Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nederlands Fotomuseum

After a few errands around town I hopped a tram back to Wilhelmina Pier to check out the Netherlands Fotomuseum.

There was a really interesting exhibition of the American photographer Lewis Hine who documented many real life moments starting with immigrants arriving at Ellis Island- and they trying to capture the American dream. The reality that he also captures is harsh and a struggle.

As early as 1908 he documented child laborers as young as 6 working in mines, cotton fields and textile factories. He left a job as a teacher and became the official photographer for the National Child Labor Committee which promoted the rights, welfare and education for children. His photos exposed the situation and led to new legislation for children.

The place was littered with quotes from Lewis Hine, my favorite:
"While photographs may not lie, liars may photograph"

He was also the official photographer for the building of the Empire State Building- at that point he was 57 years old, but climbing up there with the "acrobat" construction workers.

There was also a great exhibition featuring the finalists for the Steenbergen Stipendium 2012.

And in an area called the "Darkroom" there was a cool interactive space highlighting the best of the museums archives. You take a large white 'photo paper' board around with you and place it in a (fake) developing bath which triggers the audio and images for that particular topic. Talk about involved- hauling this huge cardboard around the room- Holland gets points for being interactive.

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