PhotoLexicon, Volume 22, nr. 37 (September 2005) (en)

Frans Huijsser

Željana Pancirov


Like his younger brothers Johan and Henri, Frans Huijsser was among a group of amateur photographers who played an important role at the time of Dutch Pictorialism. The Huijssers were merchants by trade, running the family company E&A Scheer, an import dealer of distilled goods. Frans Huijsser was an active board member and organiser of exhibitions at the HAFC (Haarlemsche Amateur Fotografen Club, ‘Haarlem Amateur Photographers Club’). In his photography, he was praised chiefly for his charming winter landscapes, but his work has only been preserved in a few publications.




Franciscus Josephus Maria (Frans) Huijsser is born on 27 March in Amsterdam, as the first of eleven children in the Huijsser family. Frans’ father, Gerardus Hendricus Huijsser, is a merchant working at the family business, E&A Scheer, located in Amsterdam. Frans’ mother is Wilhelmina Elisabeth Maria Gompertz.

Ca. 1866

Frans Huijsser becomes friends with Ignatius Bispinck (1860–1924). In 1900, Huijsser mentions this childhood friendship in an article about Bispinck, which he writes for the magazine Lux.


On 18 July, Frans’ brother, Johan Franciscus Joseph (Johan), is born in Bloemendaal. On 31 July, the Huijsser family moves to Nieuwe Heerengracht 95 (Neighbourhood V, Ring 3) in Amsterdam.

Ca. 1870–‘71

Ignatius Bispinck teaches Frans how to take photographs with a self-built camera and how to make prints on albumen paper (see Lux 1895, p. 160 and Lux 1900, p. 332). Frans and his younger brother, Johan, will later collaborate frequently with Bispinck, as well influencing one another’s work.


On 22 October, the youngest son of the Huijsser family is born in Amsterdam. His name is Henri Eugène Joseph (Henri). He too will later become interested in photography, just as his brothers Frans and Johan. Not much is known about Henri Huijsser’s achievements in photography, other than that he makes glass lantern slide plates in his free time, as well taking part in the same exhibitions together with his brothers. He is known as ‘the third Huijsser’ and remains in the background of the Dutch photography world. Henri Huijsser dies on 21 September 1953 in Haarlem.


G.H. Huijsser, Frans’ father, dies on 8 March. Wilhelmina Huijsser, Frans’ mother, takes over the running of the family business, E&A Scheer. Frans and Johan assist their mother to the best of their ability, but become more active in the company only at a later stage.


On 29 September, Wilhelmina Huijsser arrives with her four daughters and two sons at the city of Valkenburg aan de Geul. They settle at an unknown address. Wilhelmina Huijsser’s profession is stated for the first (and the last) time as ‘rentmeester’ (an administrator), as listed next to her name in the civil registry.

On 13 October, Wilhelmina Huijsser registers with the city of Maastricht, together with the same children. They family resides together at Boschstraat 1221 until 30 May 1885.


On 28 August, Frans Huijsser is one of four witnesses at the marriage of his brother Johan to Augustina Routs in Bloemendaal.


From the marriage of Frans Huijsser and Clara Elisabeth Sofïe Jacobsen (born in Düsseldorf, Germany, on 26 January 1862 as the daughter of the painter Sophus Jacobsen; the year of Frans and Clara’s marriage is unknown), a daughter is born in Bloemendaal on 27 August, Elisabeth Clara (Betsy). (Betsy dies in Spremberg, Germany, on 14 April 1961.)


The Photographisch Jaarboek (‘Photographic Yearbook’) of 1892 publishes a list of photography assocations in the Netherlands. F.J.M. Huijsser of Overveen is cited as the chairman of the HAFC (Haarlemsche Amateur-Fotografen Club, ‘Haarlem Amateur Photographers Club’), founded on 26 January 1891. It is not known if Huijsser served in this function at the time of the club’s founding. The Weekblad voor Fotografie (‘Weekly of Photography’) of 1896 (p. 58) still refers to him as chairman, but also as the chairman of the ‘Regelingscommissie’ (‘organising committee’) for the Internationale Tentoonstelling ter Bevordering der Fotografie (‘International Exhibition for the Promotion of Photography’), which is held in Haarlem from 16 to 26 May. Frans’ brother, Henri, is also on the organising committee. It is not known for how long Frans Huijsser remains chairman of the board.


Frans Huijsser publishes an article in the Photografisch Jaarboek, entitled ‘Iets over clubtochten’ (‘Something about Club Excursions’). He complains about the club members’ lack of participation and the attitude of those members who, during a club excursion, would rather remain sitting in a café than venturing out to take photographs. Moreover, there are various members who, when photographing, are spending too much time looking to see which places the best amateurs choose and subsequently taking their photos from the very same spot. Huijsser argues for club sanctions in order to achieve better results.


Frans Huijsser is a jury member for the Internationale Tentoonstelling tot Bevordering der Fotografie, held from 25 March to 8 April in Maastricht.

In the same year, Frans, Johan, and Henri Huijsser take part in the Internationale Tentoonstelling tot Bevordering der Fotografie, held from 2 to 10 June in Groningen. Frans exhibits snow landscapes here.


On 3 January, at a membership meeting of the HAFC, Maurits Binger commemorates Frans Huijsser’s and Ignatius Bispinck’s twenty-fifth year of having worked as amateur photographers. At this ‘huldiging’ (honorary celebration), Frans is referred to as ‘the producer of the most beautiful moon landscape’.

In the magazine Lux, Frans Huijsser of Overveen is cited as having been appointed as a committee member of the ‘Onderlinge Amateur-Fotografen-Vereeniging “Rondreisportefeuille”‘ (‘Mutual Amateur Photographers Association “Excursion Portfolio”‘), representing Haarlem (p. 256–257).

Huijsser’s submission of glass lantern slide plates depicting winter landscapes to the Internationale Fotografie Tentoonstelling (‘International Photography Exhibition’), which is held from 8 to 22 September in the ‘Militiezaal’ (‘Militia Hall’) in Amsterdam, is judged as exceptionally well done by J. van Geuns, the critic of the Tijdschrift der Photographie (‘Magazine of Photography’).

Ca. 1898–1909

During this period, Frans Huijsser is intensively involved in the running of the family company, E&A Scheer, together with his brother Johan. In 1898, Johan becomes the company’s director and Frans works as a business partner. In about 1909, Frans Huijsser leaves the family business for various reasons, including an alcohol problem. In all likelihood, he moves to Germany.


On 8 June, the Huijsser brothers’ mother, Wilhelmina E.M. Huijsser-Gompertz, dies.


In May, landscape shots taken by Frans Huijsser in the ‘Fore-Eifel’ region in Germany are published in the magazine Buiten. Geïllustreerd weekblad aan het buitenleven gewijd (‘Outdoors. Illustrated Weekly Devoted to the Outdoor Life’).


Frans Huijsser dies on 19 June in Mershauzen, near Freiburg (Germany).


Primary bibliography

Frans Huijsser, Iets over clubtochten, in Fotografisch Jaarboek 3 (1893-1894), p. 84-88.

F.J.M. Huijsser, Ingezonden stukken, in “Lux” 5 (april 1894) 7, p. 244.

Frans Huijsser, Onderlinge Amateur-Fotografen-Vereniging “Rondreisportefeuille”, [etc], in “Lux” 6 (1 april 1895) 7, p. 256-258.

Frans Huijsser, Ingezonden stukken, in “Lux “7 (1 juni 1896) 6, p. 370-371.

Frans J.M. Huijsser, Iets over den Voorzitter der A.-F.-V. in zijne prilste fotojaren, in “LUX” 11 (1900), p. 332-334 (met foto’s).


(foto ‘s in boeken, tijdschriften en ander drukwerk)

Fotografisch Jaarboek 4 (1895), na p. 48.

Foto-album. Een verzameling van 36 reproductiën in fototypie naar fotogrammen van de Internationale Tentoonstelling voor Fotografie. Amsterdam 8-22 sept. 1895, Amsterdam (Steendrukkerij voorheen Amand) 1896.

Buiten. Geïllustreerd weekblad aan het buitenleven gewijd 6 (30 maart 1912) 13, p. 147.

Buiten. Geïllustreerd weekblad aan het buitenlevengewijd 6 (11 mei 1912) 19, p. 226-227.

Secondary bibliography

Anoniem, Photographische Vereenigingen, in Photographisch Jaarboek 1892, p. 21-23.

Meinard van Os, Internationale Tentoonstelling tot bevordering der Fotografie, te Utrecht van 1-10 oktober 1893, in “Lux” 5 (oktober 1893) i,p. 29-31.

Anoniem, Lijst der bekroonden, in Weekblad voor Fotografie 1 (27 maart 1894) 12 a, ongepag.

Anoniem, Tentoonstelling Maastricht, in Weekblad voor Fotografie 1 (31 maart 1894) 13, p. 58.

Meinard van Os, Internationale Tentoonstelling tot bevordering der Fotografie, uitgeschreven door de Afdeeling Beeldende Kunsten der Sociëteit Momus te Maastricht, [etc], in “Lux” 5 (april 1894) 7, p. 220-226.

Anoniem, Amateur Photographen-Vereeniging “Daguerre”. [etc], in “Lux” 5 (juni 1894) 9, p. 322-324.

Anoniem, Amateur-Photographen-Vereeniging “Daguerre”. [etc], in Weekblad voor Fotografie 1 (2 juni 1894) 22a, ongepag.

Anoniem, De Internationale Fotografietentoonstelling te Groningen, in Weekblad voor Fotografie 1 (9 juni 1894) 23, p. 100-102.

Anoniem, Officieele lijst der bekroningen [tentoonstelling Arnhem], in “Lux” 5 (16 juli 1894) 11, p. 371-372.

Draniem, St. Nicolaas-avond te Haarlem, in “Lux” 6 (1 januari 1895) 4, p. 124-125.

Van Geuns, Oorspronkelijke mededeelingen. Internationale Fotografie-Tentoonstelling te Amsterdam (Vervolg), in Tijdschrift voor Photographie 23 (1895) , p. 149-154.

Anoniem, Haarlemsche Amateur-Fotografen-Club te Haarlem, in “Lux” 6 (1 februari 1895) 5, p. 160-161.

J.R.A. Sch. [=J.R.A. Schouten], Opening der Internationale Fotografie-Tentoonstelling te Amsterdam, in “Lux” 6 (15 september 1895) 12a, p. 479-482.

Anoniem, Internationale Fotografie-Tentoonstelling. Amsterdam, 8-22 september, in “Lux “6 (15 september 1895) 12a, p. 483-489.

Anoniem, Redactiepraatje, in Weekblad voor Fotografie 3 (31 januari 1896) 5, p. 29.

Anoniem, Internationale Tentoonstelling ter Bevordering der Fotografie, in Weekblad voor Fotografie 3 (28 februari 1896) 9, p. 58.

Anoniem, De Fotografie-Tentoonstelling te Haarlem, in Weekblad voor Fotografie 3 (22 mei 1896) 21, p. 137-138.

I.Th. Leijerzapf (red.), Fotografie in Nederland 1839-1920, Den Haag (Staatsuitgeverij) 1978, p. 98.

Foppe Post, Associatie, Amsterdam 1987. Jet Slagter, Henk Wierenga en Noortje Enderman, Bloemendaal voor de lens.

Ignatius Bispinck en het gemeentelijk fotoarchief, Haarlem (Schuyt & Co.) 1998, p. 11.


Amateur-Fotografen Vereeniging te Amsterdam.

Haarlemsche Amateur-Fotografen-Club (voorzitter 1892-1896).

Jury, Internationale tentoonstelling tot bevordering der fotografie, uitgeschreven door de Afdeeling Beeldende Kunsten der Sociëteit Momus te Maastricht, Maastricht 1894.

Bestuur, Onderlinge Amateur-Fotografen-Vereeniging “Rondreisportefeuille”, vanaf februari 1895.

Regelingscommissie Internationale Tentoonstelling ter Bevordering der Fotografie, Haarlem 1896 (voorzitter).


1894 Bronzen medaille, Internationale Fotografie-Tentoonstelling, Arnhem (gezamenlijke inzending Johan, Frans en Henri Huijsser).

1894 Diploma, Internationale Ausstellung für Amateur-Photographie (onderdeel van: Thüringer Gewerbe- und Industrie-Ausstellung), Erfurt.

1894 Eervolle vermelding, Internationale Tentoonstelling tot Bevordering der Photographie (Amateur Photographen-Vereeniging “Daguerre”), Groningen.

1895 Bronzen medaille, Internationale Tentoonstelling voor Fotografie (AFV Amsterdam), Amsterdam.

1895 Diploma van de Haarlemsche Amateur Fotografen Club t.g.v. zijn 25-jarigjubileum als amateurfotograaf, 3 januari 1895.


1893 (g) Utrecht, Parkzaal Tivoli, Internationale Tentoonstelling tot bevordering der Fotografie.

1894 (g) Arnhem, Musis Sacrum, Internationale Fotografie-Tentoonstelling.

1894 (g) Erfurt, Internationale Ausstellung für Amateur-Photographie (onderdeel van: Thüringer Gewerbe-und Industrie-Ausstellung).

1894 (g) Groningen, De Harmonie, Internationale Tentoonstelling tot Bevordering der Photographie.

1895 (g) Amsterdam, Militiezaal, Internationale Tentoonstelling voor Fotografie (AFV Amsterdam).

1896 (g) Haarlem, Sociëteit “Vereeniging”, Internationale Tentoonstelling ter Bevordering der Fotografie [t.g.v. 5-jarig bestaan van Haarlemsche Amateur-Fotografen-Club] .


Leiden, Studie en Documentatie Centrum voor Fotografie, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden (o.a. ongepubliceerd werkstuk kunstgeschiedenis, Projectgroep Naturalisme in de Nederlandse fotografie: Željana Pancirov, Huijsser. Johan, Frans en Henri, Universiteit Leiden, 2004).