Photography exhibitions in the Rijksmuseum

January 25 2017 - 2:02 PM

The Rijksmuseum will be exhibiting a great deal of photography in 2017: modern icons in the 'Star-Vu' exhibition, the emergence of photography in all its diversity in New Realities, impressive South African portraits by Pieter Hugo, poetic seascapes in 'Sea Views' and 'Document Nederland' for which Anouk Steketee portrayed the stateless.

Star-Vu. Ten years of photo acquisitions thanks to Baker McKenzie

17 February to 21 May 2017

star The Rijksmuseum will exhibit 30 examples of international modern art and documentary photography – the best of 10 years of collecting thanks to the support of Baker McKenzie. The law firm’s sponsorship enabled the museum to considerably expand its 20th century collection. From the graphic light drawings of Herbert Matter to the unpolished fashion photos of William Klein. And from the raw reality of Helen Levitt to the utopian society portrayed by Steve Fitch.

Good Hope. South Africa & The Netherlands from 1600. 1994. Photographs by Pieter Hugo

17 February to 21 May 2017

hugo The Good Hope exhibition illustrates 400 years of history shared between South Africa and the Netherlands in some 300 items, including portraits by Jan van Riebeeck, a letter of release (manumit) for a slave, panoramas by Robert Jacob Gordon and drawings by Marlène Dumas. A special room will be devoted to South African photographer Pieter Hugo where 11 impressive portraits will be displayed of children born after 1994, the year in which Apartheid was abolished. Thanks in part to Fonds 1975/Rijksmuseum Fonds, Hugo donated two photographs to the Rijksmuseum.

New Realities. Photography in the 19th century

16 June to 17 September 2017

breitner The New Realities exhibition shows the rapid development of photography after its invention in 1839. The new medium was used to make portraits, cityscapes and travel photos, photos for science, art, advertising, propaganda and amateur shots. The exhibition includes works from the Rijksmuseum’s own collection by such pioneers as William Henry Fox Talbot, Eduard Isaac Asser, Gustave Le Gray, Eugène Durieu, George Hendrik Breitner and Willem Witsen.

Sea Views

16 June to 17 September 2017

zee From 16 June, the Rijksmuseum will exhibit 13 contemporary seascapes. Photographs of the ocean as a stripe or a landscape, at times fierce and ominous, then calm and clear. The photographer’s influence and the richness of the photographic print are the focal points. The exhibition features works including those by Viviane Sassen (2013), Simon van Til (2011) and Chris Hooper (2000). The photos are part of a generous donation comprising over 30 photographic seascapes.

Document Nederland: Anoek Steketee photographs statelessness in the Netherlands

6 October 2017 to 7 January 2018

doc Anoek Steketee went in search of the stateless in the Netherlands: people with no nationality and no passport, who don’t legally exist, but who live in our country. She portrayed them for the Document Nederland annual photography exhibition, for which a Dutch photographer is commissioned with focusing on a topical societal phenomenon. Previous photographers have included Hans Aarsman (1984), Dana Lixenberg (2011) and Carel van Hees (2016).


Star Vu, Steve Fitch, 1980 – 1981. Rijksmuseum, purchased with the support of Baker McKenzie.
Pieter Hugo, 1994. Rijksmuseum, Gift of P. Hugo, Kaapstad. Made possible by Fonds 1975/Rijksmuseum Fonds
George Hendrik Breitner. Marie Jordan seen naked from behind, 1890
Sea at Milos, Viviane Sassen, 2013. Private gift
Anoek Steketee

all images