Rotterdam Cookbook

Photography & Anthropology

Food on Earth

Photography & Scientific Research

Commissioned Photography


Anceaux's glasses
Anthropological photography since 1860

The project

In 1959, the renowned Dutch linguist Professor Anceaux went on the last Dutch expedition to the interior of Dutch New Guinea. Anceaux gave his glasses to one of the Papuans. Expedition leader Brongersma made a photograph of the event. Unintentionally, his photograph became symbolic of various views: the Western view of other cultures, the response to this Western view by the people photographed, and the different ways a photograph can be interpreted. Nearly 500 photographs from this national collection had been presented in the National Museum of Ethnology in 2002.

The photographic collection of the National Museum of Ethnology contains a wealth of important historical material. As the curator of the exhibition Linda Roodenburgs made a selection from the estimated 350,000 photographs, most of which were made between 1860 and 1945.

In this first book and exhibition dedicated to the national anthropological photography collection itself an important episode is highlighted in the history of photography.
On the face of it, these photographs show us images of other cultures, but a closer look reveals much more. The way other cultures were depicted says a great deal about the European attitude towards them and the effect of colonial rule on their relationship.
Many of these photographs are from a bygone age. They often reflect attitudes we would now call old-fashioned, but if we examine our own associations and prejudices we might find these attitudes are still very much alive today.

Exhibition, National Museum of Ethnology




op verschillende niveau’s en in verschillende betekenissen, is het woord waar het bij fotografie in een volkenkundige context om draait. De mentale en fysieke afstand tussen fotograaf en onderwerp en de afstand tussen kijker en het onderwerp van de foto, die per persoon en in tijd varieert. Van antropometrische fotografie voor de wetenschap tot multi-media installaties van kosmopolitische kunstenaars met nieuwe perspectieven. Het volkenkundig museum daar midden inĀ  als verzamelaar, onderzoeker en doorgeefluik van de blik op de ander...

lees verder >


at various levels and in different senses, is the word around which photography in the ethnographical context revolves: the mental and physical distance between photographer and subject and the distance between the viewer and the subject of the photograph, which varies per person and in time.
From scientific anthropometrical photography to multimedia installations by cosmopolitan artists with new perspectives. The ethnology museum, as a collector, researcher and intermediary of the view of the Other, lies at the centre of this...

further reading>


Ver Weg Dicht Bij

-Reis om de wereld in 40 foto's uit de collectie van Museum Volkenkunde Leiden-

Gekozen en beschreven door
Linda Roodenburg


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