Ed van der Elsken
was born in Amsterdam in 1925. He lived and worked in Paris from 1950 to 1954. In this period, he lived with Ata Kando and her 3 children.
He moved back to Amsterdam and lived there from 1954 to 1971. He travelled a lot for his work, for instance to Bagara, Central Africa in 1957, and made a long world trip in 1959 and 1960 with Gerda van der Veen, his second wife. During his many travels, he made reports in colour for the monthly magazine Avenue.
From 1971, he lived in the Dutch countryside, near Edam. In this period, he often travelled to Japan and also worked in Amsterdam. There he lived with Anneke Hilhorst. They had a son named John. In 1998 he was diagnosed with cancer. Ed died in 1990.
Van der Elsken - the 'enfant terrible' of Dutch photography - was a talented photographer and filmmaker who recorded his meetings with people in photos, photo books and films for more than 40 years. Strolling through cities like Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Amsterdam or travelling through Africa and Japan, he preferred taking photographs of striking individuals with strong characters. His first photo book, published in 1956 and called ‘Love on the left bank’, instantly made him world-famous. Some twenty photo books followed. He also made several television films, mostly on subjects related to his own life.
Extra information: Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam
keeps the archive and the copyright of the photographs by Ed van der Elsken.