In Color!

Palestine in Pictures

Installation View „In Color! Palestine in Pictures“ © Franz Kimmel

In Color!

Palestine in Pictures

In Color!
Palestine in Pictures by the American Colony Photographers, 1898–1931

An exhibition of the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam

In 1926 and 1931 the corn merchant Arie Speelman (1880–1964) and his wife Anne Christine Speelman-van Vliet (1886–1967) made two trips to Palestine. At that time the country was a British mandate following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The modernization of the region, which had already been started under Ottoman rule, was in full swing and a modest form of tourism was developing. The Speelmans were among the first. Like many tourists at that time, they saw Palestine primarily as the land of the…

In Color!
Palestine in Pictures by the American Colony Photographers, 1898–1931

An exhibition of the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam

In 1926 and 1931 the corn merchant Arie Speelman (1880–1964) and his wife Anne Christine Speelman-van Vliet (1886–1967) made two trips to Palestine. At that time the country was a British mandate following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The modernization of the region, which had already been started under Ottoman rule, was in full swing and a modest form of tourism was developing. The Speelmans were among the first. Like many tourists at that time, they saw Palestine primarily as the land of the bible. There was a huge demand for picturesque images and the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem, endeavored to satisfy this market.

The Speelmans aquired more than one thousand hand-colored glass projection pictures in the shop run by the photographic department of the American Colony near Jaffa Gate. After their return to the Netherlands, Arie Speelman held “Palestine evenings” to show these images using a laterna magica—a simple form of projector. These events had an evangelical, religious touch, which also influenced the choice of motifs. Nevertheless, the images are of considerable cultural importance. They present a fascinating picture of the Near East in the early 20th century and provide an insight into the use of this rare photographic technique.

This exhibition unites some seventy photographs from this exceptional collection that came into the possession of the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam in 1991. The photos are of Jerusalem, life in the country, views of towns and villages, and various ethnic groups in the region. Both in the figurative as well as in the literal sense they gives us a picture of Palestine between 1898 and 1931—in color!

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Duration of exhibition

September 30, 2009 - January 24, 2010

Curator

Peter Buijs
Anton Kras

Architecture

Juliette Israël, Munich

Installation View „In Color! Palestine in Pictures“ © Franz Kimmel
Installation View „In Color! Palestine in Pictures“ © Franz Kimmel
Ein Museum der Landeshauptstadt München