Artist: Henk Nieuwenhuijs (1913-2007)
Willem Drees, Prime Minister, behind his desk, 1952, Hahnemühle Baryta print, size 30x30cm, later print 2009.
Literature: ‘Het Wonder van de Wederopbouw’, Henk Nieuwenhuijs, fotograaf, Terra Lannoo BV, 2009.
Henk Nieuwenhuijs was born in Amsterdam. He went to the Graphic School and became a typesetter and retoucher at the newspaper Het Vrije Volk, the socialist newspaper in Amsterdam. During his military service, he became a battalion photographer. During the Second World war his interest in photography grew further. His earliest surviving reportage images are poignant liberation photos of a maid treated with pitch and feathers in 1945 (because of an affair with germans soldiers). He photographed for the weekly ‘Katholieke Illustratie’ and later for the publishing house Geïllustreerde Pers (the weekly ‘Margriet’). Nieuwenhuijs was a typical and sublime photographer of the reconstruction in the fourthies and fifties. Square Rolleiflex images of the destruction, demolition and recovery of the war years, the Boekenbal in 1951, the Flood of 1953, the exploitation of the Noordoostpolder, the oil extraction in Schoonebeek, the Expo 58 in Brussels and the Elfstedentocht in 1963.
In the seventies he photographed for the Industriebond FNV (the national labor union: company reports, labor unrest and strikes.
Henk Nieuwenhuijs passed in 2007.