Kees Scherer, Sunbath, 1953, Holland © Stichting FotoArchief Kees Scherer / MAI.
Kees Scherer, Waiting, 1955-59, London © Stichting FotoArchief Kees Scherer / MAI.
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Kees Scherer – Photographic Explorations
November 7, 2008-January 18, 2009
As a photojournalist, in the 1950s and ’60s Kees Scherer published numerous reports of his global travels in Dutch newspapers and magazines. Scherer belonged to a generation of photographers that opened up photographic reporting to a wider public.
He travelled in the United States, the Far East, Israel, and almost every country in Europe. This concise retrospective features sensitive and humorous pictures taken in Amsterdam, London, New York, Cannes and Paris as well as Mexico, Spain, Portugal and Italy. All the photos are vintage prints made by Scherer himself.
Born in an alcove apartment in Amsterdam’s working-class Jordaan neighbourhood, Kees Scherer (1920-1993) became interested in photography at a young age.
When the war ended he began working as a freelance photographer for Dutch newspapers such as Het Vrije Volk, Trouw, de Volkskrant and Algemeen Handelsblad. In later years he established a reputation as a travel photographer for weekly magazines like Margriet and Avenue, and he published an impressive series of photo books. In 1955, he was one of the joint founders of World Press Photo. On 18 October 1985, the day his book Zuiderzee, dood water, nieuw leven (Zuiderzee, Still Water, New Life) appeared, he suffered a stroke. As a consequence he was no longer able to speak, write or photograph. Scherer was admitted to hospital where he died eight years later.
In 1987, a group of friends set up Stichting FotoArchief Kees Scherer to publicise the photographer’s work, as a result of which it was rediscovered and republished in the 1990s.
The exhibition is accompanied by a volume entitled Kees Scherer – Beeldverhalen van een straatfotograaf 1948-1967, published by Uitgeverij De Verbeelding. It contains 176 pages and around 300 duotone photos.
Kees Scherer, 1960, Amsterdam Bosbaan.