PhotoLexicon, Volume 16, nr. 32 (November 1999) (en)

Ad van Denderen

Karen Duking


Ad van Denderen belongs to the generation of photographers who carried on the tradition of ‘human interest’ documentary and reportage photography in the 1960s. Over the years, Van Denderen has always remained a reportage photographer working both freelance and independently. Van Denderen’s reportages convey a deep commitment to his subject and the vision of someone personally involved in a wide variety of situations and events, whether it be the Palestinians in the Gaza strip or the Turkish community in Amsterdam.




Ad van Denderen is born on 7 October 1943 in Zeist, as the son of Evert van Denderen and Ada van Denderen-Broek. His father is a distiller with Koster, a company on the Oude Gracht in Utrecht.


After finishing primary school in Zeist, the thirteen-year-old Van Denderen attends the School voor de Grafische Vakken (‘School for Courses in Graphics’) on the Jutphaseweg in Utrecht. In addition to his training as a typesetter, he takes an evening course in layout. In 1960, he passes his final examination in typesetting.


Van Denderen applies to study Esthetisch Grafisch Adviseurschap (‘Aesthetic Graphic Advising’), a new educational programme set up in 1960 at the Utrechtse School voor de Grafische Vakken. The study requires a diploma from a HBS (Hogere Burgerschool, an upper-level) secondary school, which Van Denderen does not have. He therefore chooses to audit these courses, which allows him to select an open study curriculum without receiving a diploma. In addition to courses in graphic design, the study provides classes in photography taught by the photographer Ata Kandó. Van Denderen decides to take these courses and purchases his first camera, a second-hand Rolleiflex. Van Denderen completes his graphic arts curriculum on an auditing basis.


Ad van Denderen moves to Breda, where he lives in a lodging room. For a half year, Van Denderen works at the newspaper Dagblad De Stem, where he sets up the weekend supplement.


With his earnings from De Stem, Van Denderen buys a Canon 35 mm camera. In mid-1965, he travels to Asia. He sets out on a journey that lasts approximately one-and-a-half years, hitchhiking across Turkey, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, Nepal and India. In Lahore (Pakistan), he ends up in prison on the suspicion of spying.


Van Denderen works as a graphic designer at the De Boer printing company in Hilversum. In this same period, he lives in Austerlitz (now the Czech Republic).


Van Denderen becomes a member of the GKf (Gebonden Kunsten Federatie, vakgroep fotografie, ‘United Arts Federation, Department of Photography’). He travels to the Middle East, and during this trip, he ends up in a Persian prison for possession of hashish.


Van Denderen moves to Amsterdam.


Van Denderen works as a photographer for the KRO (Katholieke Radio Omroep, ‘Catholic Radio Broadcasting Network’) radio guide Studio.


Van Denderen is commissioned by the AFK (Stichting Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, ‘Amsterdam Fund for the Arts Foundation’) to photograph Amsterdam’s historic municipal prisons (‘Huizen van Bewaring’).


Together with television documentary maker Remmelt Lukkien, Van Denderen makes the KRO-documentary, Het leven van een misdadiger (‘The Life of a Criminal’). Van Denderen is commissioned by the AFK to photograph the Turkish community in Amsterdam.


Van Denderen receives second prize at the Zilveren Camera (‘Silver Camera’) competition in the category, Documentary Photography.


Van Denderen wins both the first and third prize at the Silver Camera competition in the category ‘Documentary Photography’, as well as third prize in the category ‘De mens en zijn leven’ (‘People and Their Lives’).


At the Silver Camera competition, Van Denderen wins second prize in the category ‘De mens en zijn leven’.


Van Denderen’s first photobook, entitled Welkom in Suid-Afrika (‘Welcome in South Africa’), is published. Van Denderen receives the Capi-Lux Alblas Prize 1990.


The Stichting Fonds Anna Cornelis (Anna Cornelis Fund) invites Van Denderen to photograph the situation of the Palestinians in Israel for the duration of one year.


Ad van Denderen wins the W. Eugene Smith Runner-Up Grant in Humanistic Photography of the International Center of Photography in New York.


Van Denderen’s second photobook is published, Peace in the Holy Land.


Since 1998, Van Denderen has been working intensively on a project about asylum-seekers in Europe, which he began in 1990. He has photographed asylum-seekers in the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey and Greece (successively). In September 1999, he departs for Italy to photograph asylum-seekers in that country.


Over the years, Ad van Denderen has developed himself from a photojournalist into a documentary photographer. He photographs people in the circumstances and surroundings in which they live and work. He travels the world as a freelance photographer. In the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, he took photographs for various newspapers and magazines. In this context, his work had a journalistic character. Ever since the series, Huizen van Bewaring (‘Prisons’), his first important documentary work that was commissioned in 1978, he has striven to achieve a greater depth and nuance in his subjects. The photo-essay, a form in which photos are presented as a unity and in context, has been his preference ever since. Van Denderen remains faithful to his subjects sometimes even for years. This builds trust and gives him access to communities that are unaccustomed to dealing with strangers in an open manner.

During his study at the School voor de Grafische Vakken (‘School for Courses in Graphics’) in Utrecht, Van Denderen came in contact with Gosse Petersen, an instructor of drawing and graphic design. Peterson stimulated his student to develop himself further as a graphic designer. It was for this reason that Van Denderen decided to take an evening course in layout, in addition to obtaining an education in typesetting. During his evening study, Van Denderen met Maarten Houtman, a graphic design instructor. Houtman and Petersen encouraged him to sign up for the study, Esthetisch Grafisch Adviseurschap (‘Aesthetic Graphic Advising’), which had just started up in 1960. It was during this study that Van Denderen experienced his first encounter with photography.

In 1965, Van Denderen departed on a one-and-a-half year journey, hitchhiking across Turkey, Israel, Pakistan, Nepal, Iran and India. In the two years previous, he had done virtually nothing with photography. The trip he had in mind would change this. Prior to his departure, he acquired a Canon 35 mm camera.

Traveling to far-off destinations was still something special in the 1960s, certainly for someone who had not been raised with it: ‘I’m from a working-class family, we never travelled, the farthest I went was, I think, once a year with the bike to Hilversum with my parents. So in any case, I wanted to see something of the world. You can just imagine it, if you’re young. You have fantasies and dreams. So I went and did everything that was even the least bit adventurous and that I did quite rigorously.’

During his travels, Van Denderen photographed people in their daily situation. Thanks to a continuous lack of funds, he came into contact with the lowliest parts of society. He lived together with beggars, the lowest caste: the doomed. In the meantime, he was shooting photo after photo. He was fascinated with religion in India, the Indian way of life and thinking, and how people living in abominable circumstances kept their head above water. Through his personal involvement, a key theme arose: to record the living circumstances of the under most layers of society. Van Denderen took approximately five thousand photos. Half of these were taken while in Pakistan, where he was arrested and landed up in prison on suspicion of spying. He was soon proven innocent, but the film that the authorities had taken away from him was never given back.

Upon his return to the Netherlands, Van Denderen came into contact with Herman Zwart, then the director of the NKS (Nederlandse Kunststichting, ‘Netherlands Art Foundation’). Zwart found Van Denderen’s photos to be of interest. He subsequently requested a subsidy to organise an exhibition. Fotoimpressies (‘Photo Impressions’) was Van Denderen’s first exhibition, held in October 1967 at Slot Zeist and opened by Ata Kando. Thereafter, the photos were as well exhibited in Amersfoort, Amersfoort, Maassluis and Maarsbergen.

Despite this promotion of his photographic qualities, in 1967 Van Denderen went to work as a graphic designer, something that was indeed in line with the field he had initially chosen. He was employed by the De Boer printing company in Hilversum. Van Denderen nevertheless quickly came to the conclusion that graphic design no longer suited him. His travel experiences had altered his insights, introducing him to an alternative way of life that offered more freedom. It was therefore not long before he quit. In search of adventure, Van Denderen decided to focus his efforts on photography. Through Ata Kandó, he got to know other photographers, including Maria Austria, Eva Besnyö, Carel Blazer and Koen Wessing. Like Van Denderen, Wessing had also been one of Kando’s students. Through her guidance, both photographers learned to master the profession. In 1968, Van Denderen became a member of the GKf (Gebonden Kunsten Federatie, vakgroep fotografie, ‘United Arts Federation, Department of Photography’), which gave him an even greater opportunity to meet other colleagues in the field. In that same year, he once again packed his bags, this time heading to the Middle East. Van Denderen’s newfound freedom, however, was brought to an abrupt halt, when he was arrested in Iran for possession of hashish. He would spend approximately one year in jail there.

Once he had returned from his Middle Eastern adventure, Van Denderen obtained work with the KRO (Katholieke Radio Omroep, ‘Catholic Radio Broadcasting Network’) radio guide, Studio. Besides Van Denderen, other photographers such as Eddy Posthuma de Boer, Philip Mechanicus and Paul Huf were also brought on board to make reportages with the likes of Adriaan Venema, Han van der Meer and Joop van Tijn. For Van Denderen, the Studiogids (‘Studio Guide’) was a good way to make a living from his photography. As a freelancer, he felt more at home working for a guide that in those days leaned towards the political left versus the tightly organised structure of a printing company. Occasionally, he was also given an opportunity to work abroad. Most of what he did in this period was photojournalistic work. Van Denderen sometimes stayed working in a given area for a longer period of time. At this point, however, he was not yet delving into his subjects with any great depth, as he has been doing in recent years. Because Studio functioned as a financial buffer, he stayed working there until 1986.

In 1978 and ’79, Van Denderen took more than 2,000 photos of Amsterdam’s two historic prisons (‘Huizen van Bewaring’), a project commissioned by the AFK (Stichting Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, ‘Amsterdam Fund for the Arts Foundation’). Van Denderen’s choice for a series about these prisons was the closing of the ‘Huis van Bewaring 1’ (on the Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen) and the ‘Huis van Bewaring 2’ (on the Havenstraat), after having operated for 140 years. The prisoners had all been transferred over to the new prison, Huis van Bewaring Overamstel, better known as the ‘Bijlmerbajes’ (‘Bijlmer Jail’). Van Denderen wished to photograph life within these old prison walls, before everything was lost. He also had a personal motive for choosing such a theme, i.e. the time that he himself had served in prison. Van Denderen’s lengthy imprisonment in Persia (today Iran) has substantially affected the rest of his life. To close this chapter of his life, Van Denderen wished to do something with this theme.

The series, Huizen van Bewaring, served as a transition to another way of working for Van Denderen, with the emphasis shifting to documentary photography. The photos and reportages that he had made prior to this time generally served as illustrations for articles on a given topic. Huizen van Bewaring was a reportage that stood completely on its own. Preceding it was a lengthy and in-depth period of researching. This including Van Denderen having himself voluntarily locked up in prison, in order to have the same experiences as the prisoners that he photographed.

In 1980, Van Denderen was commissioned to do a second project for the AFK. His proposal was to create a present-day image of the Turkish community in Amsterdam. Just as with his prisons theme, Van Denderen felt a certain level of solidarity with the Turkish people living in the city. In this same period, he was making a portrait of a Turkish kick-boxer for the weekly publication De Tijd. He had also become acquainted with the Turkish culture during a number of extended visits made while travelling in Turkey. With this series, Van Denderen wanted to show people in the Netherlands how Turkish people actually lived in their homes. He also wished to convey something positive with his photos and to change the reserved attitude of Dutch people towards the Turkish community.

In the 1960s and ’70s, it was common practice for socially engaged documentary photographers to publish their work in the so-called ‘opinion magazines’. This genre of photography was made with the intention that photos were to serve as an informative and critical medium, as opposed to photos taken for exhibition purposes in museums and galleries. In accordance with this concept, Van Denderen published his photos primarily in magazines with a critical view towards society. That said, he also showed his work at exhibitions on a regular basis.

In 1979, Van Denderen was interviewed in the Alles is anders show (‘Everything is Different Show’) by the television presenter, Aad van den Heuvel. Appearing in the same programme was Joop van Tijn, who at that time was working as a political editor for the magazine, Vrij Nederland. Van Tijn saw Van Denderen’s prison photos and invited him to publish them in Vrij Nederland. From that time on, Van Denderen took photos that accompanied the magazine’s articles on a regular basis. In 1988, he became a ‘permanent’ freelance employee of Vrij Nederland, publishing reportages large and small as well as visual narratives on a wide range of topics such as the closing of the mines in Belgium, South Africa, youth culture, Palestinians, singles, different religious faiths, Lithuania and asylum-seekers in the Netherlands. Starting in 1980, Van Denderen also regularly did freelance work for the magazine, Avenue.

This included reportages with themes such as the Kurdish in eastern Turkey, Mexicans in Los Angeles, a mixed marriage in the Netherlands, the fall of the Russian empire in the Balkan states, and public transportation from Cairo to Cape Town.

Without having any pre-set plans, Van Denderen departed for South Africa in 1990, together with his friend, Margalith Kleijwegt, who was at that moment an editor at Vrij Nederland. In Johannesburg, they purchased several newspapers in which extensive attention was being given to the tense situation between the blacks and the whites in the town of Welkom. Van Denderen and Kleijwegt decided to travel to Welkom, one of the most important mining towns of South Africa. The city is 300 kilometres from Johannesburg and was established in 1947, related to the discovery of gold. At the same time that Welkom came into being, the township of Thabong also arose, a place for blacks to live on the outskirts of Welkom. Welkom is a hotbed of the white, right wing AWB (Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, ‘Afrikaner Resistance Movement’) as well as its militant splinter group, the Blanke Veiligheid (‘White Security’). The members of the AWB and the Blanke Veiligheid form a minority, but are active and overtly present.

Van Denderen photographed diverse aspects of everyday lives of both the blacks and the whites: the life in Thabong, black miners at their work, white miners in their changing room, black women working in construction or as a nurse, housekeeper or nanny, white churchgoers of the Penecostal faith, whites and blacks in the discos and cafés. Van Denderen photographed riots, the AWB training camp and members of the Blanke Veiligheid during target practice. Van Denderen also visited Welkom a second time in that same year. Both visits resulted in approximately 5,000 photos and a photobook with the ironic title, Welkom in Suid-Afrika (‘Welcome in South Africa’). In contrast to the numerous news photos on Apartheid in South Africa, Van Denderen’s photos present the situation within a context. By spending time in the milieu of the white extremists of the AWB, as well as the black neighbourhoods where whites never come, he succeeded in presenting a broad view of the consequences of Apartheid.

Van Denderen’s second photobook, entitled Peace in the Holy Land, appeared in 1997 with the help of the Stichting Fonds Anna Cornelis (Anna Cornelis Fund). Van Denderen was asked to come up with a project, which resulted in a reportage on the influence and development of the peace process in Israel. In the beginning, Van Denderen focussed primarily on the Palestinians, with attention for the Israelis on an incidental basis. In his view, the photos appearing in the media failed to present a complete picture of the conflict: the Palestinian side had been neglected for a long period of time. Ad van Denderen chose to present an Israel that was different from what was customarily shown: an Israel of the Palestinians. The observer gets an idea of the situation in which these people find themselves, facilitating a more humane perspective other than the one-sided image of stone-throwing Palestinians, terrorist attacks and deaths.

In both Welkom in Suid-Afrika and Peace in the Holy Land, Van Denderen wishes to give an impression of every day life under tense circumstances and the way in which people function when in a situation of conflicts and contrasts. Both books are impressive period documents of human life under extreme conditions.

In his work, Van Denderen investigates the background of the tensions and conflicts occurring around the world. A returning theme is the contrast between those in power and the oppressed. In his visual narrative, he always endeavours to show the context of tense situations and power relationships, hereby consciously avoiding cursory news photography, i.e. the fixation with one image. His photo-essays convey his social commitment. Within his treatment of such themes, his sympathy for the weaker side of society is clear. Aesthetics as well continues to play an important role.

Van Denderen strives to capture a certain development. It is for this reason that he returns to areas or locations that he has photographed before for a longer period of time, in order to realise a more in-depth research. On location, Van Denderen approaches his subject mainly on an intuitive basis. This way of working allows him to be involved with the larger issue at hand, rather than just taking pictures for the viewer’s pleasure. It allows him to grow into a particular topic and provides a better understanding of what is taking place in a given situation and the reasons why. By photographing in this manner, Van Denderen exposes what is beneath the surface. Observed as such in a broader context, a conflict becomes more tangible and more readily understandable.

Form is important to Van Denderen. This was already evident in his choice for a study at the School voor de Grafische Vakken (‘School for Graphics Courses’), and specifically, the Esthetisch Grafisch Adviseurschap (‘Aesthetic Graphic Advisory’). Depending on the subject he photographs, Van Denderen devotes a necessary amount of attention to light. In a 1985 interview for Studio with Philip Mechanicus he states: ‘(…) if, for instance, you’re walking through the city and you see something, then it may be that you wait for the light to get better. (…) With social photography, only the moment is important. I sometimes catch myself in an aesthetic past, because I inadvertently make certain crops. I sometime experience this as a problem. My photos are, I think, as well quite static. This could very well be related to that aesthetic background.’ Van Denderen’s compositions are clearly deliberate. The high contrast in his black-and-white photos creates a liveliness and dynamic in his work.

Van Denderen’s first camera was a Rolleiflex. Shortly thereafter, he purchased a Canon 35 mm camera, and later, a Nikon and a Leica R4. In the end, however, the Leica’s electronics were unable to withstand the humid climate in Africa. Van Denderen currently photographs with a Leica M6, a solid, compact and completely mechanical camera that suits his needs when travelling. Occasionally, he also uses a Mamiya-7. Van Denderen utilises 28 mm and 35 mm lenses, Tri-x film, and occasionally, T-Max 400 film (exposure 1600 ASA) for black-and-white photos. For colour shots, he uses Kodak and Fuji film. By far the majority of his photos are in black and white.

Traditional documentary photography in the Netherlands, which serves the purpose of informing the public about socially themed subjects with (black and white) reportages in newspapers and magazines, finds itself in a difficult position at this time. With television’s emergence, the illustrated press lost its predominance. In addition, the number of publishing options also diminished. These days, magazines have very little space for extensive reportages. That said, a number of photographers whose impressive record has already been established, e.g. Ad van Denderen and Koen Wessing, but also a younger generation of photographers such as Kadir van Lohuizen, Leo Erken, Carel van Hees and Petterik Wiggers, are still able to find ways to continue working with this ‘pure’ form of documentary photography.

The changes within documentary photography that have taken place in the 1980s and ’90s have barely influenced Van Denderen. He has remained relatively independent, both in his working style and in the choice of his subject. Over the years, he has managed to create an agreeable place for himself: in part thanks to his acquired reputation, he is able to continue working on a freelance basis without having to make many concessions.

‘Independence, integrity, involvement and aesthetic quality: these are the ingredients of Ad van Denderen’s photography and the arguments presented by the jury in awarding him with the Capi-Lux Alblas Prize 1990’, was the last line of the jury report that came with this prize. Even to this day, the photographer and his work may still be qualified by these words. It is for this reason that Van Denderen has stood at the pinnacle of Dutch photography for so many years. Internationally as well, his photos are appreciated and published by various European magazine publishers.


Primary bibliography

Remmelt Lukkien (tekst) en Ad van Denderen (foto’s), Kaïro/Kaapstad, in Avenue (februari 1985) 2, p. 74-98.

Ad van Denderen en Han Singels (samenstelling), Welkom in Suid-Afrika, Amsterdam (Focus) 1991 (met foto’s).

Ad van Denderen (tekst en foto), Lichtjaren. 50 Jaar GKf-fotografen. Ad van Denderen. Huis van bewaring, 1970, in Focus 82 (oktober 1995) 10, p. 30.

Joop van Tijn e.a. (tekst), Peace in the Holy Land, Breda (De Geus) 1997.


images in:

Diverse bijdragen aan: Frankfurter Allgemeine. Magazin, GEO-Duitsland, GEO-France, GEO-Italia, GEO-Spain, The Independent, Liberation, De Morgen, NRC Handelsblad, Parool, Photo-Italia,Reportage, Stern, Trouw, de Volkskrant en Zero.

Catalogus tent. Fotoimpressies Ad van Denderen, Rotterdam (Museum voor Land-en Volkenkunde) 1968.

Studio/KRO Studio 1969-1986.

Fotografen 1976. Geïllustreerde ledenlijst van de beroepsvereniging van fotografen GKf, Amsterdam (GKf) 1976, p. 18-19.

De Groene Amsterdammer 1976-heden (enkele bijdragen).

Catalogus tent. Aspecten hedendaagse fotografie, Schiedam (Stedelijk Museum Schiedam) 1979, ongepag.

Vrij Nederland 1979-heden.

Avenue 1980-1994.

Catalogus Jaar te kijk 1981. De Zilveren Camera, Amsterdam (Elsevier) 1981, afb. kleur H-M.

Catalogus World Press Photo 1981, Amsterdam (Elsevier) 1981.

Steef Davidson en Frans van Burkom, Geen commentaar. Fotografen als ooggetuigen van agressie en geweld (catalogus), Amsterdam (Nederlandse Kunststichting) 1982.

Catalogus Jaar te kijk 1982. De Zilveren Camera, Amsterdam (Elsevier) 1982, afb. 114-117, 131-139.

Stedelijk Jaarverslag Amsterdam 1982, p. 7-9, 11,21,28, 33, 37, 47, 62-65, 79- 87.

Schipholland 6 (27 november 1982) 15, p. 9.

Catalogus Jaar te kijk 1983. De Zilveren Camera, Amsterdam (Elsevier) 1983, afb. 19-20, 130, 153-155.

Holland Herald 19 (1984) 6, p. 38-40, 42-44.

LJ. Wagenaar (tekst), Allemaal Amsterdammers, z.p. [Amsterdam] (Amsterdams Historisch Museum) 1985.

Jan Lucassen en Rinus Penninx, Nieuwkomers. Immigranten en hun nakomelingen in Nederland 1550-1985, Amsterdam (Meulenhoff Informatief) 1985

Catalogus tent. Wat Amsterdam betreft… , Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum) 1985.

Een foto zegt meer dan…, Amsterdam (Nieuwe Revu) 1985.

Holland Herald 20 (april 1985) 4, p. 8-13, 16.

VPRO (6 april-12 april 1985) 14.

Panorama (30 mei-7 juni 1985) 23, p. 22-27, 29, 86.

Rinus Ferdinandusse (tekst), 24 Hours/Uur/Stunden Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Meulenhoff/Landshoff) /Londen (Thames and Hudson) /Keulen (DuMont Buchverlag) 1986.

Stipendia 86-87. Werken op het gebied van fotografie, industriële vormgeving en landschapsarchitectuur, Amsterdam (WVC) 1987.

Perspektief (juni 1987) 28/29, p. 70-71.

Wout Buitelaar, Michel Pellanders en Ruud Vreeman (samenstelling), In het spoor van Heijenbrock. Beelden van industriële ontwikkeling, Amsterdam (De Balie) 1988.

Hans Dorrestijn, Het complete antihondenboek, Amsterdam (Bert Bakker) 1988, omslag, p. 48, 50-53, 55, 57, 59-61.

Mattie Boom, 150 jaar fotografie. Een keuze uit de collectie van de Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst, Den Haag (SDU) 1989, p. 53, 163 (serie: RBK-reeks, nr. 2).

Catalogus Foto 89. 3e Internationale Foto-manifestatie in Amsterdam, Den Haag (SDU) 1989, p. 138, 140.

(Prentbriefkaarten) Serie van 7 foto’s van Ad van Denderen, Mannen van de mijn, Amsterdam (LASSO) z.j. [ca. 1989].

Adriaan Monshouwer e.a. (hoofdred.), De wereld van KLM in 24 uur, z.p. [Amstelveen] (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.) 1989, p. 194-195, 256.

Onze Wereld september 1989, p. 38.

Hans van Blommestein e.a. (samenstelling), Op Reportage. 25 Jaar Avenuereisfotografie, Amsterdam (Focus)/Den Haag (SDU) 1990.

Catalogus Internationale fotoveiling Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1991, ongepag.

Nieuwe Revu 15 mei 1991.

I. Kester en A. van Denderen, Slachtoffers van Saddam Hoessein, in Studio 19/25 oktober 1991, p. 12-14.

Catalogus Internationale fotoveiling Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1992, ongepag. Adrienne van Heteren e.a. (eindred.), De houten camera, Amsterdam (Stimuleringsfonds Nederlandse Culturele Omroepproducties) 1993, p. 69.

Auteur onbekend, ICI Photography Awards, Londen 1992.

Focus 80 (mei 1993) 5, p. 77.

Taco Anema e.a. (red.), 50 Jaren fotografie. GKf 1945-1995, Amsterdam (De Verbeelding) 1995, p. 160-163.

Catalogus tent. GKf. Vijftig jaren van toekomst, Groningen (Stichting Aurora Borealis) 1995, ongepag.

Hallelujah! God krijgt kleur. De oude kerken stromen leeg, de nieuwe stromen vol, in Vrij Nederland Document maart/april 1995.

Auteur onbekend, UM, z.p. 1997.

Susan Meiselas, Kurdistan. In the shadow of history, New York (Random House) 1997.

P. Wombell, S. Bode en J. Millar, Airport: The Most Important New Buildings of the Twentieth-Century, London (The Photographers’ Gallery) 1997.

Sybrand Zijlstra (eindred.), Haute culture. Tussen droom en werkelijkheid, Groningen (Nederlandse Gasunie) 1998.

Catalogus tent. De ontdekking van de Hoeksche Waard, Zwolle (Stichting AIR) 1998.

Metro 10 september 1999, p. 12-13.

Secondary bibliography

H.v.W., Foto’s van Ad van Denderen geëxposeerd in het Slot, in Nieuwe Zeister Courant 2 oktober 1967.

J. Kunkeler, Fotograaf Ad van Denderen ging vrijwillig de cel in.”In de gevangenis heb je alleen nog maar je gedachten”, in De Tijd 13 april 1979.

Bas Roodnat, Expositie Schiedam: fotografie als middel en als doel, in NRC Handelsblad 21 juni 1979.

Catalogus tent. De stad in zwart/wit. Vijf jaar Amsterdamse dokumentaire foto-opdrachten, Amsterdam (Museum Fodor) 1981, p. 20, 34 (Skrien (juni 1981) 108, bijlage).

Auteur onbekend, Zwart/witte beelden van Amsterdam, in Haarlems Dagblad 17 juni 1981.

Catalogus tent. Foto’s voor de stad. Amsterdamse documentaire foto-opdrachten 1981-1982, Amsterdam (Amsterdams Historisch Museum) 1983, ongepag.

Bas Roodnat, Foto’s van sociale ontwikkelingen voor blad en archief, in NRC Handelsblad 30 juni 1983.

(Prentbriefkaarten) Mapje met serie van 10 foto’s en tekst van Philip Mechanicus, Ad van Denderen/Reportage. Uitgegeven ter gelegenheid van de tentoonstelling Reportage in De Beyerd, centrum voor beeldende kunst, Breda november 1985, Utrecht (Uitgeverij Reflex) 1985.

Philip Mechanicus, Een sociaal fotograaf. Ad van Denderen exposeert foto’s in Breda, in KRO Studio 9 t/m 15 november 1985, p. 4-5 (met foto’s).

G. van Herpen, Schrijnende fotografie in de Beyerd, in De Stem 13 november 1985.

P. Terreehorst, Couleur locale: Ad van Denderen, in de Volkskrant 23 november 1985.

H. Smeets, Enge vreemden, in NRC Handelsblad 18 januari 1986.

W. de Jong, Ad van Denderen: “Mensen die het moeilijk hebben, daarmee ben ik begaan”, in Focus 71 (februari 1986) 2, p. 13-17.

Hripsimé Visser, Documentaire en monumentale foto-opdrachten in Nederland na 1945, in Perspektief (juni 1987) 28/29, p. 115.

J. Kunkeler, Ad van Denderen en het “ietsje meer”, in De Tijd 19 februari 1988.

Catalogus Foto Biennale Enschede 1989, Enschede (Stichting Foto Biennale Enschede) 1989, p. 48-49, 61.

Flip Bool en Herman Hoeneveld, Fotografen aan het werk voor Randstad, Diemen (Randstad Uitzendburo) 1990, ongepag. (met foto’s).

C. Wichers, Indrukwekkende foto’s uit ondergrondse mannenwereld, in De Telegraaf 16 februari 1990.

Auteur onbekend, Fotoprijs voor Ad van Denderen, in Het Parool 24 december 1990

Auteur onbekend, z.t., in NRC Handelsblad 29 december 1990.

Catalogus Fotofestival Naarden 18 mei t /m 9 juni 1991, Naarden (Fotofestival Naarden) 1991, p. 38-39.

Ingeborg Leijerzapf e.a. (tekst), Het beslissende beeld. Hoogtepunten uit de Nederlandse fotografie van de 20e eeuw, Amsterdam (BIS) 1991, p. 47, 189.

Herman Hoeneveld, Ad van Denderen. Capi-Lux Alblas Prijs 1990, in P/F Professionele Fotografie (1991) 2, p. 59-66 (met foto’s).

P. van Brummelen, Van Denderen kiest voor mensen die klappen krijgen, in Het Parool 13 maart 1991.

C. Straus, Met de ogen van een kind, in Trouw 14 maart 1991.

Elzeline van Amerongen, Ad van Denderen: ‘sfeerplaatjes interesseren me niet’, in Avenue 26 (april 1991) 4, p. 101-102.

H. van Gelder, Ad van Denderen: “De factor tijd is mijn kracht”, in De Journalist 26 april 1991.

E. van den Boomgaard, Foto’s tonen betrokkenheid met Zuid-Afrika, in de Volkskrant 11 november 1991.

C. Straus, Kunstboek, in Trouw 21 november 1991.

Anneke van Veen (red.), Foto’s voor de stad 72-91. Amsterdamse documentaire foto-opdrachten 1972-1991, Amsterdam (Gemeentearchief Amsterdam) 1992, ongepag.

R. Bos, Spanningen in Welkom, een stadje in Oranje Vrijstaat, in de Volkskrant 11 januari 1992.

D. Koning en W. Kuipers, Ik wil begrijpen wat er gebeurt, in de Volkskrant 18 april 1992.

Catalogus Fotofestival Naarden, Naarden (Fotofestival Naarden) 1993.

S. Postma, Treffend beeld van ellendige omstandigheden medemensen, in Enkhuizer Courant 17 maart 1994.

Mirjam Keunen, Rotterdam als fotostad, in Algemeen Dagblad 29 september 1994.

Ton Hendriks, Beeldspraak. Fotografie als visuele communicatie, Amsterdam (Focus Publishing BV) 1995, p. 77.

Ursula den Tex, Fotografen/journalisten. De fotogeschiedenis van Vrij Nederland 1966-1990, Amsterdam (Amsterdam University Press) 1995, p. 136.

Irma van Bommel, Bestandcatalogus fotografie twintigste-eeuw, Rijswijk (Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst) 1996, deel 1, inleiding, p. 49-50.

Sipke van de Peppel, In gesprek met… reportagefotograaf Ad van Denderen, in Foto+Doka, Praktisch maandblad voor fotografie en doka (februari 1996) 2, p. 47-49.

Catalogus Fotofestival Naarden, Naarden (Fotofestival Naarden) 1997, p. 12, 25, 82, 133.

Eddie Marsman, Een paar geweldfoto’s is voldoende, in NRC Handelsblad 25 juni 1997.

Frits Baarda, Boeken. Peace in the Holy Land, in Focus (september 1997) 9, p. 88.

Catalogus tent. SubUrban Options. Opdrachtfotografïe en het verstedelijkende landschap/Photography commissions and the urbanization of landscape, Rotterdam (Nederlands Foto Instituut) 1998.

Josephine van Bennekom, Platteland in perspektief. Foto’s van de Hoeksche Waard, in Foto 54 (juni 1999) 6, p. 56-59 (met foto’s).


GKf, vanaf 1968-heden.


1981 Tweede prijs categorie Documentaires, wedstrijd De Zilveren Camera 1981.

1982 Eerste en derde prijs categorie Documentaires en derde prijs categorie De mens en zijn leven, wedstrijd De Zilveren Camera 1982.

1983 Tweede prijs categorie De mens en zijn leven, wedstrijd De Zilveren Camera 1983.

14 maart 1991 Capi-Lux Alblas prijs 1990.

1996 W. Eugene Smith runner-up Grant in humanistic photography van het International Center of Photography in New York.


1967 (e) Zeist, Slot Zeist, Fotoimpressies (rondreizende tentoonstelling van de Nederlandse Kunststichting: 1968 Amersfoort (Expositieruimte Muurhuizen), Maassluis (Gemeentemuseum) en 1969 Maarsbergen (Projekt Maarsbergen, Haarweg 13)).

1973 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Groepsfoto. Fotografen GKf.

1977 (g) Amsterdam, Canon Photo Gallery, Ad van Denderen en Rob Buitenman.

1979 (g) Amsterdam, Museum Fodor, Huizen van bewaring.

1979 (g) Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Aspecten hedendaagse, fotografie.

1980 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, GKf beroepsvereniging van fotografen, V.E.S. vereniging van edelsmeden en sieraadontwerpers.

1981 (g) Amsterdam, Museum Fodor, De stad in zwart/wit. Vijf jaar Amsterdamse dokumentaire foto-opdrachten.

1981 (e) Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, De Turkse samenleving.

ca. 1981/1982 (g) De Zilveren Camera.

1982 (g) Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Turken in Amsterdam.

1982 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, GKf fotografen exposeren.

1982 (g) Amsterdam (Nederlandse Kunststichting), Geen commentaar. Fotografen als ooggetuigen van agressie en geweld (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1982/1983 (g) Amsterdam, De Zonneruiter, De Zilveren Camera.

1983 (g) Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch museum, Foto’s voor de stad. Amsterdamse documentaire foto-opdrachten 1981-1982.

1983/1984 (g) Amsterdam, De Zonneruiter, De Zilveren Camera.

1985 (g) Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Vijf eeuwen buitenlanders in Amsterdam.

1985 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk museum, Wat Amsterdam betreft.

1985 (e) Breda, De Beyerd, Reportage.

1985 (e) Breda, De Beyerd, Ad van Denderen. Fotograaf.

1986 (g) Amsterdam, Canon Image Centre, Reisfotografie.

1986 (g) Amsterdam, Focus on Photography (Utrechtsestraat 131), 24 uur Amsterdam (Foto ’86).

1986 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 100 meter foto in het Stedelijk.

1987 (e) Amsterdam, Boekhandel De Verbeelding, Zuid-Afrika.

1987 (e) Amsterdam, Focus on Photography, De Koerden in Oost-Turkije.

1988 (g) Amsterdam, Stadhouderskade 6, Stipendia 86-87.

1988 (e) Amsterdam, Vlaams Cultureel Centrum, Mannen van de mijn (rondreizende tentoonstelling: Brussel en Genk).

1989 (g) Amsterdam, Focus on Photography, Oranje Wimpel. Hedendaagse Nederlandse fotografie (Foto 89).

1989 (e) Aalter, Zuid-Afrika.

1989 (g) Enschede, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Engelse en Nederlandse fotografie (Foto Biennale Enschede).

1990 (g) Amsterdam, Galerie De Moor, De multiculturele samenleving als inspiratiebron.

1990 (e) Den Haag, Museon, Mannen van de mijn.

1990/1991 (g) Amsterdam, Canon Image Centre, Op Reportage – 25 jaar Avenue-reisfotografie.

1991 (g) Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk, Het beslissende beeld. Hoogtepunten uit de Nederlandse fotografie van de 20e eeuw.

1991 (e) Amsterdam, Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen, (tentoonstelling t.g.v. Capi-Lux Alblas Prijs).

1991 (g) Naarden, Fotofestival Naarden.

1992 (g) Londen, National Portrait Gallery, ici photography awards 1992 (idem in Bradford, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television).

1992 (e) Rotterdam, Galerie Fotomania, Welkom in Suid-Afrika.

1993 (g) Den Haag, Grote of Sint Jacobskerk, Kinderen van de wereld gezien door Nederlandse fotografen.

1993 (g) Naarden, (op vestingwallen), Zicht op Europa (Fotofestival Naarden).

1994 (g) Hoorn, Fotogalerij Oog van Hoorn, Ook al is het gras platgelopen, je probeert toch bij de wortels te komen.

1994 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, Photo International Rotterdam.

1996 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Scanning.

1997 (e) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Het beloofde land.

1997 (g) Naarden, Grote Kerk, Erfgenamen van de twintigste eeuw/Today ‘s Children, Tomorrow ‘s Heirs (Fotofestival Naarden).

1998 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, Airport. Het vliegveld in de fotografie.

1998 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, Kurdistan. In the Shadow of History.

1998 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, SubUrban Options. Opdrachtfotografie en het verstedelijkende landschap.

1998/1999 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Architectuur Instituut, De ontdekking van de Hoeksche Waard (i.k.v. manifestatie Architecture International Rotterdam: AIR-Zuidwaarts/Southbound).

1999 (g) Athene, Hellenic American Foundation, Kurdistan. In the Shadow of History.

1999 (g) Graz, Forum Stadtpark, Asylee in Europe.

1999 (g) Naarden, 99 jaar Nederlandse fotografie (Fotofestival Naarden).

1999-2000 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Architectuurinstituut, Europees spoor. De Nederlandse aansluiting op het netwerk van de hogesnelheidstrein.


1980 Het leven van een misdadiger (documentaire van Ad van Denderen en Remmelt Lukkien).

Radio programs

1982 (5 april) Omnibus (kunstrubriek) (NOS).

1989 (kunstrubriek van Theo Stokkink).

1997 (december) Theo uit den Boomgaard (NPS).

1999 (13 mei) Tijdsein (EO).

1999 (juni) VPRO aan de Amstel (VPRO).

Television programs

1979 Alles is anders show (interview met Ad van Denderen door Aad van den Heuvel) (KRO).

1988 (23 mei) Er is meer tussen hemel en aarde (KRO/RKK).

1991 (11 november) Welkom in Zuid-Afrika (Humanistisch Verbond).

ca. 1992 (programma over Albanië) (IKON).

1998/1999 Netwerk (serie over asielzoekers).


Amsterdam, Ad van Denderen, mondelinge informatie.

Leusden, Jan Wingender.

Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut (nu Nederlands Fotomuseum), bibliotheek.

Utrecht, Universiteitsbibliotheek.

Utrecht, Karen Duking (ongepubliceerde doctoraalscriptie kunstgeschiedenis: Ad van Denderen, documentaire fotograaf. Een studie naar beeldvorming, Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht 1998).


Amsterdam, Gemeentearchief.

Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum.

Bradford, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television.

Den Haag, Instituut Collectie Nederland. Graz, Forum Stadtpark.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet Universiteit Leiden.

Leiden, Stichting Fonds Anna Cornelis.

Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.