Philip Mechanicus. Photographer  24 May until 27 October 2013

PhM Tomoko 1997 350The first major retrospective of the work of Amsterdam photographer and public commentator Philip Mechanicus (1936-2005) will open on 24 May 2013 at the Jewish Historical Museum. Mechanicus was best known for his strikingly restrained yet incisive black-and-white portraits of writers, poets, and artists, which graced the pages of many Dutch newspapers, magazines, and books from the 1960s onwards. At the same time, he built a reputation as a commentator, especially on photography and gastronomy.

This exhibition is not limited to Mechanicus's work as a portraitist but reveals the surprising diversity of his photographic art. One noteworthy section focuses on photographs from the 1950s and 1960s that Mechanicus took in the Waterlooplein neighbourhood where he had grown up. These demonstrate his eye for the melancholy of deserted streets, but also for the delight of the children in the streets, for whom the ruined neighbourhood made the perfect playground. It was not until many years later, in the 1980s and 90s, that Mechanicus presented some of these street photographs to the public, and even now a large number have never been exhibited or published. The exhibition will include many of those unknown photographs.

This exhibition is a joint production of the Jewish Historical Museum, the Stichting Philip Mechanicus, and the Maria Austria Instituut.

Foto's Philip Mechanicus

Photo route: Then & Now, photographs of the Waterlooplein neighbourhood arond 1960

Foto's Philip MechanicusView photographs of the Waterlooplein neighbourhood aroung 1960 by Mechanicus, exactly on the spots where he originally took the photos.

You can walk the route on your own by uwing the mobile website Then & Now.