British photographic history

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Publication: Everyone a Photographer. The rise of amateur photography in the Netherlands 1880-1940

This new book accompanies an exhibition of the same title which opened at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, on 14 February. Researched and written by curator Mattie Boom the book describes and illustrates Dutch amateur photography during a period of rapid growth as photography became easier to work with dry plates and smaller cameras which, in turn, acted as a catalyst for the growth of photographic societies and photography exhibitions. The book will be an important reference for anyone interested in the subject.

Everyone a Photographer is the first comprehensive study of the roots and early development of amateur photography. Very little is known about its origins, and the late nineteenth century can be likened to the dark ages in the history of photography. it is then that people first started to record their daily lives with small handheld cameras, which made photography more direct, faster and more dynamic. This process was boosted by young upper-class urbanites who had a seemingly insatiable desire for the latest technological innovations, accompanied by an eagerness to try them. There are striking similarities between developments in image production in the late nineteenth century and in the present digital era. Then as today, these were driven by rapid innovations in the creative industries. The meteoric rise in the popularity of amateur photography was responsible for the great turning point in photography and had a huge impact on the visual arts and visual culture in general.

Everyone a Photographer describes the rise of amateur photography in the Netherlands: the photographers, the photographs, the albums and the key figures. For the first time, the amateurs and their truly fascinating snapshots, which are of amazing quality and historical importance, are lifted out of anonymity.

Everyone a Photographer. The rise of amateur photography in the Netherlands 1880-1940
Mattie Boom


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