Rijksmuseum was recently in the news when Erwin Olaf donated his works to the museum. The photos and videos donated by the Dutch photographer are now part of the collection at Rijksmuseum, which comprises works of art from mainly Vermeer and Rembrandt. Yet again, the Olaf donation underlines the museum’s passion for photography pieces. The museum says it will host an exhibit devoted to these newly acquired works in 2019. In the meantime, though, photo enthusiasts will want to visit it for the exhibition focused on Ed van der Elsken.
The public exposition includes a selection of photos from the Dutch photographer cum filmmaker, donated to Rijksmuseum by Jan de Bont and his spouse, Trisha de Bont, in 2017. The multi-talented Dutchman, who is famous for cinematographing Basic Instinct and directing Twister, is also a photograph collector. During the 1970’s, he and his wife used to collect works mainly from photographers for whom they had affection, one of them being Ed van der Elsken. Last year, the couple donated some of his photos to the national museum. According to Jan de Bont, “Ed van der Elsken is without doubt one of the best photographers of his time,” so it is no wonder the museum collection came through the couple.
Photography is a kind of art form where a masterpiece can come up out of nowhere, provided the photographer has good observational skills. For instance, the photojournalist Ryan Kelly won a Pulitzer this year for a snap captured on the last day of his work. So imagine the impact Ed van der Elsken’s “Through the Eyes of Jan de Bont” has on a Rijksmuseum tour. The exhibit runs until June 3, 2018, and compiles most of the works that form the photographer’s oeuvre.
Some of Ed van der Elsken’s works exhibited in the museum are excerpts from his book titled “Love on the Left Bank,” which throw light on Parisian nonconformists, who were more withdrawn from society and had strong artistic tastes. Besides, the photography exhibit at Rijksmuseum also includes the Dutch artist’s works captured from Amsterdam and Osaka. It owes a lot to private and public benefactors, especially de Bont couple’s donation, which came through the King Baudouin Foundation situated in the US.