Artist: Cas Oorthuys (1908-1975)
Fine art pigment print d.d. 21.07.2015, format 40,5x40cm, edition 1/30
Cas Oorthuys (1908-1975) is born in Leiden as the son of a pastor. Trained to become (and for some time working as) an architect, he makes photography to his profession in 1936, definitively when he joins the publishinghouse ‘Arbeiderspers’. Oorthuys photographs then have a strong propagandistic choice of subject in the tradition of workers’ photography. In early 1942 he resigns and joins ‘De Ondergedoken Camera’, a group of Amsterdam photographers who illegally record the occupation time. After the liberation, he developed into the photographer of the reconstruction. From 1944 he leaves behind an archive of more than half a million negatives of the most diverse subjects.
Cas Oorthuys is one of the most important representatives of a generation of photographers who, based on ‘Nieuwe Fotografie’ (New Photography), have decisively influenced the development of documentary photography in the Netherlands. Known publications by his hand include ‘De Schoonheid van ons Land’ (The beauty of our Country), some forty photo and travel pockets (1951-1965) and Rotterdam Dynamic City (1959).