Lust for life by Ed van der Elsken

Last year North Sea Jazz and Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam dedicated a museological presentation to jazz photos by world famous Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken (1925 – 1990). Because of visitors’ overwhelming response this year the festival proudly exhibits his important colour photographs.

Nederlands Fotomuseum manages the archives of Van der Elsken. In 2016 the museum sounded the alarm: the fungus on his colour slides had to be removed immediately or his colour photos would be lost forever. A PR campaign and a successful (crowd)funding led to the museum starting the largest photo restoration project – 42,000 slides – ever in the Netherlands. The last slide was restored recently, which will be celebrated with Lust For Life: the first exhibition of Van der Elsken’s colour photographs at Nederlands Fotomuseum as well as at North Sea Jazz. The festival will show a unique presentation.

Using universal themes such as love, life and death, with his colour photography Van der Elsken pays homage to man and life. He is enormously populair among older as well as young generations. His willful, extrovert personality coincides with his photography. Through his camera he connected with people around the world. His energy and lust for life live on through his work, which keeps on touching people. Music played an important part in Ed van der Elsken’s life and work. The presentation at North Sea Jazz will be reinforced with music, which makes for a multimedia presentation.

central square

Shinjuku (Tokio), 1986 - Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken
Leidsestraat, Amsterdam, ca. 1975 - Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken
Damrak, Amsterdam, 1983 - Nederlands Fotomuseum / © Ed van der Elsken

All photographs from this exhibit are part of the collection of Nederlands Fotomuseum. The selection at the festival was compiled by the museum and made possible by Nationale-Nederlanden, part of NN Group, title sponsor of NN North Sea Jazz Festival.