In the golden years of photography, around 1960, famed Amsterdam urban photographer Ed van der Elsken was working on an extraordinary project. With a keen eye for human behavior and an unparalleled passion for capturing life, he focused his lens on the universal theme of celebration and celebration.
A celebration of life
Van der Elsken, whose work always showed a deep connection to the human soul, compiled a book of photographs that was a kaleidoscope of festive moments. From the uninhibited joy of a street party, the rhythm of dancing crowds, to the intoxication of carnival and the intimate moments of exhaustion after a night of partying; his photographs were a celebration of life in all its facets.
What made this project unique was Van der Elsken's ability to combine individual photographs into dynamic and rhythmic pairs. These combinations created a visual symphony where fun and energy splashed off the pages. It was as if he wanted to capture the essence of celebration and celebration in every page.
A lost treasure rediscovered
The mystery surrounding "Feast" is why such a brilliant design never saw the light of day. For reasons unknown to us, the project was set aside and forgotten. But as with all great art, it has a way of coming back into the spotlight. The design for "Party" was rediscovered in Van der Elsken's estate, acquired by the Rijksmuseum and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in 2019.
A tribute to a master
Sixty years after his original creation, "Feast" has finally been published in the format Van der Elsken envisioned. The book now stands as a tribute to one of Holland's greatest photographers, and as a reminder of the timeless beauty of celebrating life.
In a world that sometimes forgets the beauty of the moment, "Party" invites us to dance, laugh and live - exactly as Ed van der Elsken saw it.
Title: Celebration. Ed van der Elsken
Author: Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom
Size: 176 x 117 x 18 mm
Size: 240 pages
Weight: 352 grams