Photographer Erwing Olaf donates hundreds of works to Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum_Amsterdam Markus Wurfel Wikimedia commons.

Photographer Erwin Olaf donated 412 photographs, seven videos and countless magazines to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The museum also bought 60 of his other photographs and three videos for 200 thousand euros, the Volkskrant reports. 

The Rijksmuseum will host an exhibition of Olaf's work next year. According to Olaf and the museum, the photographs are the "core collection" of his oeuvre. Every two years, the museum and Olaf will consult and decide what will be added to the collection. 

Olaf's photographs definitely belong in the national photo collection, which the Rijksmuseum manages, Rijksmuseum director Taco Dibbits said to the Volksrant. "He is one of the most important photograhers of the last quarter of the 20th century. Not only because he gave gay emancipation a face, also because his work is deeply rooted in visual Dutch art", he said.

Olaf became a well known name in the 80's because of his controversial photographs, according to broadcaster NOS. In his series Squares and Chessmen, for example, he photographed naked elederly men with erections and large naked women in bondage clothing. In 1989 he won First Prize for Young European Photographers. In 2011 Olaf won the Johannes Vermeer prize. He also regularly takes photos of the Royal Family, including the portrait photos on King Willem-Alexander's 50th birthday. 

The photographs will be exhibited in the Rijksmuseum next year. The Gemeenteuseum and Fotomuseum in The Hague will also exhibit a number of photographs, in honor of Olaf's 60th birthday.

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