Petra Steinhardt: Going into Detail: Photography and its use at the Drawing and Design Schools of Amsterdam 1880-1910
Rijksmuseum Studies in Photography, vol 7.
In a world in which one was accustomed to drawings or prints, the photograph was dazzling and extraordinarily rich in information. As the 19th century progressed, the photograph was used time after time to visually document and record monuments and buildings. Whoever purchased a portfolio of photographs could form a good picture of the building in all its facets. This development coincided with a broad interest in national heritage and monuments that had arisen in European countries. The advent of applied arts education can be viewed as a related offshoot. It was of paramount importance that designers, architects and craftsmen were able to learn their professions and trades based on examples. And photographs were such models. The drawing and design schools that were established in Amsterdam in the late 19th century also had extensive photographic collections at their disposal. Petra Steinhardt examines which photographs had been consulted by students. She also explores in depth the schools’ syllabuses and the various categories described in the library catalogues of these institutions. Subsequently, she demonstrates how architectural photographers set to work and how they influenced the education of young generations of designers.
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