Family portraits from the Merkelbach Studio, 1913–1925  29 September until 3 November 2013

Familieportretten van studio Merkelbach

In 1996, the Jewish Historical Museum acquired a collection of approximately 1,200 glass negatives taken by high-society photographer Jacob Merkelbach (1877-1942).

From 1913 onward, Merkelbach had an exclusive studio on the fifth floor of the Hirsch Building in Leidseplein, where he photographed practically the entire Amsterdam elite.
After his death, his daughter Mies took over the studio. In 1969, when the business closed its doors, the 150,000 negatives were sent to the Amsterdam City Archives. Negatives of Jewish patrons ended up at our museum.

This display shows ten family portraits from the period 1913-1925, which offer a vivid impression of the Jewish elite of that time and the craftsmanship of this exceptional portrait photographer.

You can visit the concurrent exhibition The Merkelbach Photography Studio, 1913-1969 at the Amsterdam City Archive, which has also launched the crowdsourcing project Save a Portrait. This initiative gives the public a chance to help in identifying the portraits, most of which are anonymous. If you recognize anyone in these photographs, please let us know at the JHM Resource Centre.