Lust for life | Ed van der Elsken in Colour

‘I sing the praises of life. I am not more complicated than that. I sing everything: love, courage, beauty but also anger, blood, sweat and tears.’
-Ed van der Elsken

The Nederlands Fotomuseum, the national museum of photography in the Netherlands, has re-stored the colour work of photographer Ed van der Elsken from destruction. This summer, the museum celebrates with Lust for Life: the first retrospective of his colour work. With the greatest icons and work never shown before. With his colour photography, Ed pays tribute to human-kind and life around universal themes such as love, life and death.

Ed is incredibly popular among older and younger generations. His quirky, extrovert character coincides with his photography. He made contact with people all over the world with his cam-era. His energy and zest for living, live on through his work and continue to touch people.

Ed saved
This exhibition had not been possible without the restoration of all his colour photographs. In 2016 the museum rang the alarm bell: the mould on Ed's colour slides had to be removed imme-diately, otherwise his colour work would be lost forever. A media campaign and successful (crowd)funding have led to the museum starting in 2016 with the largest photo restoration project in Dutch history - with more than 42,000 slides. Recently the last slide was cleaned and with that effort, Ed's colour work has been saved forever from destruction. For the first time a large overview of his colour work can be presented to the public.

The publication Lust for Life is the first comprehensive overview of Ed's colour work. The book is published by Lecturis in collaboration with Dewi Lewis Publishing and designed by Kummer & Herrman. Order now

Exhibition Partners 








Corporate Partner Collection

Nationale-Nederlanden and NN Group support specific collection exhibitions and projects aimed at the conservation and presentation of the Dutch visual heritage. 

With special thanks to: Anneke Hilhorst

Gebouw Las Palmas Statendam 1 (Wilhelminapier), Rotterdam +31 (0)10 203 04 05

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