Of the countless portrait studios in the Netherlands, hardly any work has been kept safe. The archive of photo studio Merkelbach is a positive exception to this: Tens of thousands of photographic glass negatives are the silent witnesses of more than half a century of history.
In 1913, Jacob Merkelbach opens a luxury portrait studio, situated above Fashion Palace Hirsch & Cie at the Leidseplein in Amsterdam, a prime location for an ambitious photographer. From all over the Netherlands and also from overseas, customers would visit the studio. Big and small stars from the world of art and culture, prominent people from politics and science, clients from all over the world in fashion and advertising. Stills and set photos are made in the Cinetone Studios in the Netherlands for countless Dutch feature films. Together with the tens of thousands of family portraits, these photographs become a specimen of the socio-cultural life in the Netherlands of the last century.
With more than 1000 photos, this book presents a rich selection of a unique collection for the first time, and tells the story of the legendary photographic studio and of the three photographers Jacob Merkelbach, Mies Merkelbach and Bobby Rosenboom. The fashion, dance, theatre and film photography of Merkelbach is extensively addressed.