, Marres shows how the research-oriented approach of De Nooy not only has its impact on his method of collecting, but also leads to unknown facts and startling perspectives on the history of Dutch photography, with far reaching consequences for the current canon. Beyond The Amateur – A collector’s perspective on the history of photography presents a selection of the historically most significant photographers in the collection of De Nooy, each exceeding the current discourse of photography with its emphasis on the role of the amateur.

The exhibition begins with work by 18th-century scientist Adriaan Paauw, who De Nooy classes as “the inventor of photography.” Around 1790, this obscure assistant of botanist Sebald Brugmans developed a photographic procedure in which he was able to “copy” objects in the form of photograms. Next in the exhibit is Théophile de Bock, the well-known painter of the Hague School. But De Bock was also one of the few Dutch 19th-century landscape photographers, in that he took photographs of landscapes and trees in particular to aid him in his paintings. The exhibit presents a series of these photographs recently discovered in the archives of “de Haagse Kunstkring”. Last in the exhibit are photographs by Eline Portman, one of a select group of early 20th-century female photographers. The exhibit presents some of the many portraits of passers-by she took in the city of Valkenburg. Her work shows similarities with that of German photographer August Sander.

De Nooy offers an extensive account of all three photographers in his recently published report of his research, De facto – Een geschiedenis van de Nederlandse fotografie (“De facto – A history of Dutch photography”). Marres presents these works for the first time, including Paauw’s sensational prints.

Curator: Yvon Schoenmakers
Researcher and Collector: Arjan de Nooy
Exhibition Design: EventArchitectuur
Concept Design: Maureen Mooren with Sandra Kassenaar, with a photographical contribution by Johannes Schwartz
Photography: Adriaan Paauw, Théophile de Bock, Eline Portman

Marres, Centre for Contemporary Culture

Marres, House for Contemporary Culture
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