Nederlands Fotomuseum is responsible for the Ed van der Elsken photo-archive. Van der Elsken was one of the Netherland's greatest and most influential photographers. Although his worldwilde reputation rests on his unique black-and-white photography, the last thirty years of his life were mainly devoted to working in colour.
As part of its mission both to preserve and to showcase the photographic heritage of the Netherlands, the Nederlands Fotomuseum is now aiming to make this aspect of Van der Elsken's oeuvre better known to the general public. In order to bring Van der Elsken's colour photographs to wider public attention, they will be the subject of several exhibitions in 2016 and 2017. The exhibition will be featured at the Parade theatre festival next summer. A book is also to be published about them.
Read more about Ed van der Elsken's colour photography >
Major Restoration Project
Stewardship of the Ed van der Elsken archive poses a major challenge to the museum; the mould-damaged colour photos need urgent treatment to proevent further deterioration. The approx. 45,000 colour images all display mould were damaged due to high humidity in the photographer's home in Edam. If mould is allowed to grow on photographs, it gradually eats away the image. The only way to remove the mould permanently is to clean the pictures one by one. The restoration studio at the Nederlands Fotomuseum has developed a special method for doing this.
The cleaning of the colour photos will be the biggest photographic restoration project ever carried out in the Netherlands. The costs of such a large-scale restoration project are considerable, as are those of the forthcoming Parade Museum exhibition. To enable it both to save this unique colour photo archive and to showcase it now and in the future, the museum is looking for subsidies, sponsors and fundraisers. In addition, a national crowdfunding appeal will be launched in the spring of 2016.
Het Parade Museum is funded by the BankGiro Loterij.