PhotoLexicon, Volume 28, nr. 44 (October 2011) (en)

Harm Botman

Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf

Joke Pronk


Harm Botman is active in the Dutch photography world in various ways, as a photographer and designer, as an initiator and designer of photography exhibitions and books, and as a master printer of black-and-white photography for photographers, museums, and collectors. In the mid-1980s, he actively worked to preserve the Spaarnestad Photo Archive and was a co-founder and board member of the Nederlands Foto- & Grafisch Centrum (‘Netherlands Photo and Graphics Centre’) in Haarlem. As a photographer, Botman has built an archive that, in addition to commissioned photography, largely comprises photos related to his own life. He likes to present his photos in the form of series. In recent years, important elements from his life—photography, birds, and flying—have come together in his work. Botman today shoots photos with success by means of a camera affixed beneath a small, self-built model airplane.




Harm Botman is born on 8 June at the carriage house of the country estate Woestduin in Vogelenzang (municipality Bloemendaal) as the eldest son of Frederik Lodewijk (Frits) Botman and Hester Suyling. Harm’s father is the director of the insurance company ‘de Europeesche’—founded by Harm’s grandfather—after having served as first officer on the ship MS Bloemfontein. Harm’s mother is born from a relationship between Harm’s grandmother and the Rotterdam painter André Verhorst (1889-1977).


Harm’s brother Machiel is born, who will later also become a photographer.


Harm’s parents separate. The children are raised by their mother and grandmother.


Harm Botman begins taking photos, at first in his immediate surroundings at Woestduin. As an airplane spotter, he takes photos at Schiphol and the military airfields Valkenburg, Ypenburg, and Soesterberg, as well as a number of air bases outside the Netherlands. In 1967, he is arrested at the British airfield Lakenheath for this very reason.


Botman meets the photographer Ole Eshuis, who helps him set up his first darkroom in the attic at Woestduin. At the Christian HBS (Hogere Burgerschool, an upper-level secondary school) in Heemstede, Botman meets Carla Verwoerd, who becomes his girlfriend and later his life partner.


At the Kralingen pop music festival (26 to 28 June), Botman meets the French photographer Philippe Salaün, who invites him to come to Paris.

In September, Botman enrols in the five-year study programme at the ‘MTS voor fotografie en fototechniek’ (‘Intermediate Technical School for Photography and Photographic Technique’) in The Hague.


Botman meets Leo Divendal and sparks his enthusiasm for photography.


Halfway through his second year, Botman quits his study at the MTS for photography and starts up his own business as a photographer. Botman becomes a photography instructor at the Volksuniversiteit (‘People’s University’) of Haarlem. He also takes on reportage and portrait assignments for the magazines Panorama and Libelle, published by VNU (Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeversbedrijven, ‘United Netherlands Publishing Companies’) and also does portrait work for the ‘People’ modelling agency in Haarlem. In addition, Botman experiments with the gum printing technique.

At Woestduin, Botman meets the singer Carl Wilson of the American pop group The Beach Boys. In connection with recordings to be made for the album Holland, the band members and their families are seeking temporary living space in the Netherlands. One possibility is the empty country estate Woestduin, then under the ownership of Ger Oord, the director of EMI Holland (Electric and Musical Industries Ltd.).


Through their introduction to Carl Wilson, Harm and Machiel Botman become friends with Jack Rieley, a journalist, manager, and songwriter of The Beach Boys. In collaboration with Rieley, Machiel realises the extensive music project Western Justice, for which recordings are made in Heemstede and at Abbey Road Studios in London. Harm Botman designs and executes the entire album, which includes not only the LP record, but also a ‘Diary’ comprising daily journal fragments, all of the song lyrics, and photos. A gum print is used for the album cover.


In September, Harm Botman designs and makes a dummy for a book Kindertjes in de stad (‘Little Children in the City’), including an introduction written himself. Botman uses this dummy as a kind of showcase, i.e. an ‘exhibition for under the arm’. Every viewer signs his name on the back.


Botman leaves Woestduin and moves with Carla Verwoerd into the centuries-old former hotel ‘De Dorstige Kuil’ (‘The Thirsty Pithole’) at Koediefslaan 69 in Heemstede.


In the summer of 1976, Botman has his first solo exhibition of nudes at Café De Geus in Haarlem.

Botman produces an extensive series of photos shot at the Kareol country estate in Aerdenhout (built in 1908-1911 by the Swedish architect Anders Lundberg), nominated for demolition and actually torn down in 1979.


Botman realises a series of twelve classical music album covers for EMI-Holland, together with the artist Kees Verkade.


The artist Willem Snitker interviews artists for an art section in the monthly magazine Elegance. To accompany Snitker’s articles, Botman shoots photo portraits published as a diptych across two pages.


Botman attends the festival Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie (‘International Meetings of Photography’) in Arles, France, for the first time. Here he establishes contact with various photographers, including Robert Doisneau, Izis, Willy Ronis, and Jacques Henri Lartigue. Botman moves to Bloemendaal.


Botman spends four months in Paris assisting Philippe Salaün with setting up of his printing studio. Together they devise detailed methods to produce high-quality black-and-white baryta prints.


Botman completes a series of prints made from retrieved negatives dating back to his years as a teenager, shot together with his brother, parents, and friends. The photos are exhibited and published under the title Akke-serie 66-67. The series is acquired both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Botman and Paul Koning do the background projections for the performance Dominee Fluit … en als hij dat doet is hij zielsbedroefd (‘Pastor Whistles… And When He Does That He is Terribly Distressed’, about François Haverschmidt alias Piet Paaltjens) of the theatrical company Het Volk (‘The People’).


In September 1981, Botman begins renovating an old boiler house on his own at Bleekersvaart 21 in Heemstede, where he opens a new studio and darkroom one year later. His immediate neighbours are the artists Willem Snitker and Paul Koning, the music pedagogue Coby Riemersma, and later, the photographer Leo Divendal.


Atelier Philippe Salaün in Paris publishes Botman’s portfolio The Carli Series 66-82.


From 21 to 23 October, Botman and Salaün give a joint workshop at Botman’s studio, entitled ‘De optimale zwart/wit print’ (‘The Optimal Black/White Print’), under the auspices of the Canon Gallery in Amsterdam. Willem Snitker’s ‘De Bleeker Studio and Gallery’ in Heemstede publishes an artist’s portfolio, entitled 6 x 2 = 12, which includes the work of six artists and six writers/poets. For this publication, Botman produces a gum print in an edition of 100 copies, presented on a single page with a poem by Harry Mulisch. This portfolio is also acquired by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.


On assignment for the Rotterdam publishing company Uitgeverij Bébert, Botman realises a portfolio comprising twelve prints made from negatives originating from the oeuvre of the photographer Meinard Woldringh (1915-1968), in an edition of thirty-six copies.


The photographers Harm Botman, Taeke Henstra, and Piet van Leeuwen undertake steps to preserve the Spaarnestad Photo Archive for the city of Haarlem. The archive is threatened with being cast off and sold by the publishing company VNU. Wiek Röling, the city architect of Haarlem, acts primarily on Botman’s ideas, which ultimately lead to the official founding of the NF&GC (Stichting Nederlands Foto- & Grafisch Centrum, ‘Netherlands Photo & Graphics Centre Foundation’) in Haarlem.

Botman initiates and organises the exhibition Lartigue in Haarlem, an adapted version of Jacques Henri Lartigue’s retrospective, originally shown in France. Botman quits his teaching position in photography at the Volksuniversiteit of Haarlem.


As the initiator of a duotone section in Professionele Fotografie/P, Botman is an auxiliary member on the magazine’s editorial board.


Botman is responsible for introducing the initiative, devising the concept, and is in charge of the setting up and organisation of the exhibition Spaarnestad Fotoarchief Haarlem, Twee miljoen foto’s (‘Spaarnestad Photo Archive Haarlem, Two Million Photos’). He also compiles and designs the exhibition catalogue.

De Bleeker Studio and Gallery in Heemstede again publishes an artist’s portfolio, entitled 4 x 1 = 4. Four artists on the Blekersvaartweg in Heemstede contribute to this work: Willem Snitker, Harm Botman, Leo Divendal, and Jan Willem Post.


Botman’s son Isua is born.

Botman moves to Vogelenzang and is given access to a space in a former cheese warehouse at Houtmarkt 5 on the Spaarne River in Haarlem, which he renovates into a studio and darkroom. The building is part of the specialty printing firm Vernhout & Van Sluyters.


On behalf of the RKD (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, ‘Netherlands Institute for Art Historical Documentation’), the Ministry of WVC (Welzijn, Volksgezondheid en Cultuur, ‘Welfare, Public Health and Culture’) commissions Botman to make prints from the negatives archive (circa 1970 nitrate negatives) of the painter George Hendrik Breitner.

Botman is a co-organiser and devises the concept for the exhibition Breitner als fotograaf (‘Breitner as Photographer’), held at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem. Botman also produces the prints for the exhibition, as well as the prints for the accompanying book by Paul Hefting. The large prints are preserved at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.


Botman’s son Kuan is born.

The magazine Panorama commissions Botman to devise the concept for a ‘Special’ 80-page issue in the framework of ‘150 jaar fotografie’ (‘150 years of photography’). Botman also acts as this editor for this special issue.


Botman approaches the newspaper Haarlems Dagblad to address the omission of authorship citation when publishing photos. Following a heated exchange by letter, he manages to convince the newspaper to change its policy.


Botman’s daughter Sterre is born.

Botman realises the book Duinen (‘Dunes’), produced on assignment for the Gemeente Waterleidingen Amsterdam (‘Municipal Water Works Amsterdam’, presently Waternet). Botman takes the class ‘Determineren van historische fotografische en fotomechanische procedés’ (‘Determining Historical Photographic and Photomechanical Processes’), taught by Jan van Dijk and Johan de Zoete at the Leiden University Print Room.


As a designer and photography expert, Botman collaborates with the Leiden University Print Room on the realisation of two exhibitions: Juwelen uit een fotocollectie (‘Jewels from a Photo Collection’) for the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam; and Juwelen voor een fotomuseum (‘Jewels for a Photo Museum’) on behalf of the Teylers Museum in Haarlem. In both cases, Botman designs the exhibitions and the accompanying catalogues.


At the request of the photographer Rebekka Engelhard, Botman does the printing and design for her planned photobook Ommuurde Dromen (‘Walled-In Dreams’), on the topic of women in prison. Shortly before her death in 1999, Engelhard gives her approval of the dummy.


Together with Ingeborg Leijerzapf, the curator of photography at the Leiden University Print Room, Botman makes a selection of photos and devises the concept for the book Henri Berssenbrugge passie – energie – fotografie (‘Henri Berssenbrugge Passion – Energy – Photography’). On behalf of the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, he also realises the design and execution of a retrospective of Bersenbrugge’s work, which bears the same title.

Botman starts building small model airplanes for aerial photography.


Botman and his family move from Vogelenzang to the Molenstraat in Hillegom.


Botman renovates his home himself, as well incorporating a new studio space.

Starting in 2004, Botman regularly takes on assignments for aerial photography.


On assignment for Joost Elffers, son of the photographer Emmy Andriesse, Botman makes more than eighty large prints from a selection of Andriesse’s negatives shot in Sestri Levante, Italy, where an exhibition is to be held.


Botman devises the concept and is the organiser and designer for the exhibition Oorlog en Bevrijding in 3D. Foto’s van Den Haag van Wim Berssenbrugge (‘War and Liberation in 3D. Photos of The Hague by Wim Berssenbrugge’) at the Hague Historical Museum.


Botman shoots photos and film clips from his radiographically guided model airplane for the documentary Op de bres voor Amstelland (‘Standing Up for Amstelland’) by Jan Musch and Tijs Tinbergen, a production commissioned by the Stichting Beschermers Amstelland (‘ Protectors of Amstelland Foundation’) and NCRV Television.


As a photographer, Harm Botman has always followed his own path, as much in the way he approached and still approaches photography as his in his choice of subject matter. Photography in the context of clubs or associations was never of any interest to him. Having grown up in surroundings in which nature and sports were important elements, Botman evolved into a somewhat unruly young man, scarcely able to adapt to the restrictions of school and systematic studying. Botman’s style of photographing, quite often involving unexpected camera angles and techniques, communicates this independent and playful spirit. Nature and life itself are his teachers. In every area—as a birdwatcher, photographer, designer, carpenter, and model airplane builder—he can be described as an autodidact. Botman ‘inherited’ his interest in birds from his grandfather Botman, a skilled birdwatcher who was friends with the bird photographer Adolphe Burdet (1868-1940).

Botman’s desire to travel and his enterprising mind-set have taken him to every corner of the world, and have as well provided him with interesting friendships and contacts outside the Netherlands. Botman began traveling from a young age, even hitchhiking across the United States, and he still travels to this day. Curiosity is his motivation for visiting exotic places—whether or not in the company of like-minded (photographer) friends united in the ‘Groot Grondgaaien Genootschap’ (‘Great Ground Jay Society’), with a rare bird such as the ground jay occasionally serving as his excuse. Botman has travelled with his camera across the United States, Gambia, Senegal, Kazachstan, White Russia, Oman, and recently Cuba.

Harm Botman was born in the carriage house of the country estate Woestduin. He was raised in the non-conformist, artistic environment of his mother and grandmother, in which his mother’s brother, the designer Karel Suyling, likewise played a role. Suyling and the photographer Kees Pot were regular guests at Woestduin, where they also discussed their projects. As such, Botman learned the importance and meaning of design in a convivial manner. During his teen years, Botman began making journal-like, photographic annotations. Harm, his brother Machiel, their parents, and their best friends Matthijs and Frits Dijkstra, who were sons of a falconer, frequently relied on the camera to capture what they were experiencing in and around the house at Woestduin: thrilling boys’ adventures with airplanes, boats, birds of prey, dogs, and ‘Akke’, Harm’s tame jackdaw.

Fascinated by airplanes, Harm and Matthijs went on bike trips to different airfields, with their camera on hand. It was at the air force bases that Harm learned to photograph jetfighters with speed and sharpness. At the age of fifteen, he began printing his own photos. Photography came to be a more predominant factor in Botman’s life than his studies at the HBS (Hogere Burgerschool, an upper-level secondary school). The decision to attend the ‘MTS voor fotografie en fototechniek’ (‘Intermediate Technical School for Photography and Photographic Technique’) in The Hague therefore seemed the logical choice. It was there that he learned a great number of techniques during his first year. In his second year, he experienced his first encounter with the fine printing (‘edele’) processes—including the technique of gum printing—during theory classes taught by Paul Heyse. Because the school refused him permission to put this technique (‘which, after all, is out of date’) into practice, Botman quit the MTS without having completed his studies. Two years later, he paid a visit to the photo collection of the Leiden University Print Room, where he was shown original gum prints by the curator Ingeborg Leijerzapf. In the Print Room’s library, Botman proceeded to study the formulas and manuals that would enable him to achieve increasingly better results. It was through this meeting and his later collaboration with Leijerzapf that he developed an intense interest in historical photography collections.

Immediately after leaving the MTS, Botman began working as an autonomous photographer. At the request of the photographer Ted Dobson, he became an instructor at the Volksuniversiteit (‘People’s University’) in Haarlem. Under his guidance, one group of students managed to have a retrospective of their work exhibited at the Canon Photo Gallery in Amsterdam. Some of them went on to become photographers, including Piet Veel and Sjan Bijman. Dobson also introduced Botman at the publishing company VNU, which would subsequently commission him to shoot reportages and portraits for the VNU magazines Panorama and Libelle. He also photographed models from Cylia van Dijk’s modelling agency ‘People’ in the studio. During his early years as a photographer, Botman also took on commissions to photograph architecture and major building projects for companies such as Dura, a project developer based in Hoofddorp.

Botman photographs any subject close to his heart: nature, the (dune) landscape in which he grew up, family, colleagues, friends, his travels. His photos are every bit as documentary as they are accounts of his personal experiences. The book dummy Kindertjes in de stad (‘Little Children in the City’) is one example of Botman’s documentary interest. The manner in which he photographed children was striking—the opposite of what was as yet advised at this time, i.e. that children be photographed at their own eye-level. For years, Botman photographed mural advertising in French cities and villages. The kinds of letters used for these ads and the perishable state in which he typically found them inspired him to design and cut out an entire alphabet of ‘rain and wind letters’.

Another form of documentary photographer that Botman practices with passion, though rarely publishes, is pop music photography. Early shots of the Rolling Stones, The Who, Rod Stewart and The Faces, The Flying Burrito Brothers, the Bintangs, Alquin, Dutch and British pop music festivals—as well as groups of the Hells Angels ‘keeping watch’ at these festivals—can be found in Botman’s photo archive, which totals an estimated 90,000 shots. Botman recently photographed Gillian Welch and David Rawlings in both London and Paris.

Botman often was and still is the personal catalyst for various assignments, as is true of the aerial shots he currently takes for institutions charged with overseeing landscape in the Netherlands, including Staatsbosbeheer (‘National Forestry Service’), Landschap Noord-Holland (‘Landscape North Holland’), the Province of North Holland, and Waternet, the Dutch waterworks company. Just as with this new specialisation, in the past Botman was able create commissions through specialised skills, i.e. in his capacity as a photographer, a designer, an organiser of exhibitions, but also as someone capable of printing photos of images preserved in historical and contemporary negative collections.

From the very start, Botman has embraced a serial approach to various subjects and themes. From the age of fourteen, he began photographing his girlfriend and life partner, Carla Verwoerd. A selection of these photos was made for the portfolio The Carli Series 66-82, published in English and French by Atelier Philippe Salaün. In 1981, he compiled an almost film-like sequence for the Akke-serie (‘Akke Series’), using retrieved photos shot during his youth. In the format of diptychs and triptychs, Botman presented large gum prints depicting dune landscapes.

Gum prints form a special part of Botman’s autonomous work. As early as his schooling at the MTS, he was struck by the special printing techniques applied by pictorialists such as Henri Berssenbrugge, Adriaan Boer, Bernard Eilers, and Leonard Misonne. Later on, he studied their works in the collection of the Leiden University Print Room and undertook experiments of his own, thereby consulting old manuals on the gum printing technique. In 1975, Botman shot landscape photos in the village of Waterlandkerkje in Zeelandic Flanders, which he subsequently processed as sequences of gum prints. These were exhibited for the first time in the fall of 1976 at the De Bleeker Gallery on the Blekersvaartweg in Heemstede.

Botman’s interest in gum printing and the results he was able to achieve with the process drew the attention of the magazine Foto. The magazine’s editor, Wim Broekman, consequently asked Botman to write a modern-day manual. He was invited by Prof. E.J.G. Schermerhorn to work with the bromoil printing process at Schermerhorn’s home, while Johan de Zoete introduced him to the heliogravure technique. Nevertheless, Botman still views gum printing ‘as the most beautiful photographic technique ever’, because of the unparalleled strength and the deeply saturated tones that can be obtained with this process.

During his time on the Blekersvaart, Botman printed meters-high triptychs depicting the dunes of the Gemeente Waterleidingen Amsterdam (‘Municipal Water Works Amsterdam’, presently Waternet) in gum print. He was later commmissioned by the water works company to include these triptychs (which by this time had all been sold) in a booklet designed as a leporello.

As a consequence of his passion for the gum printing technique, Botman has developed a strong sense of the material and tactile aspects of the photographic medium. Not only is he fascinated by the richness of the old techniques, but also by the influence that time has on film material: the vulnerability of scratched and damaged images and negatives that have almost been lost. Being able to reflect on this highly relevant aspect of the medium is an important motivation for Botman’s involvement in photography.

A striking example of this reflection is the Akke series from 1981. It was in this year that Botman retrieved nine black-and-white films, filled with forgotten memories of his youth and containing images had once been taken together with his brother, parents, and friends. From the negatives that were found, Botman selected twenty-five sequences having a common theme: the experiences and fantasies of happy, spirited children, their dogs, and a tame jackdaw. He presented these shots both individually and as diptychs and triptychs: exactly in the order as they appeared on the original negative strips. Motion blur, apparent double images, a follow-up narrative, opposites: every kind of conceivable design element occurring in photography is found in this series. In addition, the Akke series tells the story of lost, forgotten, damaged, and in a certain sense amateur-like snapshots receiving renewed appreciation. Collectively, the old and new visual elements of this series formed a concept still unrecognisable as such in the early 1980s: a photographic artwork reflecting on one’s own personal history. The Akke series also garnered interest outside the Netherlands, with exhibitions held in Paris, Milan, Cardiff, and Barcelona, as well as an article in the magazine European Photography. In the Netherlands, the magazine Perspektief devoted attention to the exhibition.

Coinciding with his efforts in the gum printing technique, and as well thereafter, Botman turned to methods for high-quality black-and-white printing. He also specialised in the application of various toning baths (e.g. sepia, uranium, and selenium toners), in order to improve the seen and unseen quality of the black-and-white image. Botman acquired his knowledge of this métier along with the photographer Philippe Salaün. During a four-month stay in Paris, the two men worked together in setting up Salaün’s printing studio. All kinds of techniques, focusing on the treatment of fragile and valuable negative material carried out on a project basis, were tried out and closely examined. Botman and Salaün’s first major collaborative printing project concerned the work of Robert Doisneau. Hereafter, the duo was commissioned to print the negatives of Willy Ronis, Izis, Sedou Keïta, Malick Sidibé, and Jean Paul Pigozzi. In the period that he had his studio on the Blekersvaart in Heemstede (from 1982 on), Botman also began taking on printing projects in the Netherlands on the behalf of other photographers. His specialised knowledge of printing in black-and-white and historical photographic material was a good combination, enabling him to evolve into a highly venerated printer. Towards the end of the 1980s, Botman was commissioned by the Leiden University Print Room to print the negatives of Emmy Andriesse for publications and exhibitions. He studied her material as well as her style of photographing and printing. This gave him the necessary insight to ensure that his ‘new’ prints were made with the highest possible degree of artistic integrity with respect to Andriesse’s own working method. Important commissions for other photo management institutions followed, such as the assignment to print all of the painter George Hendrik Breitner’s photos on behalf of the RKD (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, ‘Netherlands Institute for Art Historical Documentation’). A large number of these images had never been printed before. Botman then went on to print the historical negatives of Paul Citroen, Willem Witsen, Piet Zwart, Meinard Woldringh, Willem van der Poll, and Wim Berssenbrugge at his own studio. These prints were intended for portfolios, exhibitions, and photobooks. Afterwards, a substantial number were added to the collections of the respective institutions managing these negatives.

With respect to contemporary photographers, Botman has made and still makes prints of work by Peter Baren, Rebekka Engelhard, Frits Berends, Fons Brasser, Anita van der Krol, Winfred Evers, Kim Zwarts, Ilse Frech, Ousmane Ndiaye Dago, Erick Ahounou, Alioune Bâ (the last three for the main exhibition of the event Noorderlicht [‘Northern Light’] in 2000), and others. In 2005, Emmy Andriesse’s son Joost Elffers commissioned Botman to make a selection from images shot by his mother in Sestri Levante, Italy. More than eighty large prints were subsequently ‘returned to where they had been taken’, exhibited at the city hall of Sestri Levante and offered as a gift to the city by Elffers. Several of the city’s residents photographed by Andriesse were also in attendance.

Photographing with and from out of small model airplanes

As a teenager, Botman photographed his self-built model airplanes. To achieve striking effects, he lit them on fire and photographed them as they crashed to the ground. Botman’s fascination with flying has again returned to his work, this time in combination with cameras enabling him to shoot photos from the air via a wireless control from the ground. Since 2003, Botman has been building advanced radiographically guided, ultra-silent model airplanes, made from carbon, glass fibre, and fibreglass, onto which or into which a digital camera can be attached. By using a wide-angle lens, he is able to photograph from low heights in the same manner that birds see: looking directly down, but at the same time towards the distant horizon—both with high sharpness. These days, Botman has expanded this specialisation (at heights where ‘ordinary’ aerial photographers are unable to achieve) with a remote-control camera mounted onto a twelve-meter mast. Botman has taken aerial shots above the Dutch provinces of North and South Holland, but has also travelled abroad with his model airplane, such as during a trip along the Gambia River in 2004, a trip across Senegal, and in 2006 a trip to Sestri Levante. In the same context of aerial photography, Botman is currently working (once again) on a book project about the Dutch dunes

For Botman, technique is a playful aspect of photography. He has worked with many different cameras, in part out of curiosity and for his own pleasure, but also because he has a specific purpose in mind, requiring the typical ‘footprint’ of a given lens or the format of a certain type of film. As the standard 55 mm lens matches ordinary visual perspective, Botman has always found it to be a forthright lens and has therefore used it frequently. Important cameras for him are the Werra 1, the Olympus PenF half-frame 35mm, a Polaroid SX-70 and 50/60 cm, an old Double 8 film camera—with frames used as stills, such as during the 1981 theatrical performance Dominee Fluit … en als hij dat doet is hij zielsbedroefd (‘Pastor Whistles… And When He Does That He is Terribly Distressed’), in which shots of clouds racing across the sky were projected image by image— but also a Rollei 35, a Leica M3, and an old Hasselblad with a special Distagon wide-angle lens. It was the Pentax that Botman had with him at the pop music festival of Kralingen in 1970 that initiated his contact with Philippe Salaün, who was working with the same camera. The swapping of lenses proved to be the start of a life-long exchange of ideas.

Since the early 1980s, Botman has also relied on cameras typically used by amateurs, such as the Agfa Clack, a purplish-yellow Instamatic, and a small unappealing digital Aldi camera—all of which he applied in a serious and professional manner: ‘After all, those portrayed respond differently when impressive professional equipment is held in front of their nose.’ Moreover, Botman often finds the visual idiom of these cheap and inferior cameras striking and surprising. While he has printed in black-and-white (with Leitz Focomat 1C and 2C enlargers) for the last thirty-five years, he still sees the transition from analogue to digital photography ‘as a positive divide’ and his own current switch to digital colour as a revolution: ‘(…) as if I’m able to start all over again, but now in a coloured world.’ At this time, Botman is making scans of negatives using an Imacon scanner. In addition to analogue, he now produces digital inkjet prints using ultrachrome inks.

On numerous occasions, Botman took the initiative of bringing exhibitions to various locations in Haarlem and of thinking up new kinds of exhibitions for the city. In realising his plans to bring the Jacques Henri Lartigue retrospective (1985) to the Netherlands, as well as the exhibiting of Manfred Heiting’s show Polaroid Selections 4 (1989), he sought collaboration with the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. The museum’s auxiliary space the Vishal (‘Fish Hall’) was likewise the location for the exhibition Spaarnestad Fotoarchief Haarlem, Twee miljoen foto’s (‘Spaarnestad Photo Archive Haarlem, Two Million Photos’, 1986). Botman was responsible for the initiative, the concept, compiling, design, and organisation of this exhibition. In addition, he compiled and designed the catalogue of the same name. A remarkable component of the exhibition’s promotion was Botman’s design and typography for a large duotone poster—depicting ‘de heer Van Es’, press photographer—based on the print of a small anonymous portrait that he had personally unearthed from the Spaarnestad collection. The poster was on display in numerous tram and bus stop display cases in major cities across the Netherlands.

In connection with the 150th anniversary of the invention of photography in 1989, Botman initiated an exhibition on photos taken by the Dutch painter George Hendrik Breitner, realised in collaboration with the Teylers Museum. He also brought Adriaan Boer’s original exhibition prints to Bloemendaal City Hall and the Kloostergangen (‘cloister corridors’) of the Haarlem City Hall. In 1990, Botman’s contact with the Teylers Museum in Haarlem led to an exhibition of heliogravures once published in the American magazine Camera Work (1903-1917) and preserved in the collections of Adriaan Boer, the Leiden University Print Room, and elsewhere.

In collaboration with employees and students at the Leiden University Print Room, Botman designed and realised the exhibitions Juwelen uit een fotocollectie (‘Jewels from a Photo Collection’, Van Gogh Museum, 1998) and Juwelen voor een fotomuseum (‘Jewels for a Photo Museum’, Teylers Museum, 1998). Both exhibitions were intended to put the Print Room back on the map in avoiding budgetary cutbacks and even its divestment by Leiden University. Botman also devised the exhibition concept and did the interior design for the subsequent exhibition of works from the collection of the Leiden University Print Room, entitled Henri Berssenbrugge passie-energie-fotografie (‘Henri Berssenbrugge Passion-Energy-Photography’, 2001), held at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. Together with the Print Room’s curator, Botman made the final selection for both the exhibition and a book of the same title, which he likewise designed.

Botman’s most recent work includes the concept, compilation, and design of the exhibition Oorlog en Bevrijding in 3D. Foto’s van Den Haag van Wim Berssenbrugge (‘War and Liberation in 3D. Photos of The Hague by Wim Berssenbrugge’) on behalf of the Hague Historical Museum, featuring colour stereo slides shot during World War II by the Hague photographer Wim Berssenbrugge (a cousin of Henri Berssenbrugge’s), which had previously been discovered by Johan Degewij. Botman also did the digital image processing and printing for this exhibition. Through his mediation, the only German V2 rocket still preserved in the Netherlands was also on display. Botman wrote the script. and in collaboration with the film-makers Jan Musch and Tijs Tinbergen, put together a documentary show in stereo projection, entitled Wim Berssenbrugge, fotograaf in oorlogstijd (‘Wim Berssenbrugge, Photographer during Wartime’).

Through his ties with the Leiden University Print Room, Botman learned about the importance and the possibilities of a historical collection. Consequently, when the publishing company VNU decided to do away with the Spaarnestad photo collection, which was therefore facing an uncertain (potentially foreign) future, it was Botman, together with several other photographers in Haarlem, who took action to preserve this extensive collection for the Netherlands. Based on his knowledge of the history of photography and the Dutch photographic infrastructure, he and others tried to develop a plan for the establishing of a Dutch photography centre, located at the complex of the Enschede company in Haarlem. It was there that the initiative to establish a graphics museum in Haarlem as proposed by ‘Het Beschreven Blad’ (‘The Written Page’), a ‘Bibliophile and Graphics Society’, and attempts to find a new home for the Spaarnestad photo collection came together in the form of the NF&GC (Stichting Nederlands Foto- & Grafisch Centrum, ‘Netherlands Photo & Graphics Centre Foundation’). Botman was made a board member of the new foundation as well as a member of the society. Within a year or two, however, it became clear that the NF&GC was not going to be a feasible option. By this time, the Spaarnestad photo collection was protected in the form of the ‘Stiching Spaarnestad Fotoarchief’ (‘Spaarnestad Photo Archive Foundation’), formally falling under the direction of the Haarlem City Archives. For years, Botman remained involved as a board member. Following various name changes, ultimately arriving at ‘Spaarnestad Photo’, this highly extensive collection was transferred to the National Archives of the Netherlands in The Hague.

Besides Botman’s initiatives to save the Spaarnestad photo collection, he also devoted time and energy to Adriaan Boer’s legacy. He also organised the transfer of the Canon Photo Gallery’s photo library to the Spaarnestad Photo Archive, after the gallery was shut down by Canon. Botman also managed to rescue two exceptional collections prior to their being destroyed: the negatives and positives archive from the years 1930 to 1970 of the Haarlem street photographer Toon Vrenegoor, and the entire archive of the bulb and flower photographer Leendert Blok (1895-1986).

As a photographer, Harm Botman has received more significant attention abroad (especially in France) than in the Netherlands. During the late 1970s, he obtained notoriety at home with his large-format gum prints, while the Akke series served to solidify his reputation. In the Dutch museum and photography worlds, however, Botman is still chiefly known for making black-and-white prints from (historical) negatives and as an initiator/designer of exhibitions and books. In this capacity, Botman has made photos by foreign and Dutch photographers accessible to a broader public. Characteristic of his commitment to the history of photography is his often selfless devotion to preserving photo collections, achieved through the drawing media attention when necessary, by notifying and involving others, and by stimulating lobbying activity in political and subsidy-based arenas.

The fact that important parts of Botman’s photographic work are scarcely or even entirely unknown in no way diminishes the quality of his artistic output. His oeuvre reveals a striking composite of personal and documentary photography, with distinctive design and refined technique giving this work its own specific character. Botman reflects more on his own life and work, as well as historical photography, as opposed to being affected by influences specific to his day. His serially recurring, often highly intimate subjects have resulted in culminating work that decidedly enriches photography in the Netherlands.


Primary bibliography

Harm Botman, De persoonlijke visie van Harm Botman, in Foto 27 (juli 1972) 7, p. 46-49 (met foto’s).

Harm Botman (hoesontwerp en foto’s), LP Western Justice, door Jack Rieley en Machiel Botman, 1975.

Harm Botman (foto’s), LP Best Kept Secret, door Alquin, 1976.

Harm Botman, serie van 12 prentbriefkaarten ‘De Dorstige Kuil-series’, z.p. [in eigen beheer] 1978.

Harm Botman i.s.m Kees Verkade, serie van twaalf klassieke platenhoezen, z.p. (EMI-Holland) 1978.

Michel van der Plas (tekst) en Harm Botman (foto’s), Willem Snitker: ‘Kunst is niet in cijfers uit te drukken’, in Elegance 35 (november 1978) 11, p. 44-48.

Willem Snitker (samenstelling) en Harm Botman (foto’s), serie Atelier Elegance, in Elegance 25 (december 1978) 12 t/m 36 (december 1979) 12.

Harm Botman, De gomdruk. Een van de oudste fotografische druktechnieken, in Foto 34 (december 1979) 12, omslag, p. 46-52 (met foto’s).

Harm Botman, De gomdruk. Een van de oudste fotografische druktechnieken. Deel 2, in Foto 35 (januari 1980) 1, p. 68-72.

Harm Botman, Presentatie en fotografie, in De Architect november 1980, p. 70-73.

Harm Botman, Grafiek van de “Dorstige Kuil”. De grafische omwerking van een gerestaureerde voormalige herberg in Heemstede, in De Architect november 1980, p. 74-77.

Harm Botman, De Carli series 66-82 [portfolio], Parijs (Atelier Philippe Salaün) 1982.

Harm Botman, De werkvloer, in De Journalist 1 februari 1982, p. 101-104.

Harm Botman e.a., 6 x 2 = 12 [kunstenaarsmap], Heemstede (Atelier Galerie De Bleeker) 1983.

Harm Botman e.a. (tekst) en Jan J. van der Schans (red.), Edele procédés. Professionele fotografie-special, Nijmegen (Audet Tijdschriften B.V.) 1984 (idem: Rijswijk (P/F Publishing) z.j. [1986]).

Harm Botman e.a., 4 x 1 = 4 [kunstenaarsmap], Heemstede (Atelier Galerie De Bleeker) 1986.

Harm Botman, Over de Carli-series, in Catalogus tent. A Priori Fotografie, Amsterdam (Makkom) 1986, p. 36-37.

Tineke Luijendijk, Frido Troost, Harm Botman e.a. (expositie en catalogus) en Harm Botman (samenstelling), Het Spaarnestad fotoarchief. Twee miljoen foto’s, Haarlem (Stichting Nederlands Foto- & Grafisch Centrum) 1986.

Harm Botman (red.), Het beslissende moment. 150 jaar fotografie. Een speciale bijlage bij het 75-jarig jubileum van Panorama, in Panorama (22 juni 1989) 26.

Harm Botman, Duinen. Gomdrukken van de Amsterdamse waterleidingduinen, Haarlem (De Vrieseborch) 1992.

Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf (eindred.) en Harm Botman (coördinatie, vormgeving en fotoselectie), Juwelen uit een fotocollectie = Jewels from a photo-collection, z.p. [Leiden] (Stichting Vrienden van het Prentenkabinet van de Rijksuniversiteit Leiden) 1998.

Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf (eindred.) en Harm Botman (coördinatie, vormgeving en fotoselectie), Juwelen voor een fotomuseum = Masterpieces of Dutch pictorial photography 1890-1915, z.p. [Leiden] (Stichting Vrienden van het Prentenkabinet van de Rijksuniversiteit Leiden) 1998.

Rebekka Engelhard (foto’s) en Harm Botman en Thomas Engelhard (vormgeving), Ommuurde dromen, Amsterdam (Stichting Rebekka Engelhard Fonds) 1999.

Ingeborg Leijerzapf en Harm Botman, Henri Berssenbrugge passie – energie – fotografie, Zutphen (Walburg Pers) 2001 (idem Engelse ed.: Henri Berssenbruggepassion – energy – photography).

Harm Botman, Het naakt en het licht, in Joke Pronk en Tineke de Ruiter (red.), Fotovoorkeuren. 50 Auteurs kiezen een foto uit de collectie van het Leidse Prentenkabinet, Amsterdam (Voetnoot) 2007, p. 35-37.


(photos in books, magazins and other printed publications)

Haarlems Weekblad 28 april 1971, p. 9.

Martin Uitvlugt (tekst), De vrouw in haar jaar. Wat veranderde en wat bleef: het Jaar van de Vrouw 1975 in Nederland. Een fotoboek van Panorama, z.p. [Spaarnestad] z.j. [1975], p. 26, 29-31.

Elegance april 1977.

Photography Year Book 1977, afb. 128-132.

Catalogus tent. Het Portret door 35 Nederlandse fotografen, Amsterdam (Canon Photo Gallery) 1980, ongepag.

Lorenzo Merlo, New Dutch photography = Hedendaagse fotografie in Nederland, Amsterdam (Kosmos) 1980, p. 5, 7-8, 32-35 (idem Frans-Italiaanse ed.: La Nouvelle photographie hollandaise).

Perspektief (november 1980) 4, p. 26.

Photography Year Book 1980, afb. 144, p. 262.

Paul Heyse (hoofdred.), Foto en film encyclopedie, Amsterdam/Brussel (Elsevier) 1981, 4 de geh. herz. dr., p. 330.

De Journalist 34 (14 juli 1983) 12, omslag.

De Bazuin 73 (29 augustus 1983) 38, p. 4.

Librije Hedendaagse Kunst Zwolle. Informatieblad 2 (oktober 1983) 9, p. 1.

Haarlems Dagblad 17 januari 1985, p. 11.

Haarlems Dagblad 9 februari 1985.

Haarlems Dagblad 21 juni 1985.

Thijs Asselbergs (inl.), Wiek Röling. Stadsarchitect Haarlem 1970-1988, Haarlem (De Toorts) 1988, p. 39, 68.

Haarlems Dagblad 28 juli 1988.

Bélégou e.a., Photographes amoureux, Parijs (Contrejour) 1989, p. 55-59 (serie: Cahiers d’image 7).

Wim Wennekes, Hotel van der Werf, anno 1726, Amsterdam (Thomas Rap) 1989, p. 175.

Haarlems Dagblad 25 februari 1989, p. 25.

Harm Botman en Bert Sliggers, De foto’s van Breitner in Teylers Museum, in Teylers Museum. Magazijn (winter 1989) 22, p. 1-2.

Leonoor Wagenaar, De legende van het huis Kareol leeft voort, in Het Parool 21 november 1991, p. 17, 21.

Ons Bloemendaal 16 (winter 1992) 4, omslag, p. 2-27.

Edward van de Vendel ( inl.) en Harm Botman e.a. (ill.), De sokkentweeling, Heemstede (Icarus) 1995.

Annius Hoornstra en Gert Middelkoop (tekst), De vrije ruimte. Nieuwe strategieën voor ruimtelijke ordening, Rotterdam (NAi Uitgevers) 1998, p. 66, 76, 84, 90, 102, 114, 122, 134, 142.

Haarlems Dagblad 30 maart 2006.

Rolf Roos (red.), Duinen en mensen. Kennemerland, z.p. (Stichting NatuurMedia i.s.m. PWN Waterleidingbedrijf Noord-Holland) 2009, p. 121, 170-171.

Jaap Evert Abrahamse, Menne Kosian en Erik Schmitz, Tussen Haarlemmerpoort en Halfweg. Historische atlas van de Brettenzone in Amsterdam, Bussum (THOTH) 2010, p. 58, 93.

Haarlems Dagblad 28 januari 2010.

Landschap Noord-Holland 37 (mei 2010) 2, omslag (achterzijde).

Jan van Dijk, Handboek herkennen fotografische en fotomechanische procedés. Historische en moderne procedés en digitale afdruktechnieken, Leiden (Primavera Pers) 2011, afb. 12.7.

Landschap Noord-Holland 38 (februari 2011) 1, p. 20, 22.

Landschap Noord-Holland 38 (mei 2011) 2, p. 26, 40.


1972 Projectontwikkelaar Dura, Hoofddorp (foto’s van architectuur en grote bouwprojecten).

1979-1997 Diverse opdrachtgevers (samen met Philippe Salaün afdrukken van negatieven van Robert Doisneau (voor Rapho), Izis, Seydou Keïta, Willy Ronis, Jean Paul Pigozzi en Malick Sidibé).

1982-heden In opdracht van de genoemde fotografen (afdrukken van negatieven van Peter Baren, Fons Brasser, Frits Berends, Winfred Evers, Ilse Frech, Anita van der Krol, Kim Zwarts).

1984 Uitgeverij Bébert (afdrukken van negatieven voor portfolio Meinard Woldringh, Twaalf foto’s = Twelve photographs [portfolio], Rotterdam (Bébert) z.j. [1984]).

ca. 1988-heden Prentenkabinet Universiteit Leiden/Bijzondere Collecties Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden (afdrukken van negatieven van Emmy Andriesse).

1988 Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (RKD) (afdrukken van het negatievenafchief van George Hendrik Breitner, tentoonstellingsdrukken en afdrukken voor begeleidende boek van tentoonstelling van Breitner en het drukken in oplage van foto’s van Breitner).

1992 Gemeente Waterleidingen Amsterdam (boek Duinen).

1997-1998 Focus Publishing i.o.v. het Prins Berhard Fonds (afdrukken van negatieven van Piet Zwart en Paul Citroen voor uitgaven in de serie Monografieën van Nederlandse fotografen).

1998 Rebekka Engelhard Fonds (afdrukken van negatieven voor en vormgeving van publicatie Ommuurde dromen, Amsterdam1999).

2000 Stichting Fotografie Noorderlicht (tentoonstellingsdrukken Ousmane Ndaiye Dago, Erick Ahounou en Alioune Bâ voor tentoonstelling African Inside, Fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht).

2005 Joost Elffers (afdrukken van negatieven Emmy Andriesse van Sestri Levante in Italië voor tentoonstelling en publicatie).

2005 Fotomuseum Den Haag (afdrukken van negatieven van Willem van der Poll voor tentoonstelling en publicatie).

2005 Productschap Wijn (wijnkistje, afdruk op hout, oplage 40 stuks; opdracht t.g.v. 20-jarig bestaan samen met 7 andere kunstenaars: Willem van Toorn, Jasper Krabbe, Ger Lataster, Thijs Asselbergs, Willem Snitker, Roderick de Man en Katja Prins).

2008-heden Aannemingsbedrijf Veenman & Vink, Hillegom (overzichtsfoto’s van onder andere bedrijfsgebouwen en kantoren).

2010 Haags Historisch Museum (scanbewerking en afdrukken van dia’s van Wim Berssenbrugge voor tentoonstelling).

2010 Stichting Beschermers Amstelland (luchtfoto’s De Ronde Hoep en Bovenkerkerpolder voor documentaire Op de bres voor Amstelland).

2010/2011 Stichting Beschermers Amstelland en NCRV televisie (filmclips vanuit vliegtuigje voor documentaire over Amstelland van Jan Musch en Tijs Tinbergen).

2010-heden Provincie Noord-Holland, Landschap Noord-Holland, Staatsbosbeheer, PWN, Waternet (luchtfotografie, o.a. beoogde natuurbruggen Zuid-Kennemerland voor Provincie Noord-Holland).

Secundary bibliography

Anoniem, Fotografen en hun werk. Harm Botman, in Foto 29 (september 1974) 9, p. 42.

Anoniem, Gomdrukken van Harm Botman in galerie De Bleeker. De knotwilgen van Waterlandkerkje, in Haarlems Dagblad 28 oktober 1976.

Anoniem, Curieuze foto expositie in Galerie De Bleeker, in Koerier Kombinatie 3 november 1976.

Anoniem, Harm Botman, in Foto 33 (januari 1978) 1, p. 51-52.

Anoniem, Harm Botman, in Amateur Photographer 22 februari 1978.

Ted Dobson, Expositie toont mens als boeiend schepsel. Vijfendertig fotografen en hun portretkunst, in Haarlems Dagblad 21 juni 1980.

Joan Fontcuberta, La nostalgia creativa, in El Correo Catalán 14 februari 1981.

Frenk der Nederlanden, Schrijver obsessie voor Haarlems Theatercollectief. “De mens HaverSchmidt, daar gaat ’t ons om!”, in Haarlems Dagblad 21 maart 1981, p. 13.

W.M. [= William (Bill) Messer], As the crow flies: an interview with Harm Botman, in The Newsletter of the Association of the Photographers in Wales (voorjaar 1981) 1.

Anoniem, Beeld van een opgroeiend jochie, in Algemeen Dagblad 9 juni 1981.

Ingeborg Th. Leijerzapf, Harm Botman, in Perspektief (juli/augustus 1981) 8, omslag, p. 14-19, 31 (met foto’s).

B.R., Zelfportret, in NRC Handelsblad 3 juli 1981.

Ineke Jungschleger, Foto’s van een kind van elf, in de Volkskrant 4 juli 1981.

Christian Caujolle, L’Enfant, la corneille et la photo. <<Akke Story>>, une exposition d’Harm Botman à la FNAC Etoile, in Libération 8 juli 1981, nlle série 47.

Alain Dister, Photo, Le Nouvel Observateur 11 juli 1981.

Ted Dobson, Beeldverhaal uit een jeugd in ontroerende foto’s bij Botman, in Haarlems Dagblad 22 juli 1981.

Frans Keijsper, Fotoseries Facet ’81, in Haarlems Dagblad 22 december 1981.

Carole Naggar, Dictionnaire des photographes, Parijs (Seuil) 1982, p. 56-58.

Carole Naggar, Febbraio e marzo 6 mortre al Diaframma/Canon, in Il Diaframma Fotografia Italiana (februari/mei 1982) 260/261.

Rupert Martin, Paul den Hollander & Harm Botman. The Photographic Gallery, Cardiff, in European Photography 2 (april/mei/juni 1982) 2 (no. 6), p. 39.

Carole Naggar, Harm Botman, in European Photography 2 (juli/augustus/september 1982) 3 (no. 7), p. 24-27 (met foto’s).

Alice Verwey, Fotograaf Harm Botman: “Voor mij is de Blekersvaart [sic] nog een enorme hap lucht”, in Heemsteedse Courant 12 augustus 1982.

Anoniem, Tentoonstelling Harm Botman 11 september-30 september 1982, in Reflexions 1 (september/oktober 1982) 4, p. 4-5 (met foto’s).

Anoniem, Fotograaf Harm Botman de koning te rijk aan de Blekersvaart [sic], in De Koerier 8 december 1982, p. 17.

Catalogus tent. 2=1. ‘Over de som der delen’. Foto’s in combinatie, Amsterdam (Nederlandse Kunststichting) 1983, ongepag.

Catalogus tent. Zien en gezien worden. Fotografische zelfbespiegeling in Nederland van ca. 1840 tot heden, Nijmegen (Nijmeegs Museum ‘Commanderie van Sint-Jan’) 1983, p. 36, 82.

L.C., Lugar implicito, in Catalogus tent. 4 Encontros de fotografia de Coimbra. Exposições, Coimbra (Centro Estudos de Fotografia da A.A.C. e Casa de Cultura de Coimbra) z.j. [1983], ongepag.

Cees Straus, Exposant. Een foto in plaats van woorden, in Trouw 10 februari 1983.

Anoniem, Agenda van de cruciale jaren, in Haarlems Dagblad 19 april 1983.

Anoniem, Philippe Salaün en Harm Botman. “De optimale zwart/wit print”, in Reflexions 2 (september/oktober 1983) 10, p. 10.

William Messer, Botman. Carli: un extrait, in Cliches z.j. [1984] 12, p. 24-31 (met foto’s).

Mona Verbunt, Vijf kunstenaars tonen oude edele foto-technieken, in Graficus (24 oktober 1984) 43, p. 28-29.

Anoniem, Fotograaf Harm Botman wint publieksprijs, in Haarlems Dagblad 21 december 1984.

Catalogus Rijksaankopen 1985. Werk van hedendaagse beeldende kunstenaars, Den Haag (Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst) 1986, p. 58.

Anoniem, Harm Botman. Fotograaf, in P/F Aktueel (juni 1987) 6, p. 7.

Leo Divendal, Reis door Breitners tijd. Haarlemmer Harm Botman redt fotowerk van schilder, in Haarlems Dagblad 2 juni 1988.

Herman Hoeneveld, Nieuwe visie op Breitner als fotograaf, in Kunstbeeld 12 (oktober 1988) 10, p. 38-42.

Jan Kuys, Falsterbo, het mekka van de vogelaars, in Haarlems Dagblad 15 oktober 1988.

Anoniem, George Hendrik Breitner, in P/F Professionele Fotografie (1989) 1, p. 59.

Mariëtte Haveman, Breitner bekeek Amsterdam als Oosteuropese stad, in de Volkskrant 18 april 1989, p. 11.

Lars Polder, De rode lijn in zwart-wit. Een gesprek met meesterdrukker Harm Botman, in P/F Special (december 1989) 4, Afwerking, omslag, p. 12-15.

Ingeborg Leijerzapf e.a. (tekst), Het beslissende beeld. Hoogtepunten uit de Nederlandse fotografie van de 20e eeuw, Amsterdam (BIS) 1991, p. 45, 183-184.

Anton Staartjes, Eenvoud en complexiteit van de gomdruk. Interview met Harm Botman, in KM. Vakinformatie voor beeldende kunstenaars en restauratoren (najaar 1992) 3, p. 34-35.

Pieter Rings, De paradox van het duinlandschap. Bijzonder boek begeleidt expositie van Harm Botman in Bloemendaal, in Haarlems Dagblad 25 november 1992.

Renee de Borst, Oog 1: Sjef Huurdeman / Oog 2: Harm Botman. Een wekelijkse rubriek waarin de confrontatie in de kunst wordt gezocht, in Haarlems Dagblad 26 november 1992.

Willem Ellenbroek, Jeugdherinneringen achterna in de Waterleidingduinen, in de Volkskrant 12 december 1992, rubriek Folio, p. 25.

Iris Dik (red.), Ver = Hier. Uit de collectie van het Nederlands Fotomuseum, Sittard, Sittard (Nederlands Fotomuseum) 1993, p. 6-7, 29.

Constant Meijers, Eeuwig boeien de duinen, in Capi-Lux Vakkrant (1993) 1, p. 17-23 (met foto’s).

Peter van Zonneveld, Uitklapbaar duinlandschap, in Vrij Nederland (22 mei 1993) 20, p. 89.

Gerrit Bosch, Kennemer Duinen in gomdruk. Het Noord-Hollands landschap in de kunst, in Noordhollands Landschap (november 1998) 4, p. 26-27.

Marc Floor, Henri Berssenbrugge, vergeten pionier. Kunsthal eert Rotterdamse fotograaf met grote expositie, in Rotterdams Dagblad 12 januari 2001.

Arno Haijtema, Getroffen door het zachte licht. Rotterdamse Kunsthal haalt fotograaf Berssenbrugge uit de vergetelheid, in de Volkskrant 25 januari 2001, Kunst en Cultuur, p. 23.

Ko van Leeuwen, ‘Het water bevroor in de trompetten’. 50 Jaar kunst & cultuur in Heemstede, Heemstede (Heemsteedse Kunstkring) 2003, p. 75, 84, 103, 106-109.

Herman Hoeneveld, Over een pechvogel en spielerei, in P/F Professionele Fotografie (2004) 4, p. 70-71 (met foto’s).

HS, Harm Botman, in Nienke Denekamp, Edie Peters en Han Schoonhoven (red.), Dag doka!, Amsterdam (Stichting Photoq) z.j. [2007], p. 24-25 (serie: Photoq jaarboek 2006/2007).

Flip Bool e.a. (red.), Nieuwe geschiedenis van de fotografie in Nederland. Dutch Eyes, Zwolle (Waanders i.s.m. Stichting Fotografie in Nederland) 2007, p. 498, 500. (idem Engelse editie: A critical history of photography in the Netherlands. Dutch Eyes).

Theo Bakker (tekst) en Harm Botman, Piet Veel en Fred Koning (foto’s), Het groot grondgaaien genootschap. Expedities in Centraal Azië, Kazachstan, Mongolië, China, Heiloo (Theo Bakker) 2010, omslag, p. 5, 13-15, 28-29, 36-43, 45, 108-111.

Maartje van den Heuvel en Wim van Sinderen, Photography! A special collection at Leiden Unversity, Leiden/Den Haag (Leiden University/Hague Museum of Photography) 2010, p. 22, 132-133, 229.


Bestuur Stichting Ons Bloemendaal 1984-1990.

Bibliofiel en Grafisch Genootschap “Het Beschreven Blad” te Haarlem 1985-1990.

Bestuur Stichting Nederlands Foto- & Grafisch Centrum (Spaarnestad Fotoarchief) 1985-1995.

Redactie Professionele Fotografie (1985) 6 t/m (1987) 4.


1984 Publieksprijs van de gemeente Heemstede n.a.v. jaarlijkse kunstaankopen.


1975 (e) Haarlem, Café De Geus, (naaktfoto’s).

1976 (e) Heemstede, Atelier Galerie De Bleeker, “De knotwilgen van Waterlandkerkje” en ander gomdrukken van Harm Botman.

1979 (e) Haarlem, “De Ark”, Broek ’74.

1979 (g) Montpellier, Musée Fabre, (reizende tentoonstelling door Frankrijk).

1979 (g) Overveen, Gemeentehuis Bloemendaal, Willem Snitker [en] Harm Botman.

1979 (g) Prato, [o.a. Akke-serie van Harm Botman].

1980 (g) Amsterdam, Canon Photo Gallery, Het Portret door 35 Nederlandse fotografen.

1980 (g) Haarlem, Boekhandel De Vries, [o.a. serie Kindertjes in de stad van Harm Botman]

1980 (g) Heemstede, Atelier Galerie De Bleeker, “Photographies de Paris” [Leo Divendal en Harm Botman].

1981 (e) Amsterdam, ABN-Galerij, Harm Botman – Foto’s [Akke-serie].

1981 (e) Barcelona, Fotomanía, The Akke Serie 66-67.

1981 (e) Cardiff, The Photographic Gallery, As the crow flies: ‘The Akke series 1966-67’.

1981 (e) Parijs, Fnac Etoile, “Akke Story”.

1981 (e) Rotterdam, Perspektief, hARM botMaN [Akke-series 1966-67].

1981 (e) Straatsburg, Fnac, [Akke-serie].

1981/1982 (g) Haarlem, Frans Halsmuseum, Facet ’81.

1982 (e) Amsterdam, Canon Photo Gallery, Harm Botman [Carli-serie].

1982 (g) Casserta, [o.a. Akke-serie van Harm Botman].

1982 (e) Clermont-Ferrand, Fnac, [Akke-serie].

1982 (g) Den Haag, MTS voor Fotografie en Fototechniek, Facet ’81.

1982 (g) Haarlem, Reinaldagalerie, [tentoonstelling n.a.v. 10-jarig bestaan van de galerie].

1982 (e) Milaan, Il Diaframma/Canon. Galleria e libreria dell’immagine, Harm Botman.

1982 (e) Nijmegen, De Mariënburg, De Akke-serie, foto’s Harm Botman.

1983 (g) Alkmaar, Portaal. Progressieve boekhandel, Twaalf fotografen en een keramiste.

1983 (g) Amsterdam, Nederlandse Kunststichting, 2=1. ‘Over de som der delen’ (reizende tentoonstelling door Nederland).

1983 (g) Boston, Northeastern University Art Gallery, European Photography. An exhibition of Contemporary Western European Black and White Photography at Northeastern University (reizende tentoonstelling door Verenigde Staten/Canada: Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto).

1983 (g) Coimbra, 4 Encontros de fotografia de Coimbra. Exposições.

1983 (g) Heemstede, Atelier Galerie De Bleeker, 6 x 2 = 12.

1983/1984 (g) Nijmegen, Nijmeegs Museum ‘Commanderie van Sint Jan’, ‘Fotografische zelfbespiegeling’. Het zelfportret in de fotografie in Nederland vanaf ca. 1840.

1984 (g) Amerongen, Galerie Modder en Aarde.

1984 (e) Amsterdam, De Moor, Gomdrukken van Harm Botman.

1984 (g) Amsterdam, Shaffytheater, Het Mysterie [Philippe Salaün, Machiel Botman, José Melo, Harm Botman, Johan van der Keuken en Leo Divendal] (Foto ’84).

1984 (g) Den Haag, Grafiekwinkel Inkt, Vijf kunstenaars met edele procédés [Harm Botman, L.J.A.D. Creyghton, Jan van Dijk, Gerretje de Haan, Johan de Zoete].

1985 (g) Heemstede, Atelier Galerie De Bleeker, 10 x 10 = 100.

1985 (g) Heemstede, Cultureel Centrum “Het Oude Slot”, Kunstaankopen 1985.

1985 (g) Leiden, LAK-galerie, Edele Fotografische Procédé’s [Harm Botman, L.J.A.D. Creyghton, Jan van Dijk, Gerretje de Haan, Johan de Zoete].

1986 (g) Amsterdam, Stichting Makkom, A Priori Fotografie (Foto ’86).

1986 (g) Den Haag, Logement van de Heren van Amsterdam, Rijksaankopen 1985.

1988 (g) Amsterdam, De Moor, Jeugd als inspiratiebron.

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

1991 (g) Overveen, Gemeentehuis Bloemendaal, Kareol. Kunstwerken van en over een buitenplaats.

1992 (e) Overveen, Gemeentehuis Bloemendaal, Harm Botman. Duinen. Gomdrukken van de Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen.

1993/1994 (g) Sittard, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Ver = Hier.

1996 (g) Haarlem, Provinciehuis/Gebouw Noord-Holland, Beeld van een collectie [tentoonstelling met werk uit kunstcollectie Provinciaal Bestuur Noord-Holland].

2002 (g) Milaan, Credito Valtellinese Gallery/Centre Culturel Français Gallery/Fnac Gallery, The Fnac Collection.

2011 (g) Amsterdam, Arti et Amicitiae, De kunstenaar en zijn collectie; Leo Divendal.


Exhibitions (co-)curated by Harm Botman:

1985 (e) Haarlem, Vishal, Lartique in Haarlem.

1986 (g) Haarlem, Vishal, Spaarnestad Fotoarchief Haarlem, Twee miljoen foto’s.

1988 (e) Haarlem, Teylers Museum, Breitner als fotograaf.

1989 (g) Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum, Polaroid Selections 4.

1990 (g) Haarlem, Teylers Museum, Camera Work.

1998 (g) Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Juwelen uit een fotocollectie. Foto’s uit de collectie van het Prentenkabinet van de Rijksuniversiteit Leiden.

1998/1999 (g) Haarlem, Teylers Museum, Juwelen voor een fotomuseum. Een speurtocht naar de eerste fotoverzameling in Nederland.

2001 (e) Rotterdam, Kunsthal, Henri Berssenbrugg passie – energie – fotografie.

2010 (e) Den Haag, Haags Historisch Museum, Oorlog en bevrijding in 3D. Foto’s van Den Haag van Wim Berssenbrugge.


Hillegom, Harm Botman.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden, bibliotheek en documentatiebestand.


Amsterdam, ABN AMRO Kunstcollectie.

Amsterdam, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum.

Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum.

Amsterdam, Stichting Dunhill Dutch Photography.

Amsterdam, Waternet (voorheen Gemeente Waterleidingen).

Bergen op Zoom, Stichting Savelanden.

Beverwijk, Rode Kruis Ziekenhuis.

Haarlem, Noord-Hollands Archief.

Heemstede, Cultureel Centrum “Het Oude Slot”.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.

Parijs, Bibliothèque Nationale.

Parijs, Fnac.

Sittard, Museum Het Domein.


De auteursrechten op het fotografisch oeuvre van Harm Botman berusten bij Carla Verwoerd, weduwe van Harm Botman, te Hillegom.