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De schaduw van de fotograaf : Positie en status van een nieuw beroep: fotografie in Nederland, 1839-1889

By H.T. Rooseboom


Study into the socio-economic and artistic position and status of Dutch professional photographers in the nineteenth century. Since the history of Dutch photography became the subject of academic research some thirty years ago, most attention has been given to individual photographers and their work. As a consequence, we hardly know anything about more general topics concerning the whole profession, like their comprehensiviness, income, and status, or the organization of the studios. This Ph.D. is meant to fill that gap. There are many sources to gain information from, sources that until now have hardly been used by photohistorians, such as tax accounts and occupational censuses. This Ph.D. concentrates on photographers in five cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Delft and Dordrecht, of which the first three held the largest amount of photographers in the Netherlands. It covers the first fifty years of photography (1839-1889) in which the new medium gained ground and came (more or less) of age. Among the subjects that are being treated are the photographers' income, their social standing, their clientele, the way photographs were being used and treated, the organization of the studios, the part women played in photography, and the (difficult) relationship with the arts. In trying to reconstruct these and other aspects of nineteenth-century Dutch photography, as much use as possible has been made of archival sources. Quite some conceptions proof not to be correct when checked. Of all important nineteenth-century inventions photography was probably the least influential. It did not affect people's lives in a direct way; at most it documented the great changes that took place in that century. Photographs were seldomly published in newspapers and magazines - the 'state of the art' was not advanced enough yet - and the editions of hand printed photographs must have been modest. No photograph was thus seen by many people. We now probably know more nineteenth-century photographs than our ancestors. Photography stood at the border of technique, art, craft, industry, and commerce, without exclusively belonging to one of them

Topics: Letteren, photography, position, status, history, art, occupation, profession, nineteenth century, Netherlands
Publisher: Utrecht University
Year: 2006
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