Street photographer Ed van der Elsken

by Tanja

Ed van der Elsken was Dutch street photographer from the 1950s and 60s. The shots the took of the people on the streets of Amsterdam are rather well known in The Netherlands. Van der Elsken perfectly grabbed a moment in time:  the punks, the hippies and hipsters, the abandoned buildings in the former Jewish Quarter after the war, the bohemians of Amsterdam, of which he was one.

Ed van der Elsken photography

Surinam and black Americans visit jazz club Cotton Club on the Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt. From: Once Upon A Time (Amsterdam, Uitgeverij Fragment, 1991).

Ed van der Elsen was born in Amsterdam in 1925. He lived in Paris and travels often to Africa, Japan and Hong Kong, always working as photographer and making films. In 1979 Ed van der Elsken and graphic designer Anthon Beeke put together a photo book containing his Amsterdam photos.

Ed van der Elsken photo

Amsterdam! photos by Ed van der Elsken

post war Amsterdam Jewish Quarter

Ruins of the Amsterdam Jewish Quarter in the 1950s.


Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

From February 4 till May 21 2017 Amsterdam’s museum of modern art, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents a large overview of the work of Ed van der Elsken.

How to get to Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is located at Museum Square (Museumplein), next to the Van Gogh Museum. The museum is open every day from 10.00 am to 6 pm. Friday the museum is open till 10 pm and there is a special program with drinks., lectures & drinks. Regular entrance price is €15.

Amsterdam in 1983, a film by Ed van der Elsken


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