Ed van der Elsken

1925–1990

Ed(uard) van der Elsken (Dutch, 1925-1990) studied sculpture in Amsterdam before turning to photography in 1946. In 1950 he began working as a freelance photographer in Paris for Dutch magazines, photographing primarily Left-Bank youth culture and the bohemian scene. He exhibited his works in the exhibitions subjektive fotografie 2 (1954) and Family of Man (1955). In 1956 he published his first book Love on the Left Bank. He traveled to Africa, Asia, the US, and Mexico to shoot stories and began making social critical and above all personal documentaries in 1960. His last film, Bye (1989–90), documents his own illness with cancer.