PhotoLexicon, Volume 15, nr. 30 (September 1998) (en)

Munnich & Ermerins

Anneke van Veen


The ‘Photographisch Etablissement Munnich & Ermerins’ (‘Photographic Establishment Munnich & Ermerins’) in Haarlem only existed for a short time. The firm was specialised in landscapes as well as cityscapes of Haarlem, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. The mathematician and physicist Johannes Theodorus Munnich possessed the knowledge and skills of photography. Munnich’s business partner, the jurist Robbert Carel Ermerins, oversaw the general business side of the company and was the one who came up with the topics to be photographed. Munnich’s cityscapes—a number of which were produced in an unusually large format by Dutch standards—are exceedingly beautiful. Until recently, Munnich & Ermerins’ oeuvre was virtually unknown. It is limited in scope and had no influence of note on the work of contemporaries. In retrospect, its significance lies in the courageous attempt to find a buyer’s market for landscapes and cityscapes with an allure that was uncustomary for the Netherlands.




Theodorus Johannes Munnich was born on 7 May in Amsterdam as the fourth child of George Munnich (Osnabrück, Germany, 1766) and Anna Maria Meyer (Amsterdam, 1781). In 1803, George Munnich acquires the status of burgess (‘poorterschap’) from the city of Amsterdam as a ‘konstdrayer en instrumentmaker’ (‘lathe worker and [precision] instrument maker’). In 1812, the couple lives on the Kleersloot, a side street of the Krom Boomssloot. By the time their youngest son, Jacob, is born three years later, the family lives on the Binnen Bantammerstraat.


George Munnich moves to Utrecht with his wife and children. He becomes an attendant at the Natuurkundig Gezelschap (‘Society of Natural Science’). This institution oversees a collection of approximately 1,000 eighteenth-century natural scientific instruments.


On 10 February, Robbert Carel Ermerins is born in Franeker, as the son of Jan Willem Ermerins (1798-1869), a professor of philosophy, physics, and chemistry in Groningen, and Anna Maria Kien (1802-1865). Robbert’s father was a known scholar and an ‘extraordinary member of merit’ in the academic department of the Wiskundig Genootschap (‘Mathematical Society’), a member of the Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen (‘Royal Academy of Sciences’), a consulting member of the ‘Bataafsch Genootschap der Proefondervindelijke Wijsbegeerte’ (‘Batavian Society of Empirical Philosophy’) in Rotterdam, and a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.


In January 1830, Johannes Theodorus Munnich (for the remainder of his life, he will state his name in this manner) begins studying both literature and mathematics at the Academie van Utrecht (‘Academy of Utrecht’). For the duration of his studies, he lives with his parents: first near the Jacobi Bridge, and starting in 1837, on the Ambachtstraat. In 1839, Munnich receives his PhD degree (cum laude) in mathematics and philosophy, based on his dissertation on the functioning of the hydraulic screw. He continues to live in Utrecht and works as a provisional ‘opzichter der veenderijen’ (‘superintendent of peat cutting operations’). In 1842, Munnich’s Over het Electromagnetismus, als middel van beweegkracht […] (‘On Electromagnetism, as a Means of Movement Power […]’) is published.


As of 1 January 1843, Munnich is hired as a district surveyor of weights and measures in Haarlem. He fulfils this function until his honourable discharge as of 31 December 1869. Munnich moves to Haarlem, where he registers at the address Wijk 4, Letter D. According to the civil registry and the city address books, from 1849 on (though perhaps earlier) he resides in any event at Grote Houtstraat Wijk 3, No. 563, until 1865.


During these years, Munnich works as a manufacturer of gutta-percha: first alone, and starting in 1848 on a partnership basis, under the name of ‘Munnich Beeke en Co.’ According to the Algemeen Adresboek der Stad Amsterdam (‘General Address Book of the City Amsterdam’), the company’s office is located at Singel 505 [= 492], near the Koningsplein, from 1848 to 1855. In 1849, the partners submit an entry to the ‘nijverheidstentoonstelling’ (‘industrial exhibition’) for South and North Holland, held in Delft. In the spring of 1853, Munnich Beeke en Co. approaches various governmental authorities to promote the fire buckets manufactured in their factory. Following the departure of G.H. de Vries Robbé (The Hague, 1802) to Doorn—in all likelihood Munnich Beeke en Co.’s silent business partner—the company relocates to the Oudezijds Voorburgwal near the Stoofsteeg K521 [=151]. After 1863, the factory is no longer listed in the Amsterdam city address books.


On 29 August 1848, Robbert Carel Ermerins enrols as a student at the Hogeschool van Groningen (‘College of Groningen’), where he obtains his PhD in law six years later.


Johannes Theodorus Munnich publishes Mededeeling omtrent de tarwe en hare waarde (‘Report Concerning Wheat and Its Value’).


It is probably about this time that Munnich begins photographing. Some of his cityscapes of Haarlem have been dated to 1858. He specialises in photographing on dry plates. He possibly enters a collaboration with two booksellers for the distribution of his photos: with Johannes Leeuwenkuijl, Kalverstraat near the Kapelsteeg E 37 [= 69] for his photos of Amsterdam; with Lucas Slotemaker Pzn., Grote Houtstraat Wijk 3, No. 580 in Haarlem, for his shots of that city.


According to the Haarlem civil registry as well as the city’s address books, Robbert Carel Ermerins resides at Slepershoofd, Wijk 1, No. 858. His profession is first listed as ‘attorney’, then later as ‘ambtenaar der Registratie’ (‘civil servant of Registration’).


Munnich submits photos to an exhibition for the first time. From 18 January to 18 March, thirteen of his cityscapes and ‘a cabinet with transparent photographs’—all on dry collodion—can be seen at the international Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Heliographie enz. (‘Exhibition of Photography, Heliography etc.’), held at the locale of the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt (‘Association of Industry’) near the Hogesluis in Amsterdam.


On 18 October, Munnich and Ermerins sign an ‘akte van maatschap’ (‘deed of partnership’) before the notary C.J.G. de Booy of Haarlem. The purpose of this undertaking is to establish a photographic laboratory for the period 1 October 1860 to September 1863. In this agreement, the contributions, tasks, and responsibilities of both men are stipulated in detail. It also explicitly states that the organisation is neither to produce nor sell portraits of living persons. The collaboration between the two men is productive, but of short duration: on 31 December 1861, Ermerins quits the business.


The Photographisch Etablissement Munnich & Ermerins brings a series of cityscapes depicting Haarlem, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam out on the market. Munnich’s initial collaboration with the booksellers Joh. Leeuwenkuijl and L. Slotemaker Pzn. is possibly continued. In this year, a book of photographic plates entitled De heerlijke huizen en kasteelen in Nederland (‘The Delightful Houses and Castles in the Netherlands’) is published (at this time, not one copy has ever been ascertained). The first volume of Geschiedkundige Photographiën (‘Historical Photographs’) is also published at this time. From 1 May to the end of August, photos by Munnich & Ermerins on dry collodion are exhibited at the Quatrième exposition de la Société française de photographie (‘Fourth Exhibition of the French Society of Photography’). Almost simultaneously, from 24 June to 25 August, a group of thirteen photos by Munnich & Ermerins is exhibited at the Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling der Nederlandsche Maatschappij ter Bevordering van Nijverheid (‘General National Exhibition of the Netherlands Society for the Promotion of Industry’) in Haarlem. The entry is awarded a bronze medal, handed out on 14 November at the Grote Kerk (the St. Bavo Church) in Haarlem.


In January, Ermerins distributes a circular to his clientele, as well as an advertisement in the Oprechte Haarlemsche Courant, announcing that he is leaving the business. He transfers his right of ownership to a fellow resident of Haarlem, the photographer and printer Charles Binger (1830-1916), who in turn announces that the ‘Photographische inrigting’ (‘Photographic Establishment’) will continue operating under the firm of Ch. Binger & Co., with Munnich still serving the business with his scientific expertise. Under the name ‘Ch. Binger & Co.’, photos are submitted to the international exhibition organised by the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, this year for the fourth time. According to the Revue Photographique (‘Photographic Review’), these photos stand out from the other Dutch entries as fine examples in the genres of landscape and cityscape. The entry includes ten large photos shot by Munnich.


On 31 March, Robbert Carel Ermerins’s name is deregistered from the Haarlem population register. He departs for Berlin.


According to the Haarlem city address books, Johannes Theodorus Munnich resides at Kleine Houtstraat Wijk 3, No. 111, during these years.


By a royal decree dated 20 December, Johannes Theodorus Munnich is honourably discharged as a district surveyor of weights and measures in Haarlem.


During this period, cityscapes by Munnich are again brought out on the market. The publishers are J.M. Schalekamp uit Haarlem (who resided there from 1870-1879) and M.J. Parson of The Hague (from 1882). The photographer is identified on the cardboard mounts as W. Ganter (1848-1908). In the Haarlem address books for the years 1872 to 1876, the name ‘Dr. J.F. van Munnich’ [sic] is listed, without profession, at Binnen Singel Wijk 4, No. 188.


On 20 December 1871, Robbert Carel Ermerins marries Anna Leffler in Saint Petersburg. Leffler was born on 28 August 1840 in Montjoie (Belgium). The couple has one son, Johan, born in September 1881 in Saint Petersburg. The boy dies at the age of twenty-one. Ermerins—who refers to himself in Russia as Roman Ivanovitch Ermerin—is employed at the Imperial Library, is a member of various academic societies, writes genealogical and heraldic works on the Russian nobility, and publishes a yearbook entitled the Annuaire de la Noblesse Russie (‘Directory of Russian Nobility’). He suffers significant financial losses from this undertaking. In letters to fellow genealogists back in the Netherlands, he expresses his disappointment concerning the Russian mentality and his loathing for the temperament there.


Johannes Theodorus Munnich departs for IJsselstein on 22 March.


On 28 May, Munnich dies at the age of sixty-six. At the time of his death, he resides at a house called ‘Slootwijk’ in the vicinity of Loenersloot. In his obituary—placed by his sister, the widow G.W. van Rossum-Munnich—his name is once again stated as Theodorus Johannes.


Robbert Carel Ermerins dies on 9 September, on the same day his son died several years before him, at the age of seventy-eight in Saint Petersburg at the address Grande Koniouchennaia 5 Log 11. Ermerins’ widow returns to Brussels, Belgium.


The mathemetician and physicist Johannes Theodorus Munnich is certain to have been an inventive and enterprising person, gifted with a wide variety of talents. Photography is likely to have played a role in his life only for a brief time. Munnich’s topographic series of Haarlem, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam arose in part through his collaboration with the jurist Robbert Carel Ermerins, who was seventeen years his junior. In 1860/61, Munnich and Ermerins formed a business partnership together.

Munnich’s cityscapes are among the most beautiful produced in this genre in the Netherlands circa 1860. He photographed on dry plates, some in a large format. Munnich proved himself a master of making prints using various processes: salt prints, gold-toned albumen prints, and everything in between. For some of his shots, multiple prints have survived in different techniques, allowing one to discern the artistic effect resulting from the choice for a specific sort of printing paper. Munnich’s deliberate effort to work on various ‘states’ of a single photo was a rarity in the Netherlands.

As the son of a precision instrument maker, it appears that Johannes Theodorus Munnich’s interest in the exact sciences had been instilled in him in his early youth. Around 1815, Munnich’s father moved with his family from Amsterdam to Utrecht, where he was hired as an attendant of the Natuurkundig Gezelschap (‘Society of Natural Science’) in 1818. This institution was charged with overseeing an important collection of eighteenth-century natural scientific instruments, which today forms the basis of the collections of the University Museum Utrecht. This environment allowed the young Munnich’s talent in mathematics to develop to full maturity. At the age of seventeen, he completed his preparatory exams in literature and mathematics at the Academie van Utrecht (‘Academy of Utrecht’). Nine years later, on 29 June 1839, Munnich received his PhD degree (cum laude) in mathematics and philosophy under Professor R. van Rees, based on his dissertation on the functioning of the hydraulic screw. In 1842, a second scientific work written by Munnich, entitled Over het Electromagnetismus als middel van beweegkracht […](‘On Electromagnetism, as a Means of Movement Power […]’), was published in Utrecht by Van Paddenburg, which likewise includes his description of a precursor of the electric motor. When in that same year Munnich applied for the position of district surveyor of weights and measurements in Haarlem, he was chosen out of thirty-nine candidates. His recommendation was based not only on the widely acknowledged scientific merits he had acquired prior to this time, but even more so on his proficiency in the manufacturing and handling of mathematical and natural scientific instruments. One considered ‘someone of such quality an important asset for the department of surveyorship’. The nomination indicates that Munnich had been currently working as the provisional supervisor of the peat cutting operations in Utrecht. He quit this job and subsequently moved to Haarlem.

Munnich would remain in Haarlem up until the last two years of his life. For most of this time, he remained in the function of district surveyor. It was clearly a job that gave him the freedom to investigate other matters. In the late 1840s, for instance, Munnich was active as a manufacturer of gutta-percha, a kind of rubber that became known in Europe at the beginning of the same decade. Munnich submitted gutta-percha to the Tentoonstelling der Voortbrengselen van Inlandsche Nijverheid en Kunst (‘Exhibition of the Products of Indigenous Industry and Art’) in 1847—a premiere in the Netherlands. The listing in the exhibition’s catalogue is the only surviving written evidence of his activities at this time. Scarcely one year later, Munnich entered a business partnership under the name of ‘Munnich Beeke en Co.’, established in Amsterdam. The city’s chamber of commerce was very aware that something special was taking place. Its annual report of 1848 devoted a separate passage to the new factory, which clearly conveyed that much was to be expected from gutta-percha, specifically for a number of industrial sectors important to the Netherlands, e.g. ship-building and hydraulic engineering.

For many years, Munnich Beeke en Co. was the only manufacturer of gutta-percha in the Netherlands. According to the catalogue of the 1849 industrial exhibition (‘nijverheidstentoonstelling’) held in Delft, the company was able to introduce a splendid variety of useful objects manufactured from this new material. In 1852, the company’s assortment of building ornaments drew the attention of the architect Is. Warninck. In the magazine Bouwkundige Bijdragen (‘Architectural Contributions’), Warninck described the qualities of these products to his fellow colleagues. Initially, Munnich Beeke en Co.’s offices were located at the home of the manufacturer G.H. de Vries Robbé on the Singel in Amsterdam. In all likelihood, Robbé was the firm’s silent partner.

The period 1845-60 in the Netherlands is considered to be an epic era for the Dutch chemical industry—an industrial revolution avant la lettre. The entrepreneurs who entered the stage starting in the late 1840s were typically well-educated, cosmopolitan, and very much focused on technical developments as discussed in the international literature. Munnich and his business partners appear to match this modern-day profile of the entrepreneur. Following Robbé’s move to Doorn in 1856­—he is likely to have withdrawn from the firm at this time—Munnich Beeke en Co. moved its offices to the Oudezijds Voorburgwal in Amsterdam. The business was located at this address until 1863, with no further mention after this time.

In the meantime, Johannes Theodorus Munnich had found other activities to occupy his time, above and beyond his civil post as a surveyor and his factory. At the same time that he was publishing a written work on the price of wheat in 1854, he was quietly educating himself in an entirely different area of art. At the third Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Heliographie enz. (‘Exhibition of Photography, Heliography, etc.’) organised by the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt (‘Association of Industry’) from 18 January to 18 March 1860 in Amsterdam, photos on dry collodion taken by Munnich made their very first appearance, stated in the catalogue as follows: thirteen cityscapes and ‘a cabinet with transparent photographs’, in an entry submitted by ‘Dr. J.T. Münnich’ [sic] of Haarlem. The precise nature of these cityscapes is not known, as Munnich’s entry was nowhere specifically mentioned in any of the exhibition’s reviews.

Munnich’s step in the direction of photography was less substantial than it first seems. He was already involved in significant new developments as a scholar and manufacturer: in his day, the academic world and the general public were vastly interested in uses for electromagnetism and gutta-percha. Just how closely related these innovations were to this other new invention—photography—for Munnich’s generation is perhaps best illustrated with an example from the United Kingdom. A newspaper clipping found in the legacy of the British landscape photographer Benjamin Brecknell Turner (1815-1894) reports on a gathering of the ‘Photographic Club’, where gutta-percha ‘was said to be exciting much interest among artists’. Another notice in the newspaper mentions a ‘Photographic Soiree’ held in London on 18 April 1859, where, in addition to photos, philosophical instruments were displayed, including ‘a very elegant little model, showing practically the application of electromagnetic motive power’. In Amsterdam, the attorney and amateur photographer Jan Adriaan van Eijk (1808-1887), who referred to himself as a ‘simple lover of physics’, immersed himself in phenomena such as electricity and magnetism. Another material that also found its way into Van Eijk’s collection of instruments was gutta-percha. At the same exhibition where Munnich’ photos hung on the wall for the first time, A. Jacobs of Amsterdam displayed all kinds of objects for use in the studio and the darkroom, including trays, funnels, and a glass plate holder made from gutta-percha. Such entries are also encountered in later exhibition catalogues, affirming this new material had become quite common in the laboratory of the nineteenth-century photographer.

It is not known how Munnich came to master the fundamentals of the new art. We can assume that, when considering his scientific background, he was capable of building his own camera. By consulting the international chemistry literature, it is also likely he concocted and perfected his own photographic emulsions. Yet photography is more than just a combination of optics and chemistry. When it comes to Munnich’s artistic formation, one can only guess.

Just as with his gutta-percha enterprise, it appears that within a year of his debut at the Tentoonstelling van Photographie (‘Exhibition of Photography’) in Amsterdam, Munnich had entered into another business partnership. At the fourth exhibition of the Société française de photographie (‘French Society of Photography’) held from 1 May to 31 August 1861 in Paris, an entry was submitted by ‘Munnich et Ermerins à Harlem’, which comprised three works: Vue prise dans les dunes près de Harlem (‘View Taken in the Dunes Near Haarlem’), Vue à Harlem (‘View of Haarlem’), and a Portrait de M. Prenemor, d’après la peinture de M. Mariens (‘Portrait of M. Prenemor, after the painting by M. Mariens’), all on dry collodion. The name of the individual portrayed in this last photo is dramatically misspelled in the catalogue, as it most certainly refers to a portrait of Nicolaas Pieneman (1809-1860), painted by his pupil Willem Johan Martens (1839-1895).

Munnich’s partner in photography was Robbert Carel Ermerins, a jurist who had studied at the Hogeschool van Groningen (‘College of Groningen’). Ermerins received his PhD in law at this same educational institution in 1854 and had settled as an attorney in Haarlem several years later. While it is not known exactly how the two men became acquainted, they may possibly have met through Ermerins’ father, a well-known Dutchman in his own day who worked in the same profession as Munnich. Munnich’s name is not cited, however, in any of the membership rosters of the associations in which J.W. Ermerins served as an honorary associate or board member. Whatever the case may be, on Thursday, 18 October 1860, Munnich and Ermerins jointly signed a deed of partnership before the notary C.J.G. de Booy in Haarlem.

The partnership was entered for the duration of three years, from 1 October 1860 to 1 October 1863, for the purpose of founding, managing, and running a ‘photographiesch laboratorium’ (‘photographic laboratory’), for which a space would eventually be rented; the necessary equipment, tools, and basic materials would be purchased; and if necessary, one or more employees would be hired. All of this was to be undertaken in order to produce photographic pictures from nature and after prints, plates, paintings, and other objects. These images were then to be sold or rented out. ‘Portraits of living persons, however, will not be made by them or sold’, as Article 2 specifically states. That Munnich had already made a career of photography is made clear in the description of each man’s input. In the contract, he agreed to contribute: firstly, ‘his knowledge, diligence and industriousness in the execution of photographic prints’; secondly, ‘several devices, basic materials and other matters belonging to a photographic laboratory’; and thirdly, ‘several outstanding accounts receivable related to activities conducted prior to the signing of this contract for the amount of six hundred guilders’. In the margin, the following was added in pencil: ‘the glass plates are worth ƒ 1000, the books ƒ 50′. Ermerins’ contribution consisted of 1,000 guilders in cash. He was not to be a silent partner, however, whose share in the business was limited to investing a sum of money. He was charged with the ‘entire running and management of the business, he chooses the subjects or images for making prints, delivers and mounts these prints, makes the necessary captions, and assumes the tasks of distribution and sale’, while Munnich agreed to take on the tasks of the ‘overall supervision and [photographic] processing, the introduction of improvements, the making of [chemical] solutions and […] the choice of ingredients’. In the contract’s text, Ermerins emerges as the partner with business acumen. He alone was in charge of the financial management, did the bookkeeping and correspondence, and hired and fired employees. Purchasing was done following mutual consultation, with acquisitions paid in cash. Every Tuesday, Ermerins was expected to settle the account books, which were then to be signed in agreement by Munnich once a comparison had been made with the actual cash on hand. Finally, each year in December, Ermerins was to draw up the annual report. Gains and losses were to be borne equitably. The contract also includes an unusual clause in which Munnich obliges himself to instruct Ermerins in photography and to keep him up to date on ‘the new discoveries, experiences, [photo] manipulations, and regulations’. Munnich’s scientific advantage was perhaps seen as a threat to the equitability of both parties in the partnership.

With the exhibition in Paris in full swing, Munnich & Ermerins’ work was also on display at the Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling der Nederlandsche Maatschappij ter Bevordering van Nijverheid (‘General National Exhibition of the Netherlands Society for the Promotion of Industry’) in Haarlem, specifically: ‘Thirteen prints of photographic images, shot with dry collodion’. Thanks to a review in Tentoonstelling- Nieuws (‘Exhibition News’) and a list of objects that had been acquired for the lottery, we know that the reproduction of Marten’s portrait of Pieneman was included among these thirteen prints, along with a view in (or a cityscape of) the Dutch town of Wijk aan Zee (perhaps the Vue prise dans les dunes près de Harlem), a shot of the Vleeshal (‘Meat Hall’) in Haarlem (probably Vue à Harlem), at least two Rotterdam cityscapes and a seascape. In all likelihood, the presentation of this year’s entry was much more ambitious than that of the year before at the exhibition in Amsterdam. Munnich & Ermerins’ cityscapes of Rotterdam are all large format, approximately 27×36 cm, and applied to cardboard mounts in the format 42×60 cm. The reproduction of Pieneman’s portrait has the dimensions 28.4×23.9 cm. The shot of the Vleeshal in Haarlem and a dune landscape are also large format. The entry amazed the reviewers of both the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Handelsblad and the Tentoonstelling-Nieuws and was awarded a bronze medal.

Whether the two men still believed in their enterprise at the time they received this prize on 14 November at Haarlem’s Grote Kerk (the St. Bavo Church) is uncertain. Within a short period of time, the duo still managed to release two historically inspired publications with photographic plates. In 1860 and 1861, the publishing company Martinus Nijhoff released the first three volumes of the De heerlijke huizen en kasteelen in Nederland, voorgesteld in photografische afbeeldingen, vervaardigd onder toezigt van J.Th. Munnich, met geschiedkundige en oudheidkundige aanteekeningen van R.C. Ermerins (‘The Delightful Houses and Castles in the Netherlands, depicted in photographic images, produced under the supervision of J.Th. Munnich, with historical and archaeological notations by R.C. Ermerins’). It is unclear whether there was ever any great demand for this work: to this day, not a single copy has ever been ascertained. Ermerins’ interest in history was also conveyed in the first issue of Geschiedkundige Photographiën (‘Historical Photographies’), dedicated to Laurens Jansz. Coster, a famous citizen of Haarlem. The magazine measures 31.3 x 38.1 cm, with nine small square or round photographs pasted on its pages, depicting the Grote Kerk and the Grote Markt (‘Great Market Square’) in Haarlem, the renowned statue of Coster on the same square, as well as reproductions of a related commemorative medal. The motto ‘Vicit Vim Virtus’ (the text that borders the coat of arms of the city Haarlem: ‘bravery has triumphed over violence’) was probably insufficient to turn this effort into a profitable enterprise. In any event, no second issue is known to have been published.

What Ermerins failed to understand was that anyone who wished to gain a foothold in the market for photography in the nineteenth century was obliged to advertise in newspapers and other magazines. In Tentoonstelling-Nieuws, which was published in the form of volumes at the time of the exhibition in Haarlem, one immediately notices the photographers’ advertisements, placed in an attempt to profit from this large-scale event. Pieter Oosterhuis offered a series of twelve cityscapes of Haarlem for Dfl. 3.50 complete and Dfl. 0.40 individually; the bookseller and art dealer C. van Asperen van der Velden of Haarlem was selling a ‘Souvenir’ of the exhibition with three photos, complete for Dfl. 1.50. And right they were: in total, 78,450 people attended the exhibition. Munnich & Ermerins, by contrast, made no visible effort: not a single advertisement of the company has ever been ascertained. But this is not the only factor. At this point in time, it was virtually impossible for any photographer to stay financially afloat without having a portrait studio to supply a regular income. The rapid demise of the Photographic Establishment Munnich & Ermerins would appear to confirm this general principle.

When drawing up the company’s second annual report, Ermerins is likely to have concluded it was unprofitable. The investments had been substantial: in 1860, the value of Munnich’s glass stock alone amounted to Dfl. 1,000. How high did the company’s turnover have to be for such an investment to be lucrative? And how many photos did a photographer have to sell to achieve such a turnover? Other sources tell us that large-format photos produced Dfl. 2.50 to Dfl. 5.00 in revenue. Whatever the case may be, the two partners certainly never became rich from photography. The names of Munnich and Ermerins are found nowhere in the ‘Opgave van de belastingschuldigen voorkomende op de kohieren der directe belastingen’ (‘Specification of Tax-Paying Individuals Appearing on the Registers of the Direct Taxes’), which listed all individuals in Haarlem required to pay taxes by their address. According to the Haarlem city address books, neither Munnich nor Ermerins was entitled to vote. This means that, even if stated in an unknown location of the ‘Opgave van belastingschuldigen’, the amount of taxes levied was below the minimum required level—which, in a small city like Haarlem, was not that much in the first place—for them to have obtained voting rights

On New Year’s Day 1862, Ermerins informed his clientele in a circular that he had ceased ‘being a partner in the Photographic Establishment, written under the name of Munnich and Ermerins’. He also stated that he had transferred his right of ownership to Charles Binger, though he would as yet ensure the wrapping up of business matters until the end of December 1861. In turn, Binger informed his clients of his intention to continue the business under the company name of ‘Ch. Binger & Co.’ He proceeds: ‘Dr. J.Th. Munnich, whose detailed study of photography lasting many years is to be credited for a certain renown of the products supplied by this establishment up to now, as indicated by the honour of being awarded at the National Exhibition in Haarlem in 1861, shall, just as before, continue to devote his scientific knowledge to this establishment. It will always be my aim to keep art at the level of the times, and to ensure that everything that leaves my establishment is competitive with the best from abroad.’

How he would do so became apparent in the spring of 1862. On 1 May, the fourth Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Stereoscopen, Toestellen enz. (‘Exhibition of Photography, Sterescopes, Cameras, etc.’), hosted by the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt in Amsterdam, opened its doors. Ch. Binger & Co.’s entry consisted of ‘Photographs on dry Collodion, after Nature, Paintings and Watercolours’, catalogue nos. 23 to 38. In nine of the titles for the cityscapes depicting Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Haarlem, we can recognise large-format shots that Munnich & Ermerins had submitted one year before, as well as others that have now been identified in various Dutch collections. In addition, there were also smaller cityscapes from the Haarlem and Amsterdam series on display. The reviewer of the Revue photographique was not particularly enthusiastic about the quality of the entries submitted by the exhibition’s two biggest participants, France and the Netherlands. In his view, mediocrity had won the day, both from an artistic viewpoint as well as in respect to the photographic processes that had been applied. Nonetheless, he did note a couple of exceptions: the portraits of L. Wegner of Amsterdam and Binger’s cityscapes, which he both described as being ‘admirables spécimens de ces genres’ (‘admirable examples of these genres’).

It seems implausible for Binger to have been the one to make these fine examples of photographic art. Charles Binger was a lithographer by profession, but who apparently believed there was money to be made with a photographic studio. Works known to have been produced by the studio of Ch. Binger & Co. are rather uninteresting portraits (mostly cartes-de visite) and small-format cityscapes of Haarlem. It is hard to imagine that Munnich might have devoted his scientific knowledge to shots of such mediocre quality. Perhaps he still played a part in Binger’s published edition of art reproductions, entitled Photographisch Album naar schetsen en teekeningen van levende meesters (‘Photographic Album after Sketches and Drawings of Living Masters’) from 1865. In the nineteenth century, after all, art reproduction was one of the most important vehicles for a photographer to display his technical ability. It is not known precisely how long Munnich actually collaborated with Binger. As late as 1869, Ch. Binger & Co. exhibited reproductions after drawings and paintings at the Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Natuurzelfdruk en Kleurendruk (‘Exhibition of Photography, Nature Print, and Colour Print’) in Groningen. The entry was awarded a silver medal.

Jacques Chits, a photographer in Haarlem, was a close acquaintance of Binger. In 1871, the two men set up a new establishment under the name ‘Binger & Chits’. In any event, Munnich’s acclaimed cityscapes were still readily available on the market in 1863. One album found in a private collection, assembled by an anonymous traveller from Brussels, bears the title Souvenir de Voyage Orient-Allemagne 1863 (‘Travel Souvenir Orient-Germany 1863’). Besides diverse photographs of Egypt, the Balkan countries, Germany, and Belgium, the album also includes five large and one small cityscape by Munnich.

Until now, Munnich was actually unknown in Dutch photography. This stems from the fact that not a single photo signed by him is known to exist, or alternatively, no image that clearly bears his authorisation. What one does encounter in Fotografie in Nederland 1839-1920 (‘Photography in the Netherlands 1839-1920’, 1978) and other older literary works on photography are the names of the publishers J. Leeuwenkuijl of Amsterdam and L. Slotemaker Pzn. of Haarlem. Curators of photo collections have observed that with some of the photos published by Leeuwenkuijl and Slotemaker, one can distinguish an embossing on the cardboard mount in which the initials ‘M & E’ are barely discernable beneath a small crown and the words ‘Photographie Haarlem’. Jan Coppens has assigned a meaning to these otherwise insignificant letters. In his ‘… door de enkele werking van het licht…‘ (‘… through the subtle effect of light…’) from 1989, Coppens is the first to suggest a connection with the Haarlem photographers Munnich & Ermerins, who exhibited in 1861 in Paris.

The photos published by Leeuwenkuijl and Slotemaker are consistently in modest formats, most of which are approximately 13×18 cm, including the earliest shots of Haarlem. No research into the dating of Munnich’s photos has as yet been conducted, but a number of the images of Haarlem are certain to be from 1859 or earlier: specifically, photos of the Oude Gracht (‘Old Canal’) as well as photos of the canal actually being filled in—a project that was completed in 1859. According to the catalogue of C. Ekama, a collector in Haarlem, two bird’s-eye views taken in different cardinal directions from the Grote Kerk (‘Great’ or St. Bavo Church) are said to be from an even earlier date: 1858. These early shots of Haarlem were likely to have been exhibited among the cityscapes that Munnich submitted to the Tentoonstelling van Photographie in Amsterdam in 1860. Early cityscapes of Amsterdam may as well have been included: a series of photos depicting the Dutch capital, in the same modest format of the Haarlem photos, i.e. no more than 13×18 cm, also exists. For these images, there are no known dates.

Precisely when Slotemaker and Leeuwenkuijl’s collaboration arose—either before or after Munnich and Ermerins’ partnership—remains uncertain. Many, though not all, of the retrieved photos with the name Leeuwenkuijl as well bear an embossing with the letters ‘M & E’. For the shots of Haarlem, this is more difficult to ascertain. For a large number of these works, the cardboard has been trimmed right up to the very edge of the image, with the embossing and names lost for good. The landscapes and cityscapes ascertained at this time can be divided into five groups, according to format and location: the smaller cityscapes of Amsterdam, those of Haarlem and its environs, and the large cityscapes of Amsterdam, Haarlem, and Rotterdam respectively.

In Haarlem, Munnich worked primarily in small format. Some of these photos may be considered practice attempts: some are blurred or otherwise clumsy in execution. Judging by the choice of subject matter, the series appears to be more specifically intended for a local market. For example, Munnich took four shots of trees in the Haarlemmerhout destroyed by a storm on 29 May 1860. Because of these and other images of nature—including winter and park-like landscapes, and the bird’s-eye views shot from the Grote Kerk—the Haarlem series has a different character than those produced for Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

For one image, there is no doubt it was produced in the time with Ermerins: a photograph of the Buitensociëteit (‘Outdoor Society’) on the Haarlemmerhout during the Nationale Tentoonstelling van Nijverheid in 1861. Several shots of historic buildings such as the Amsterdamse Poort (‘Amsterdam City Gate’) and the ‘Gemeenlandshuis van Rijnland’ (‘Headquarters of the Water Board of Rhineland’) in Halfweg may also stem from Ermerins’ interest. Three images in the Haarlem series bear the printed title of Haarlem en Omstreken (‘Haarlem and Environs’) in a cartouche. One of the three also has the aforementioned embossing ‘M & E’. There are twenty-six different shots in total, of which thirty-eight reproductions are known. For one shot, there exists only a reproduction from the beginning of the century.

With respect to ‘Haarlem and its environs’, at this time only two shots in large format have been ascertained. One of these is an architectural photo: a ‘portrait’ of the Vleeshal (‘Meat Hall’) on the Grote Markt, of which two reproductions are known. The other is a dune landscape. This is possibly the photo exhibited in Paris, Vue prise dans les dunes. The Zeegezicht (‘Seascape’) exhibited in 1861 has not yet been retrieved, thus sparking the imagination all that much more. A subject of this nature is quite exceptional in early Dutch photography and immediately brings to mind associations with the work of Gustave Le Gray. Three seascapes by this French photographer were on display one year earlier in Amsterdam at the third Tentoonstelling van Photographie. Landscapes and tree studies were also themes that Dutch photographers rarely dared to undertake. This leads one to believe that Munnich leaned strongly towards foreign examples.

In Amsterdam as well, Munnich photographed in two formats. The series of small cityscapes is more limited in scope and more consistent than the Haarlem series. In total, twelve different shots are known, of which thirty-eight reproductions have been ascertained up to now. For every photo from the series, one finds a version in Johannes Leeuwenkuijl’s publication, with eighteen cardboard mounts bearing the embossing ‘M & E’. In this series, the emphasis lies on important buildings such as the main building of Artis (the Amsterdam Zoo), the Mint Tower, the Rondeel and Doelen hotels, the Hollandsche IJzeren Spoorweg Maatschappij (‘Hollandic Iron Railway Society’) station behind the Willemspoort (‘Willem’s Gate’), the artist’s society ‘Arti et Amicitiae’, and the Royal Post Office. The images concern mostly the newer buildings in the city: with the exception of the Royal Palace on the Dam Square, the renowned monuments of the Middle Ages and the seventeenth century are absent.

The large-format shots of Amsterdam are of a completely different order, involving a small group of six photos, of which sixteen prints are known: the Singel with the Ronde Lutherse Kerk (‘Round Lutheran Church’), the Doodkistenmakersgracht, the bend of the Herengracht, the Oude Schans with the Montelbaan Tower, the Rokin with the buildings of the Nederlandsche Bank (‘Bank of the Netherlands’), and the Royal Post Office. With the exception of the last photo, these images depict spacious overviews of the facades along the canals. For this reason, the photos are sometimes highly reminiscent of another early series featuring views of Amsterdam, specifically, the sixteen shots taken in 1857 by the famous British amateur and landscape photographer Benjamin Brecknell Turner during his brief ‘Photography Tour’ of the Netherlands. Turner worked on paper negatives of approximately 30×40 cm, which he printed on the then modern albumen paper. Eight of these exceptional Amsterdam cityscapes were exhibited in 1858 at the second Tentoonstelling van Photographie in Amsterdam, submitted as the entry of the bookseller and art dealer W.H. Kirberger. No other known cityscapes of Amsterdam possess a comparable allure. The exhibitions organised by the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt every other year, starting in 1855, were extremely important for the development of Dutch photography. It was an opportune occasion to view the work of fellow photographers from the Netherlands and abroad. The photos that Turner exhibited there might very well have served as an important source of inspiration for Munnich and Ermerins. In two instances, Munnich chose virtually the same view of the city for his subject, just as Turner had done three years earlier: the Rokin with the buildings of the Nederlandsche Bank, and the facades along the Singel, ending in the large mass of the Ronde Lutherse Kerk. Both men’s shots of the Rokin are taken from the same vantage point, enabling one to see the difference between the two images in one glance. Turner used a camera with a substantially wider angle of view than that which Munnich had at his disposal. Turner’s photos therefore have a monumentality to them, where Munnich’s views gain in intimacy. Both photographed the facades along the Amsterdam canals from the most natural vantage point: at eye level.

In the Rotterdam series, Munnich only set up his biggest camera, with which he—contrary to Amsterdam—sought out higher vantage points as well. The series is more extensive and more varied than the photos taken of the Dutch capital. It includes nine different shots, of which nineteen prints have been ascertained. Shots of the ‘Boompjes’, the Kolk, and the Oude Haven (‘Old Harbour’) underscore Rotterdam’s importance as a port city. The Rotterdam series is certain to have required a great deal of preparation. Five of the shots were taken either from the roof or from the top floor of different buildings. Was it Ermerins who was responsible for the organisation of this undertaking, as he was indeed the one to select ‘the views for making prints’? One photo combines a cityscape and an architectural shot in an unconventional way: a frontal shot of the ‘Delftse Poort’ (‘the Delft Gate’) as well provides a vista of the Rotterdam’s Schie River, where a gentleman wearing a tall hat (Ermerins?) leans against the railing along the water. The bright morning sun rakes past the facade and highlights the stone ornament in sharp detail. To take the photo, scaffolding is certain to have been built in front of the city gate. In its approach, this photo resembles the work of architectural photographers in France, e.g. Bisson Frères and Edouard Baldus, whose photos were shown at exhibitions in Amsterdam in the years 1855, 1858, and 1860.

The Rotterdam cityscapes include several elements that make a tentative dating possible, even without further investigation. In one shot taken in the summer, the Koningsbrug (‘King’s Bridge’)—completed in 1860—can be seen spanning the Oude Haven. In a second image, which depicts the Kaasmarkt (‘Cheese Market’), the ‘Kipsloot’ canal is still in tact. In Dr. Peter Wotke’s renowned panorama of Rotterdam, the canal is already in the process of being filled. We know that the city council of Rotterdam had given Wotke permission to take these panorama photos from the tower of the St. Lawrence Church in the period March to August 1861. Because all of the trees in Wotke’s photos are in full leaf, one may conclude these shots were taken no earlier than May 1861. By late June, these ‘stadsgezigten a vol d’oiseau’ (‘cityscapes as the bird flies’) were already on display at the Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling (‘General National Exhibition’) in Haarlem, simultaenously with at least two of Munnich & Ermerins’ cityscapes of Rotterdam: Kolkgezigt (‘View of the Kolk’) and Delftsche Poort (‘The Delft Gate’). While there are no trees or bushes in the Kolk’s vicinity, in both photos of the city gate one can see that leaves have just begun to emerge on the branches. Consequently, these shots can be dated to the spring of 1861.

As an anonymous reviewer with Tentoonstelling-Nieuws wrote about Munnich & Ermerins’ entry to the Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling of 1861: ‘The [photographic] views in Rotterdam are exquisite and may rightfully be praised, especially as we are not dealing with just one cityscape, but with different ones, which (rare with photographs) are virtually of the same quality and possess the same strength’. The work of ten Dutch photographers was on display in Haarlem, including cityscapes by the photographer W. Tinker of Haarlem as well as his reproductions of drawings by the artist Raphael, portrait photos by Maurits Verveer from The Hague, Rotterdam cityscapes ‘a vol d’oiseau’ by Dr. Peter Wotke, and portraits by F.W. Deutmann (‘the largest format exhibited here’). Among Tinker’s photos, there was also a view of the Grote Markt (‘Great Market Square’) in Haarlem, described as ‘a very fine photograph, which remains bright and clear in the areas farthest removed.’ The reviewer continues: ‘Too bad that cityscapes always have to be taken early in the morning, when there are as yet few or no people on the street, which creates a lifelessness that is in no way softened by a subdued figural embellishment’. A comparison between the two entries, in the reviewer’s opinion, falls in favour of Munnich & Ermerins: ‘Why it is, we do not know, but the Rotterdam [cityscapes] by Munnich and Ermerins, though just as austerely embellished with figures as the Groote Markt by Tinker, gave us greater satisfaction, and the empty streets and the closed houses disturbed us far less’. Munnich worked on dry plates, which made lengthy exposure times a necessity. In the photo of the ‘Boompjes’ in Rotterdam, for instance, this can be readily observed when examining the Nieuwe Leuvebrug: the bridge is both opened and closed at the same time.

In actuality, the reviewer commends the photographer’s talent for ordering volumes and spaces in a balanced totality, which enables him to profit from the sculptural effect of light in a clever way. Who still desires a felicitous ‘figural embellishment’ upon seeing, for instance, the Kaasmarkt as devised by Munnich & Ermerins? The tall houses, alternating in light and shadow, form the closed walls that draw our view further into the image; the narrow band of sunlight that demarcates the division between the foreground and middle ground; the pillars on the landing of the city hall and the smaller ones beneath the dome, which subtly contrast with the lighter background; the dreamy Kipsloot [canal] in its final days; the tall windmill in the background, which provides just the right visual terminus, and not to forget the open window, high up in the facade. These images represent the complex fabric of an old Dutch city centre, captured in a comprehensible photographic vocabulary.

‘Anyone capable of photographing like this deserves a bronze medal,’ is what the exhibition jury must have thought. Only upon arriving at Munnich & Ermerins’ art reproductions, however, does the author of Tentoonstelling-Nieuws truly become lyrical: ‘But much higher still than these cityscapes (…) we place the portrait of Pieneman, photographed by Munnich and Ermerins from a painting. Behold, in doing so they reveal the difficulty of having triumphed over paint and colour completely, and this is what, at least up until now, has always posed the biggest obstacles to [accomplishing] good photographs of famous paintings. We wish the cited gentlemen fortune with this so perfectly successful experiment and hope they will continue in this direction.’ Such statements once again affirm the tremendous value contemporaries placed on photographic art reproduction.

Contrary to the first Tentoonstelling van Photographie in 1855, reviewers in later years no longer discussed the tonal quality of the exhibited prints. This is unfortunate in Munnich’s case, because it forms such an interesting aspect of his work. Munnich is certain to have mastered the chemical side of photography, by no means implying that every print leaving the studio was of the finest quality. Based on the wording of the partnership agreement as well as the aforementioned notices distributed by Binger to his clients, we may also conclude that Munnich’s strength lay precisely in his knowledge of photochemistry and photographic printing.

In choosing dry collodion, Munnich stood at the forefront of the latest innovations in his field. At the exhibition of 1858, Schaarwachter from Nijmegen was the only other person to submit a single photo on dry plate, to which a reviewer in the Amsterdamsche Courant responded most positively: ‘if such images can be obtained with dry collodion on a regular basis, then a large step of progress has again been made in the course of photography.’ Munnich used various kinds of film paper to make his prints. While albumen paper was the most obvious option, he relied more frequently on salt paper, which he then treated with varying degrees of albumen. Multiple prints exist for a number of Munnich’s photos, produced in different techniques. A comparison of these prints enables one to observe how the choice of paper substantially influences the way in which one experiences the image. One case in point is Munnich’s shot of the Montelbaan Tower on the Oude Schans. The salt print is orange-red in colour, with an airy transparency highly reminiscent of a watercolour drawing produced in an artist’s studio. The albumen print, by contrast, has a deep aubergine tone; its glossy surface and strong contrasts give it a much more modern appearance. Because this print has been amply treated with gold chloride, this image looks exactly the same as the day when Munnich first printed it. An albumen-treated salt print with the characteristic semi-matte surface provides a third example, which is unfortunately in poor condition. Yet many of the other prints made in this technique have managed to withstand the test of time extremely well, while the contrast in a number of albumen prints is greatly diminished due to a minimum or total lack of gold toning. It is not clear why different prints were made using varying techniques. Naturally, one can hardly speak of ‘states’ in the traditional sense, as the negative itself—the equivalent of the printing plate—has in no way been altered. Another Dutchman who experimented with various kinds of printing papers was the amateur photographer Eduard I. Asser, possibly in collaboration with his friend, E. Bour. They submitted the results of their experiments to exhibitions, but the photos were never distributed. Munnich & Ermerins’ photos, by contrast, could be simply purchased. Were clients able to select the kind of paper themselves, according to their own wishes? Most of the surviving photos known to have been produced by Munnich & Ermerins are salt prints treated in varying degrees with albumen, possessing soft contours and warm brown tints. By choosing this kind of paper, in combination with the minimally light-sensitive dry collodion, Munnich & Ermerins’ work falls more into the tradition of early landscape photography in Great Britain, as opposed to the ‘booming business’ that occurred in the second half of the 1850s. For the miniature format of stereoscopic photos, the maximum obtainable sharpness was required. For this reason, wet collodion plates and albumen prints, on either glass or paper, were the norm.

In early Dutch photography, very little can actually be compared with Munnich and Ermerins’ topographic series, particularly when it comes to their large-format shots. Professional photographers—obliged to bring their products out on an anonymous market—restricted themselves to cityscapes in small formats, such as the stereoscopic photo, and later, the carte-de-visite and cabinet card photo. This ensured them the highest return on the lowest investment. Projects of a more ambitious nature appear to have been doomed from the very start. It remains unclear, for instance, whether images from Herman Bückmann’s 1855 series of Hague cityscapes were ever in circulation. We know his photos today only through the large-format calotypes preserved in his own legacy. Only one incomplete copy is known to have survived of Dr. Peter Wotke’s assembled panorama from the tower of the St. Lawrence Church in Rotterdam in 1861, shot on plates of 38×45 cm.

Amateur photographers had no need to make a living from the sale of their work. Benjamin Brecknell Turner and Alexandrine Tinne, a female photographer from The Hague, could afford to work in large formats. Other, less affluent amateurs from the same period, e.g. Jan Adriaan van Eijk and Jacob Olie, were obliged to use glass plates and paper negatives of modest dimensions.

Professional photographers were able to minimise their financial risk by garnering a client’s interest in their work. Outside the Netherlands, architectural photography was cultivated by associations and societies, e.g. the Architectural Photographic Association in the United Kingdom, or by national governments. The best known and earliest—and then indeed the most prestigious—example of government intervention in this respect was the Mission Héliographique (‘Heliographic Mission’), a project funded by the ‘Commission des Monuments Historiques’ (‘Commission of Historical Monuments’) in France. While it is true that Maria Hille, a female photographer in The Hague, was successful in obtaining a commission from the editors of Afbeeldingen van Oude en bestaande gebouwen (‘Pictures of Old and Existing Buildings’), a publication of the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Bouwkunst (‘Society for the Promotion of Architecture’), the assignment involved nothing more than a single image. Other societies in the Netherlands, such as ‘Architectura et Amicitia’ (‘Architecture and Friends’) and the ‘Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap’ (‘Royal Archaeological Society’), did show an interest in the new art. Yet this would never lead to any kind of structured project aimed to document the country’s national heritage in photographs. As far as we know, Munnich and Ermerins never sought to obtain a benefactor for their topographic series or the publication De heerlijke huizen en kasteelen in Nederland. Just how ambitious this project was meant to have been remains unclear. The only surviving copy, which comprised three volumes, could not be traced at the time of this study. When surveying the landscape of Dutch photography anno 1860, it becomes evident that Munnich & Ermerins’ topographic series were exceptional. To what degree the ‘photographic establishment’ was successful as a business enterprise cannot be readily assessed. While the company was in operation only for a brief period, a relatively large number of Munnich & Ermerins’ works were brought into circulation—even their largest cityscapes.

A Rotterdam cityscape featuring the wheat mill ‘De Goudsbloem’, with the ‘Delftse Poort’ Station in the background, is known only through a later jointly produced publication released by ‘Schalekamp en Parson’. Apparently, the bookseller J.M. Schalekamp in Haarlem and the art dealer M.J. Parson in The Hague believed there was money to be made from Munnich’s large cityscapes. At this time, three prints from a numbered series have been ascertained, which, in addition to the Rotterdam cityscapes, is certain to have included shots taken in other cities. Each of the descriptions—printed on a strip of paper pasted into a cartouche on the cardboard mount—begins with the name of the town or city. Strangely enough, another photographer has brought his name in connection with the photos: besides the publishers, the name ‘W. Ganter’ is also stated beneath the photos. Wilhelmus Ganter, a photographer in Rotterdam, was born in 1848. This makes it impossible for him to have been the person who took the photo of the Kaasmarkt with the city hall, with the sun reflecting on the water of the Kipsloot, as this canal no longer existed after 1861 (the year in which the canal was filled in). How the old albumen prints came into the hands of Ganter or the publishers remains a mystery. Might Binger possibly have squandered these images? Another scenario is that they were sold by the family following Munnich’s death in 1878. Munnich’s name does indeed appear in the ‘Table V-bis’ of the ‘Loenen Office of the Recipients of Tax on the Right of Succession’. The actual ‘Memorandum of Succession’, however, is missing. Unfortunately, we can only guess as to the size and content of Munnich’s legacy.


Primary bibliography

J.T. Munnich, Specimen inaugurale de cochlea hydraulica, quod, […] in academica Rheno-Trajectina, […] examini submittit, Utrecht (J. Althea) 1839.

J.T. Munnich, Over het Electromagnetismus, als middel van beweegkracht, benevens de beschrijving eener nieuwe en eigenaardig geschikte machine ter aanwending van deze groote natuurkracht, Utrecht (Van Paddenburg) 1842.

J.T. Munnich, Mededeeling omtrent de tarwe en hare waarde, Haarlem 1854.

J.T. Munnich, De heerlijke huizen en kasteelen in Nederland, voorgesteld in photografische afbeeldingen, vervaardigd onder toezigt van J.T. Munnich, met geschiedkundige en oudheidkundige aanteekeningen van R.C. Ermerins, Den Haag (Mart. Nijhoff) 1860-1861, afl. 1-3 (afl. 1. Het Huis Brederode, Afl. 2. Het Huis Nijenrode, Alf. 3. Het slot Teylingen) (elke afl. met 1 gephot. plaat).

Geschiedkundige Photographiën (1861) 1.

(Advertentie) Oprechte Haarlemsche Courant 15 januari 1862, p. 3.

Annuaire de la Noblesse Russie (uitg. Impr. de 1’Academie Imperiale des Sciences, Sint Petersburg) [jaren onbekend] [R.C. Ermerins].


images in:

J. Aarse e.a., Prentenboek van Rotterdam. Een wandeling door de tijd en door de stad, Amsterdam (De Arbeiderspers) 1954, afb. 21, 171.

H.C. Wieringa, Haarlem in photographieën, 1860-1960, Delft (Elmar) z.j. (1968), p. 7, 26-27, 48, 71-73.

C.C.G. Quarles van Ufford, Amsterdam voor ‘t eerst gefotografeerd. 80 Stadsgezichten uit de jaren 1855-1870, Amsterdam (De Bussy) 1968, p. 50, 54, 58.

K. Nieuwenhuijzen (samenst.), De vroegste foto’s van Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Van Gennep) 1974, afb. 115.

K. Nieuwenhuijzen (samenst.), Rotterdam gefotografeerd in de 19de eeuw, Amsterdam (Van Gennep) 1974, omslag, afb. 61-62, 87.

K. Nieuwenhuijzen (samenst.), Haarlem en Zuid-Kennemerland in 19de-eeuwse foto’s, Amsterdam (Van Gennep) 1975, afb. 26, 29-30, 62, 98, 104.

J. Coppens (samenstelling), Een camera vol stilte. Nederland in het begin van de fotografie 1839-1875, Amsterdam (Meulenhoff) 1976, afb. 49, 65, 71.

Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf (red.), Fotografie in Nederland 1839-1920, Den Haag (Staatsuitgeverij) 1978, afb. 90, 92.

J.J. Temminck (voorw.), De Haarlemse Oude Gracht. Van water tot weg, over wonen en werken. Historische Werkgroep ‘Haerlem’, Haarlem (Vrieseborch) 1980, afb. 12, 14, 17.

N. van den Berg en C. van der Harten (red.), In relatie tot Van Gogh. Fotografie van tijdgenoten, Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum) 1989, p. 34.

Secondary bibliography

Studentenalmanak Utrecht 1831-1834, 1839 [Munnich].

Publicatie Koninklijk Besluit, in Nederlandsche Staatscourant (22 december 1842) 303 [Munnich].

Catalogus der Voortbrengselen van Inlandsche Nijverheid en Kunst. Ingezonden voor de Tentoonstelling te Utrecht, Utrecht 1847, p. 48 [Munnich].

Catalogus der Voortbrengselen van Inlandsche Nijverheid, ingezonden voor de Tentoonstelling voor de provinciën Zuid- en Noord-Holland te Delft, Delft 1849, p. 20-21 [Munnich, Beeke en Co.].

I. W. [= I. Warnsinck], Bouwversieringen van Gutta-Percha, in Bouwkundige Bijdragen 7 (1852), p. 333-334 [Munnich, Beeke en Co.].

Catalogus der Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Heliographie enz. gehouden door de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, in het lokaal aan de Hoogesluis, W.644, Amsterdam 1860, p. 13 [Munnich].

Catalogus der Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling. Nederlandsche Maatschappij ter Bevordering van Nijverheid, Haarlem 1861, p. 225 [Munnich & Ermerins].

Verslag uitgebragt door de jury van beoordeling. Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling, Haarlem 1861, p. 144 [Munnich & Ermerins].

Auteur onbekend, Beschouwingen van de Tentoonstelling. IV., in Tentoonstelling-Nieuws (1861) 7, p. 107 [Munnich & Ermerins].

Auteur onbekend, Le Salon 1861, in Le Monde Illustré 20 juli 1861, p. 58 [Munnich & Ermerins].

Auteur onbekend, Tentoonstelling van Nijverheid te Haarlem, in Algemeen Handelsblad 27 augustus 1861 [Munnich & Ermerins].

Lijst der Voorwerpen aangekocht voor de Verloting. [Circulaire van de Nederlandsche Maatschappij ter Bevordering van Nijverheid, Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling, Haarlem 1861] [Munnich & Ermerins) ].

Catalogus der Tentoonstelling van Photographie, enz. gehouden door de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, in het lokaal aan de Hoogesluis. W 664., Amsterdam 1862, p. 4-5 [Ch. Binger & Co.].

Auteur onbekend, Exposition de photographie à Amsterdam, in Revue Photographique (1862) p. 183 [Ch. Binger & Co.].

Catalogus van de Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Natuurzelfdruk en Kleurendruk, in het Academiegebouw te Groningen, Groningen (Schierbeek) 1869, nrs 38-51 [Ch. Binger & Co.].

Auteur onbekend, Verslag der Jury van de Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Natuurzelfdruk en Kleurendruk gehouden te Groningen van af 6 tot 31 Julij 1869, in De Navorscher op het gebied der Photographie 4 (1869), p. 188 (Ch. Binger & Co.).

Album Studiosorum Academiae Rheno-Traiectinae, Utrecht 1886, kolom 284 [Munnich].

P.C. Bloys van Treslong Prins, Het geslacht Ermerins 1590-1908, Den Haag 1909, p. 30 [Ermerins].

Nederlands Patriciaat 2 (1911), p. 146 [Ermerins].

Album Studiosorum Academiae Groninganae, Groningen (Wolters) 1915, kolom 309, 560 [Ermerins].

Album promotorum van Utrecht 1815-1936, Leiden (Brill) 1963, p. 40 [Munnich].

G. Durier en J.M. Place, Catalogue des expositions organisées par la Société française de photographie 1857-1876. Tome premier 1857-1864. Parijs 1985 [Munnich & Ermerins].

Jan Coppens, Laurent Roosens en Karel van Deuren, “… door de enkele werking van het licht…”. Introductie en integratie van de fotografie in België en Nederland, 1839-1869, Antwerpen (Gemeentekrediet) 1989, p. 212, 216, 225 [Munnich & Ermerins].

T.M. Eliëns, Kunst, Nijverheid, Kunstnijverheid. De nationale nijverheidstentoonstellingen als spiegel van de Nederlandse kunstnijverheid in de negentiende eeuw, Zutphen (Walburg Pers) 1990, p. 65 [Munnich].

Mattie Boom, Gebruik en verzamelen van foto’s in de negentiende eeuw, in Leids Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek (1995) 10, p. 289-290 [Munnich & Ermerins].

Mattie Boom en Hans Rooseboom (red.), Een nieuwe kunst. Fotografie in de 19de eeuw, Gent/Amsterdam 1996, p. 25, 81, 225, 295, 297 (met foto’s) [Munnich & Ermerins].


1861 Bronzen medaille, Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling der Nederlandsche Maatschappij ter Bevordering van Nijverheid, Haarlem [Munnich & Ermerins].


1847 (g) Utrecht, Tentoonstelling der Voortbrengselen van Inlandsche Nijverheid en Kunst [Munnich].

1849 (g) Delft, Tentoonstelling der Voortbrengselen van Inlandsche Nijverheid voor de provinciën Zuid- en Noord-Holland [Munnich Beeke en Co.].

1860 (g) Amsterdam, lokaal van de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Heliographie enz. [Munnich].

1861 (g) Haarlem, Algemeene Nationale Tentoonstelling der Nederlandsche Maatschappij ter Bevordering van Nijverheid [Munnich & Ermerins].

1861 (g) Parijs, Quatrième exposition de la Société française de photographie [Munnich & Ermerins].

1862 (g) Amsterdam, lokaal van de Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt, Tentoonstelling van Photographie, Stereoscopen, Toestellen enz. [Ch. Binger&Co.].

1869 (g) Groningen, Tentoonstelling van Photographïén, Natuurzelfdruk en Kleurendruk [Ch. Binger & Co.].

1989 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, In relatie tot Van Gogh. Fotografie van tijdgenoten [Munnich & Ermerins].

1989 (g) Antwerpen, Museum voor Fotografie, “… door de enkele werking van het licht…”. Introductie en integratie van de fotografie in België en Nederland, 1839-1869 [Munnich & Ermerins].

1989 (g) Eindhoven, Museum Kempenland, “… door de enkele werking van het licht…”. Introductie en integratie van de fotografie in België en Nederland, 1839-1869 [Munnich & Ermerins].

1995 (g) Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Voor Nederland bewaard. De verzamelingen van het Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap [Munnich & Ermerins].

1996 (g) Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, Een nieuwe kunst. Fotografie in de 19de eeuw [Munnich & Ermerins].

1997 (g) Amsterdam, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam op zilver [Munnich & Ermerins].

1997 (g) Haarlem, Historisch Museum Zuid-Kennemerland, Bloemendaal, een gemeente voor de lens [Munnich & Ermerins].

1997 (g) Lelystad, Provinciehuis, Amsterdam op zilver’ [Munnich & Ermerins].


Amsterdam, Gemeentearchief (Bevolkingsregisters 1851-1894; Doop-, Trouw- en Begraafregisters 1781-1811; Poorterinschrijvingen 1751-1811; Registers van de Burgerlijke Stand 1818-1885; Archief van de afdeling Algemene Zaken van de Gemeentesecretarie 1812-1945).

Den Haag, Algemeen Rijksarchief (Archief van het Kabinet des Konings 1841-1897).

Den Haag, Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie (dossier Ermerins/Collectie van der Poest Clement, Advertenties Ermerins, Advertenties Munnich).

Den Haag, Gemeentearchief (schriftelijke informatie).

Haarlem, Archiefdienst voor Kennemerland (Register van ingekomen en vertrokken personen; Bevolkingsregister 1849-1858, 1860-1900; Nieuw Notarieel Archief, protocollen van notaris Chrétien Jean Gérard de Booy 1857-1889; Archief van het Gemeentebestuur Haarlem 1813-1957; Archieven van Opgeheven Verenigingen en Commissies C).

Haarlem, Rijksarchief in Noord-Holland (Archieven van het IJkkantoor Haarlem 1820-1888; Archieven van het Provinciaal Bestuur van Noord-Holland 1851-1942).

Haarlem, D. Snoep (schriftelijke informatie).

Utrecht, Rijksarchief (Archieven van de ontvangers der belasting op het Recht van Successie in de provincie Utrecht 1818-1902).

Utrecht, Universiteitsmuseum (mondelinge informatie).

Utrecht, S. Wachlin (mondelinge informatie).


Amsterdam, Gemeentearchief.

Amsterdam, Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap.

Amsterdam, Museum Willet-Holthuysen.

Amsterdam, Nederlands Economisch Historisch Archief.

Amsterdam, Nederlandsche Bank.

Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum.

Den Haag, Iconografisch Bureau.

Den Haag, Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie.

Haarlem, Archiefdienst voor Kennemerland.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet van de Rijksuniversiteit Leiden.

Rotterdam, Gemeentearchief.