"Leaning over the first Rollei much like a prophetess over her crystal ball, one questions Time. After the borrowed cameras, the Rolleiflex finally came. We spent twenty years together. Kneaded by feverish hands, it quickly lost its black varnish. A rustic and obliging tool, easily repaired with the blade of a knife or patched up with duct tape, this small device meant to slice time served its time well. I sometimes take it out of the closet just to hear the music of its springs once more."
I loved this quote by Robert Doisneau about the Rolleiflex camera he took so many photos with. I read it in Nederlands Fotomuseum, one of the best museums about photography I've ever visited. The permanent Darkroom exhibition about Dutch photography (and the history of photography in general) is done in such a sweetly clever way; you have to take huge white "photo films" to place in white trays as you would when developing a photo. Instead, videos play on them educating and entertaining on a wide variety of topics and people including Esther Kroon a young Dutch photographer who took very special photos of children growing up in Amsterdam, Barcelona and beyond, until she was sadly killed during a robbery in Guatemala, aged just 25. And there is the wild-spirited Katharina Eleonora Behrend, a young woman who was one of the first amateur photographers in The Netherlands in the early 1900s. She took many nude photos of herself - something that would have shocked and caused scandal if discovered by the wrong person.
If you hadn't already guessed, I highly recommend visiting this museum if you find yourself lost in Rotterdam one day... Here are some other things I recommend doing in Rotterdam, including the wonderfully curated Boijmans Museum.
Frances M. Thompson
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