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

Evert Verschuur

Tessa Hillebrants


Evert Verschuur’s career is likely to have originated at the Herz photography studio in Amsterdam. He is thought to have worked there as a photographic assistant. From 1903 until his death in 1909, Verschuur ran an independent studio specialised in portrait photography under his own name. Little has been preserved of what is already a modest-sized oeuvre. Verschuur’s photographic legacy consists of professional carte-de-visite portraits, intimate family portraits, and a single outdoor shot.




Evert Verschuur is born on 30 September at ‘house no. 10’ in ‘s-Graveland (the small neighbourhood communities around the Ankeveense Plassen [an area of lakes] are not set up according to street name. Homes are indicated solely by means of a house number). Evert is the first child born from the marriage of the boat captain Willem Verschuur and Willemijntje Hoetmer.


Over a period of twenty-five years, the Verschuur family resides at fifteen different addresses, to which they move on the following dates:

Ankeveen, house no. 28 (30 July 1877)

Ankeveen, house no. 24 (Fall 1879)

Weespercarspel, ‘s Graveland Schovaart 107 (11 October 1880)

Nederhorst den Berg, house no. 159B (24 March 1881)

Weesp, Achtergracht D31 (2 June 1882)

Amsterdam, Quellijnstraat 129 (18 September 1883)

Amsterdam, Pieter de Vlamingstraat 44 (June 1884)

Amsterdam, De Wittenstraat 54 (December 1885)

Amsterdam, De Wittenstraat 62 (February 1889)

Amsterdam, Eerste Nassaustraat 26 (1 December 1889 )

Amsterdam, De Wittenstraat 60 (September 1890)

Amsterdam, Tweede Nassaustraat 3 (8 February 1893)

Amsterdam, Kinkerstraat 94 (14 June 1894)

Amsterdam, Nassaukade 339 (28 July 1896)

Amsterdam, Bilderdijkstraat 115 I (13 September 1897)


Following Evert’s birth, nine more children are born into the Verschuur family: Neeltje (6 September 1878), Jannetje (18 December 1879), Koenraad (28 May 1881), Coenraad (19 August 1882), Neeltje (16 January 1884), Jansje (5 July 1885), Hendrik (19 September 1886), Femma (12 March 1888), and Hendrika (15 May 1889).


Willem Verschuur and Willemijntje Hoetmer divorce on 4 June 1896, based on a judgement of the district court in Amsterdam. For a brief time, Willem Verschuur continues to live on the Haarlemmer Houttuinen in Amsterdam, but soon after departs for Groningen, disappearing out of the family’s life for good. On 11 December, the German-born Afra Uhl arrives from Karlsruhe, Germany, in Amsterdam, where she settles at Herengracht 80. The Herz photography studio and the photographer Sigmund Löw are located at this same address.


As of 4 March, Afra Uhl is registered with the Amsterdam civil registry under the name of Sigmund Löw, for whom she works as a a maid-servant.

On 23 March, Evert Verschuur and Afra Uhl wed. The couple moves into a home on the third floor of Potgieterstraat 63. When changing his home address with the city, Verschuur states his profession as photographer.

The Amsterdam public record office cites Verschuur as being subordinate to a boss. While the location of his work as a photographer is not known, it is reasonable to assume that this was either at the Herz studio or with the photographer Löw.


Verschuur and Uhl’s first daughter, Willemijntje, is born on 13 March in Amsterdam. Starting on 26 April, Evert Verschuur and his family live on the first floor at Bilderdijkstraat 115 in Amsterdam, where his mother, brother Coenraad, and his sister Hendrika are still living at this time. One month later, the latter three family members move to Leiden.

Verschuur’s daughter, Willemijntje, dies on 7 August.


On 15 April, a second daughter is born to Verschuur and Uhl. Like her deceased sister, she too is named Willemijntje.


On 10 December, Verschuur becomes a father for the third time with the birth of his daughter Anna.


On 10 September, Evert Verschuur and his family move to Landstraat 55A in Bussum (later Landstraat 57). Verschuur’s youngest sister, Hendrika, moves with them. Starting on 20 September, Willemijntje Hoetmer, her twenty-one-year-old son Coenraad, and her eighteen year-old daughter Jansje move in temporarily with the Verschuur family in Bussum.

They depart one week later, moving into a rental apartment at Veerlaan 18 in Bussum, where they remain for eight months, prior to returning to Amsterdam.


During this period, Evert and Coenraad Verschuur stay in contact with members of the spiritist group centred around Frederik van Eeden in the colony Walden. They have many mutual friends, including the artist Jan Veth. By the family’s own account, Verschuur photographs spiritual phenomena under the influence of these friends and acquaintances, including the appearance of spirit manifestations. The results of these experiments have not been preserved.


Evert Verschuur’s daughter Anna dies on 30 April. The home address on her death certificate is Veerlaan 18 in Bussum, with her father’s stated profession as photographer. This document is the only existing verification of the family’s move from the Landstraat to the Veerlaan. This change of address is not listed at the civil registry of Bussum.

For this reason, the exact date on which Verschuur moves to this address and from what date he begins running his studio specialised in portrait photography under the name ‘E. Verschuur’ are not known. The former photographic assistant of Coenraad Verschuur recalls that Evert is likely to have set up a photography studio on the ground floor and most certainly in the basement of Veerlaan 18. The studio consists of a reception room, a room for taking photos, and a space for film developing. According to the city archive of Bussum, Willemijntje Hoetmer leaves Veerlaan 18 in Bussum on 2 May and departs for Amsterdam, together with her son Coenraad and her daughter Jansje. Upon registering with the city of Amsterdam, Coenraad states his profession as photographer. Three days later, Hendrika registers with the city of Amsterdam.


On 22 June, Evert Verschuur’s sister Hendrika returns to the house in Bussum. According to the public record office, this time she is listed not as his sister, but as his daughter.

In June, Evert’s brother Coenraad starts up his own independent photography studio in Hilversum. Anna, Evert Verschuur’s fourth daughter—named after her deceased sister—is born on 7 August. On 11 September, the Veerlaan is paved, with the name subsequently changed to the ‘Veerstraat’ shortly after.

On 20 October, Hendrika departs for Hilversum.


On 21 November, Evert Verschuur and Afra Uhl’s daughter, Anna, dies from complications related to meningitis at the age of one-and-a-half years, most likely the result of an unfortunate fall. Frightened by ball lightning in the room, the nanny taking care of Anna drops the child in such a manner that she hits her head on a metal bed frame.


Evert Verschuur enrols both his brother Coenraad and himself in the exhibition Internationale Tentoonstelling van Fotografische Kunst (‘International Exhibition of Photographic Art’), held at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and organised by the NAFV (Nederlandse Amateur Fotografen Vereniging, ‘Netherlands Amateur Photographers Association’). Under the name of ‘E. & C. Verschuur, Bussum-Hilversum’, they submit six large carbon prints and six cabinet card photos, which are placed on exhibit. This exhibition in the rooms of the Stedelijk Museum is photographed, likely by one of its organisers, either Ignatius Bispinck or his assistant Johan Bickhoff. The shots are preserved at the NAFV (transferred to the Leiden University Print Room in 1973, inv. no. 73.114). These photos depict works such as the Verschuur brothers’ carbon prints: portraits of family and friends. Willemijntje Verschuur, Evert Verschuur’s seven-year-old daughter, is among those portrayed. In contrast to Coenraad’s dark portraits of his family-in-law, Willemijntje’s portrait is executed in light tones against a dark background.


On 23 January, Evert Verschuur dies at the home on the Veerstraat following a lengthy sickbed. According to Verschuur’s death certificate, the official cause of death is a lung infection, but he is also likely suffering from tuberculosis.

On 25 March, Coenraad Verschuur and his wife Henriëtte move to Veerstraat 18. They move in with Afra Uhl, Evert Verschuur’s widow, and her daughter, Willemijntje.

Coenraad Verschuur registers with the city of Bussum as an independent photographer.


On 1 May, Afra Uhl and Willemijntje move to Boerhaavelaan 6 in Bussum, where she opens a guesthouse. Uhl removes several family photos dear to her from the house on the Veerstraat. These photographs form the core of Evert Verschuur’s remaining oeuvre.

One part of Verschuur’s oeuvre is preserved in the collection of the Leiden University Print Room, with the remainder held in the possession of Evert Verschuur’s great-grandchildren. It consists of carte-de-visite portraits and cabinet card photos depicting clients and family members, as well as a large quantity of carbon prints depicting Evert Verschuur’s daughters. Both the carte-de-visite portraits and cabinet card photos are furnished with Verschuur’s signature or with the embossing ‘E. Verschuur, Bussum’. Only one large carbon print has been signed by Evert Verschuur. The remaining carbon prints—for which it is impossible to verify whether they were made by Evert or Coenraad with full certainty—are attributed to Evert Verschuur, based on the fact that Afra Uhl had taken them with her as family possessions.


Secondary bibliography

(publicaties over de fotograaf en/of zijn werk)

Catalogus der Internationale Tentoonstelling van Foto-Kunst, Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum) 1908, p. 40.

A, De Internationale Tentoonstelling van Fotografische Kunst in het Stedelijk Museum, in “Lux” 19 (15 augustus 1908) l6, p. 395-412.


1908 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Internationale Tentoonstelling van Fotografische Kunst (Salon 1908) (gezamenlijke inzending Evert en Coenraad Verschuur).


Leiden, Afra Wamsteker.

Leiden, Studie en Documentatie Centrum voor Fotografie, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.

Utrecht, Steven Wachlin.


Leiden, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.