The "Dutch Photobook" is internationally recognized for its innovative and collaborative approach between photographers, printers, and designers. Dutch graphic designers have long worked at the forefront of their discipline, often crossing existing boundaries and exploring new territories qualities that have become an integral part of contemporary Dutch photobook culture. The current photobook publishing boom in the Netherlands springs from a long-standing tradition of excellence. This tradition precedes WWII, but the aftermath of the war marked a period of particularly close collaboration between photographers and designers. Their contributions led to such unique photography books as Ed van der Elskens Love on the Left Bank (1956) and Chili September by Koen Wessing (1973). Innovations such as the photo novel and the company photobook bloomed in the 1950s and 60s. Later, other genres emerged as part of the publishing landscape, including conceptual and documentary works.
The "Dutch Photobook" will feature selections from approximately one hundred historic, contemporary, and self-published photobook projects, including landmarks such as "Hollandse taferelen" by Hans Aarsman (1989), "The Table of Power" by Jacqueline Hassink (1996), "Why Mister Why" by Geert van Kesteren (2006), and "Empty Bottles" by Wassink Lundgren (2007). Dutch photo historians Frits Gierstberg and Rik Suermondt contribute several texts on the history of the genre, the collaborative efforts between photographers and designers, and their inspiration and influences, to complement the special, high-quality reproductions of photobooks. Award-winning designer Joost Grootens contributes unique charts and diagrams that bring all of these elements together, forming a visually unique map of the Dutch photobook.