Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) ¬Bishop George Berkeley

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.




FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

FFN 2021 'The Art of Living'

For many years I came away with enthusiasm for the Foto Festival in Naarden-Vesting. For FFN 2021
it was no different. There's always excellent photography on show and the event is on once every 2 years.
It almost did not happen this year, for the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
The setting and surroundings are magnificent: Naarden-Vesting is a fortress town and photos are on display everywhere: on the ramparts, inside the fortifications (very 'edgy'!), in the big church, inside the town hall, along cobble stone streets, etc.
This is Part One, more to follow (about the FFN 2021 remote sites), probably in august.
Because of the C-19 infections, sites are further apart, with some outside Naarden-Vesting. I did not have time to cover it all. The good news is it last two months, until August 29th.

From the FFN website:
'FOTOFESTIVAL NAARDEN'. ¬Since 1989 the Naarden Photo Festival has been held every two years in the fortress of Naarden.
After 30 years the festival has become one of the most important photo festivals in The Netherlands. Leading, comprehensive, high standard and innovative are key words which characterise the Naarden Photo Festival.
The context of the historical fortified town gives extra meaning to the photos - an element that makes a visit to the festival worthwhile and not easily forgotten.
The FotoFestival Naarden (FFN) celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019.
In 1989 the Festival started under the inspiring leadership of Pim Westerweel who, inspired by the photo festival in Arles, judged the fortress of Naarden to be an excellent setting for the exhibition of contemporary Dutch photography.
The Festival is organised biennially and has become the photo festival of the Netherlands. After the success of the first leading editions of the FotoFestival Naarden, more initiatives were started in The Netherlands in which photography is central for a short period.

More pix on Flickr.com



Ellen Thorbecke, The People in China
Portrait of Ellen Thorbecke, China

Ellen Thorbecke, The People in China

Ellen Thorbecke, The People in China

Ellen Thorbecke, The People in China

Ellen Thorbecke, The People in China

As of June 2021, the Nederlands Fotomuseum presents the exhibition Ellen Thorbecke’s China, showcasing photographs and photo books made in China in the 1930s by collection photographer Ellen Thorbecke.
The exhibition tells the story of a woman who holds a unique position in Dutch photography.
Her small yet extraordinary photo archive, one of the Nederlands Fotomuseum Collection’s true gems, shows rare images of everyday life in China during that era.
She photographed with an open mind and as a result Ellen Thorbecke’s images are still relevant and immensely popular in China today.

In 1931, Ellen Thorbecke (b.1902-d.1973) left Berlin for China to be reunited with her husband Willem Thorbecke, who had been appointed as an envoy in China on behalf of the Netherlands.
Before she left for China, she bought her first camera, as she was planning to work in China as a correspondent for the Berlin newspapers.
To illustrate her articles, she captured a series of portraits and street scenes in the Chinese countryside and in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
This was during the era when the idea of ‘East Meets West’ was gaining ground and a number of Western writers, filmmakers and artists were shining the spotlight on China.

Being a journalist from origin, Thorbecke gradually developed into a compelling photographer.

The exhibition Ellen Thorbecke’s China presents photographs that capture the changing identity of the young Chinese Republic between centuries-old traditions and Western modernisation.
Her images range from those that refer to traditional Chinese role patterns – such as arranged marriages at a young age – to modern portraits showing the desire for freedom and independence.

Ellen Thorbecke (b. Ellen Kolban, in Wilmersdorf, near Berlin), was an interesting artist in many ways.
She was opinionated, had broad cultural and political interests, and was incredibly gifted with artistic talent. During the liberal years of Germany’s Weimar Republic, she sought her own path and pursued a social career.
Her photography is quite unique, as very few images of everyday life in China from that period still exist.

Both the exhibition and the book shows rare images of daily life in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris and the Middle East in the 1930s and 1940s.
These were the places where Thorbecke lived and worked during her lifetime, which form the guiding principle of the publication.

Ellen Thorbecke - From Peking to Paris
From Peking to Paris
The monograph Ellen Thorbecke - From Peking to Paris is compiled by Ruben Lundgren in
collaboration with Rik Suermondt, art historian and discoverer of Thorbecke’s archive.

The exhibition has been curated by Ruben Lundgren.
He has been living in Beijing since 2007 where he is working as a photojournalist for daily newspapers like de Volkskrant, and as an independent curator of Chinese photography.

More photos @Flickr.com



Eregalerij van Nederlandse Fotografie
The development of 180 years of photography.

Eregalerij van Nederlandse Fotografie

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse Fotografie
Women's rights

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse Fotografie

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse Fotografie
'Caught the gaze'

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse Fotografie
Masks are no longer obligatory but many people still wear them, esspecially in public areas / indoors.

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse Fotografie

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse Fotografie
I was amazed to see the roots of streetphotography going back some, to 1888-1899!
And how technology changed the subjects ('..becoming more spontaneous') of photography.

Yesterday visited Nederlands Fotomuseum @Rotterdam, for 2 exhibitions.
The first one is the Gallery of Honour of Dutch Photographers.
It provides a timeline of ninety-nine pix by work of remarkable photographers. And a museum app has the ability to upload the visitor's choice of the missing one, to complete it to a hundred.

The Gallery of Honour starts off by showing the earliest examples of photographs, known as daguerreotypes, and showcases work by dozens of photographers who explored boundaries, developed new techniques, and brought about innovation – from black and white images to colour photography and the digital age.
Through 6 time periods, the visitor is taken through the fascinating development of 180 years of photography.

Excellent series, very well displayed too.
Most certainly worth a visit.




Photo by Neville Webb, 1962 @Hyde Park
Photo by Neville Webb, London 1961

One of the things I enjoy a lot these days is corresponding with a few remaining contributors for my aviation website. One is Neville Webb (his plane pix is on my Aviation Photos & History from Neville Webb gallery), but the subjects we discuss and share photos with have gone beyond aviation.
Neville shared this photo with me, and besides that I think it has everything of a classic masterpiece, there's a nice story to it.
Neville wrote: "A few weeks ago, by pure high odds-against chance, re-united with long lost Sweetheart from Sixty Years ago!"
How we met [this time -RL] was Pure Chance too.
Photo taken in Hyde Park, 1961."

But there's more to Neville's photography, here are some portraits by his hand:
Portraits by Neville Webb

Notes on the above portraits
Top row, from left to right-
¬ Banjo Player on Yacht; aA onetime friend whom I helped over some two or three years while his yacht was at Petty Harbour, Newfoundland.  Do Yachtsmen make good Banjo Players?
Second row, from left to tight-
¬ Harry from Labrador; noticed Harry while walking at Signal Hill years ago. He originates from Labrador but lived in St. John's for some years. A happy person indeed!
¬ Fisherman's Wind Weathered Face; entered a fisher's shed while walking along what is called a Finger Pier at Petty Harbour, NFL. Inside 4 or 5 fishermen were sitting around.
¬ Lady collecting pop-cans; at a gasstation in St. John's noticed a lady carrying a large plastic bag. She had an interesting face, so walked over and asked if I could take her photo.
Third row, from left to right
¬ Street Busker on a sunny morning in Downtown St. John's; he was playing his guitar
 outside a gas station, After finishing my coffee walked across and asked permission to take his photo. 
Fourth row, from left to right-
¬ This is a picture of me, taken one summer afternoon while relaxing with a glass of wine on a small yacht at Petty Harbour.
¬ At Trinity Bay watched a man working on his boat, walked across the wharf and turned out he is a Newfoundland artist. Later went to his studio and viewed some of his paintings. He told me that many people ask permission to take his photograph!
¬ Met this man outside a local library. He told me when summer arrives, he shaves off his beard!

People and photo opportunities are where you find them, often by chance. But one must never pressure folk beyond having 3 or 4 photos of them at the most ...

Girl with Basket
This photo captures a fleeting moment in time. While taking a few photos at a wedding in Petty Harbour, sensed a movement behind me and quickly turned around. Luckily, had my camera at the ready,
quickly pointed the camera and took the photo. No time to set the scene, just pressed the shutter!



World Press Photo 2021
The winner: The First Embrace

World Press Photo 2021
Care worker showing the welts of protective masks after a hard day's work

World Press Photo 2021
Exhibition in De Nieuwe Kerk, @Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

World Press Photo 2021

The annual WPP contests recognize and celebrate the best visual journalism produced over the previous year. On display in 'De Nieuwe Kerk' are the winners of our 64th annual Photo Contest and 11th annual Digital Storytelling Contest!

The jury of the 2021 Photo Contest selected Mads Nissen’s photograph The First Embrace as the World Press Photo of the Year, and Habibi by Antonio Faccilongo as the World Press Photo Story of the Year.

Reconstructing Seven Days of Protests
in Minneapolis After George Floyd’s Death by Holly Bailey/The Washington Post and Matt Daniels, Amelia Wattenberger/The Pudding, was awarded Interactive of the Year and Calling Back From Wuhan by Yang Shenlai/Tang Xiaolan was awarded Online Video of the Year.
Stunning images all around.

More photos on Flickr.com



De Gouden Koets @AMSterdam Museum
The Golden Coach is on display in a glass enclosure in the large courtyard of the Amsterdam Museum.

De Gouden Koets @AMSterdam Museum
The Golden Coach was conceived as a gift for the inauguration of the first woman on the Dutch throne, the then eighteen-year-old Queen Wilhelmina. Ever since its inception, the carriage has known fans and critics. The Golden Coach is therefore much more than just a vehicle.

De Gouden Koets @AMSterdam Museum

The Golden Coach is the subject of a current debate, caused by the painting on the left side of the vehicle: Tribute from the Colonies.
Depicted are people from the colonies paying tribute to a white youthful woman symbolizing the Netherlands. An increasing number of people are finding this depiction of colonialism inappropriate for national celebrations.
Should the carriage continue to be used on Prinsjesdag and during Orange weddings and inaugurations?

De Gouden Koets @AMSterdam Museum

In six galleries inside the museum around the courtyard, with a view of the Golden Coach, various stories are highlighted.
Hundreds of cultural-historical objects, paintings, Orangery, garments, cartoons, photographs and moving images give a multifaceted picture of the history and use of the Golden Coach and the past and present discussions about this iconic vehicle.

De Gouden Koets @AMSterdam Museum

Visit yesterday afternoon to the Amsterdam Museum, for The Golden Coach (Dutch: Gouden Koets).
This is a coach owned and used by the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange.
The Gold(en) Coach was used every year to carry the Dutch monarch from the Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal in order to deliver the Speech from the Throne or weddings, chrsitening, et cetera of the House of Orange.
After an extensive renovation recently it is now on display in the museum.

Queen Wilhelmina received the Gold Coach at her 1898 investiture as a tribute from the citizens of Amsterdam.
It has always been controversial: a display of extravagant richness (protests by socialists) and these days how we look upon our colonial past and inequality, racism.
The future of this coach has not been decided yet. I'd prefer it to remain in a museum.

Photography is difficult: reflection by multi layered glass; a smartphone seems to provide the best results, or perhaps one should screw on a polarizing filter on the cameralens. I made the most of the reflection.

More photos on Flickr.com



The Face of War - Martha Gellhorn

Martha Ellis Gellhorn (b.08Nov1908 - d.15Feb1998) was an American novelist, travel writer, and journalist who is considered one of the great war correspondents of the 20th century.
She reported on virtually every major world conflict that took place during her 60-year career.

Martha Gellhorn was born in St. Louis and attended Bryn Mawr, but left in 1927 to begin a career as a writer. Her first articles appeared in the New Republic, but determined to become a foreign correspondent, she moved to France to work for the United Press bureau in Paris.

While in Europe she became active in the pacifist movement and wrote about her experiences in the book, What Mad Pursuit (1934).
When Gellhorn returned home she was hired by Harry Hopkins as an investigator for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, where she had the task of reporting the impact of the Depression on the United States. Her reports for that agency caught the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the two women became lifelong friends. Her findings were the basis of a novella, The Trouble I've Seen (1936).

In 1937 Gellhorn was employed by Collier's Weekly to report the Spanish Civil War. While there she started an affair with Ernest Hemingwayand the couple married in 1940.
Gellhorn travelled to Germany where she reported the rise of Adolf Hitler and in 1938 was in Czechoslovakia. After the outbreak of the Second World War wrote about these events in the novel, A Stricken Field (1940).

Gellhorn worked for Collier's Weekly throughout World War II and later recalled how she "followed the war wherever I could reach it." This included reporting from Finland, Hong Kong, Burma, Singapore and Britain. She even impersonated a stretcher bearer in order to witness the D-Day landings...

After the war Gellhorn worked for Atlantic Monthly. This included all the major world conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Six-Day War in the Middle East and the wars in Central America.

Gellhorn published a large number of books including a collection of articles on war, The Face of War (1959), a novel about McCarthyism, The Lowest Trees Have Tops (1967), an account of her life with Ernest Hemingway, Travels With Myself and Another (1978) plus a collection of her peacetime journalism, The View From the Ground (1988).

Gellhorn was also the 3rd wife of American novelist Ernest Hemingway, from 1940 to 1945.
She met Ernest Hemingway during a 1936 Christmas family trip to Key West, Florida. Gellhorn had been hired to report for Collier's Weekly on the Spanish Civil War and the pair decided to travel to Spain together.
They celebrated Christmas of 1937 in Barcelona. In Germany, she reported on the rise of Adolf Hitler and in the spring of 1938, months before the Munich Agreement, she was in Czechoslovakia.
The marriage was difficult.
He wanted her to be a deferential wife; she wanted to live life like he did! She was idealistic, tormented by the slave labor conditions she witnessed in Hong Kong; he stoically accepted the world as it was.
Both had terrible tempers.
They broke up 1945 while they were staying at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Afterward, Gellhorn would call Hemingway a bully, while he called her phony and pretentious.
In later years, she resented having more fame for being Hemingway's ex-wife than for her own work.

After the outbreak of World War II, she described these events in the novel A Stricken Field (1940). She later reported the war from Finland, Hong Kong, Burma, Singapore, and England. Lacking official press credentials to witness the Normandy landings, she hid in a hospital ship bathroom, and upon landing impersonated a stretcher bearer.
She later recalled, "I followed the war wherever I could reach it." She was the only woman to land at Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944.
She was also among the first journalists to report from Dachau concentration camp after it was liberated by US troops on April 29, 1945.

She passed her 70th birthday in 1979, but continued working in the following decade, covering the civil wars in Central America.
As she approached 80, Gellhorn began to slow down physically and although she still managed to cover the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989, she finally retired from journalism as the 1990s began. An operation for cataracts was unsuccessful and left her with permanently impaired vision. Gellhorn announced that she was "too old" to cover the Balkan conflicts in the 1990s.
She died in 1998 in an apparent suicide at the age of 89, ill and almost completely blind.
The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism is named after her.

The Face of War was published in 1959 and was frequently reprinted, while wars kept raging.
The book was editted to make room for other wars she witnessed. So the book went through several versions. 'Introductions' and 'conclusions' of these earlier versions are included in the back as essays.
Here are a few quotes from these¬
Leaders make wars. People cannot and do not rush off in an unruly mob to fight enemies. They must first be inflamed with fear and hate, the usual ingredients, then organized and directed. There are always agressor leaders, even in civil wars. The leaders are recognizable (am,bitious men ruthless with power are nothing new) but their followers are an enigma. Why is it always so easy to rouse men to kill eacht other?

Journalism at its best and most effective is education. Apperently people would not learn for themselves, nor from others. If the agnony of the Second World War did not teach them, whatever would? Surely the post-war world is a mockery of hope and an insult to all those who died so that we would survive.

My articles on the Vietnam War are a model of self-censorship. They were published in The Guardian, London; unsuitable for American readers. In 1966, the official American version of the war was accepted as truth. Opposing views were Communist propaganda and dismissed as such.
After all this time I still cannot think calmly about that war. It was the only war I reported on the wrong side.

We must always remember that we are not the servants of the state. As the British Attorney General said in his final speech at the Neremberg Trial, 'The state and the law are made for man that through themhe may achieve a fuller life, a higher purpose and a greater dignity,' The state has fallen down on its job: instead of a fuller life, the state has led man to a haunted life.
There has to be a better way to run the world and we better see that we get it.

Martha Gellhorn is truly an icon and the book stands in the records of war reporting in all its gruesome aspects.

www.notablebiographies.com/- - -/Gellhorn-Martha



INew York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues)
New York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues; 2013)

New York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues)

New York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues)

New York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues)

New York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues)

New York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues)

New York by Thomas Hoepker (TeNeues)

Thomas Hoepker (German: Thomas Höpker; b.10Jun1936) is a German photographer and member of Magnum Photos.
He is known for stylish color photo features. He also documented the 9/11 World Trade Center destruction.
Hoepker originally made a name for himself in the 1960s as a photojournalist with a desire to photograph human conditions.

Hoepker was born in Munich, Germany. He first began taking pictures when he was 16 and received an old 9x12 glass plate camera from his grandfather. He developed his prints in his family's kitchen and bathroom, and began to earn a little money by selling pictures to friends and classmates.
Hoepker studied art history and archaeology from 1956 to 1959. Here he was taught about understanding images and composition.
While in school he continued to photograph and sell images to help finance his education.

From 1960 to 1963 he worked as a photographer for Münchner Illustrierte and Kristall, reporting from around the world. Then in 1964 he began working as a photojournalist for Stern.
In the 1970s he also worked as a cameraman for German TV, making documentary films.
In 1976 he and his wife, journalist Eva Windmoeller, relocated to New York City as correspondents for Stern. From 1978 to 1981 he was director of photography for American Geo.
From 1987 to 1989 Hoepker was based in Hamburg, working as art director for Stern.

For much of his career Hoepker used Leica cameras. In the 1970s he began to also use single-lens reflex cameras alongside his Leica, using Leicas for wide angle shots and Nikon or Canon cameras with zoom lenses. In 2002 he began using digital SLRs.
Today, Hoepker lives in New York City with his 2nd wife Christine Kruchen, with whom he produces TV documentaries.




Magpies love blingbling

In 'Magpies love bling bling', science journalists Koen Moons, Steijn van Schie and Maartje Kouwen debunk numerous well-known misconceptions from natural science in a very light manner.
Always thought magpies like shiny objects? That cats can see in the dark? That there's no gravity in space, and that you eat seven spiders in your sleep every year? It's all bullshit!
With well-backed arguments based on research, you can read everything you need to know to convincingly refute all the nonsense at birthday parties; 117 subjects are adressed here in this nicely produced little book (125 pages including an extensive list of researched sources).

The tone is often very tongue-in-cheek, and indeed very readable.
A book I'll keep in my collection and hope to browse every now and then.




Kasteel Helmond

Kasteel Helmond

Kasteel Helmond

Kasteel Helmond, 4e pest epidemie

In 1636 Helmond suffered the 4th (and last) Plague pandemic. It was the severest, the town was almost totally abandoned, people fled or were killed. Corpses were not interred.
In the streets were fires fuelled by gin and beech wood to fight off the stench.

Kasteel Helmond
Many sorts of display keep children's attention on the history of the castle and the life here by its occupants many centuries ago.

Kasteel Helmond
Maria van Brabant
Maria of Brabant (born ca.1190 – d.May/June 1260), a member of the House of Reginar, was Holy Roman Empress from 1214 until 1215 as the 2nd and last wife of the Welf emperor Otto IV.

Kasteel Helmond

Maria was the eldest daughter of Duke Henry I of Brabant and his consort Maud of Boulogne.
Maria was betrothed to King Otto IV already in 1198, while he fought for the German throne against rivalling Philip of Swabia.
Otto IV came up short in several alliances, pro and contra.

Otto was excommunicated by his former ally Pope Innocent and had to face the election of Frederick as anti-king in September 1211. One year later, he demonstratively married Beatrice of Swabia, daughter of the late King Philip.
But Beatrice died soon after the marriage.
Otto and Maria of Brabant got married on 19May1214 in Maastricht. She was about 24 years old and her husband approximately 39.

In view of the ongoing conflict between Welfs and Hohenstaufens, Maria was Empress of a divided Holy Roman Empire. Her husband's rule came to an end, when Frederick forged an alliance with King Philip II of France and provoked Otto to enter into the Anglo-French War.
On 27 July 1214, the Imperial army was decisively defeated in the Battle of Bouvines.
Otto was forced to withdraw to his Welf estates around Brunswick in Saxony with his wife.
Resigned and seriously ill, Otto died at Harzburg castle on 19 May 1218. There were no children from their marriage.

Maria remained a widow for about two years. In July 1220, she married her second husband Count William I of Holland. Nevertheless, William died just two years later, on 4 February 1222.

Maria survived her 2nd husband by 38 years, but never remarried.
In her later years, she again adopted the title of a Holy Roman Empress, establishing a Cistercian monastery at Binderen, Brabant (today part of Helmond).
She is buried in St. Peter's Church, Leuven.



Claudio Ethos, urban artist

Claudio Ethos is from São Paulo in Brazil, a concrete metropolis of 21.5 million inhabitants.
He has a very detailed style, which derives from his preference for ballpoint drawings, a style that he also applies to murals using a figurative and abstract visual language.
His influences include the work of the Brazilian twins OSGEMEOS.
An important source of inspiration is the daily struggle that people have to endure in the city of his birth.




Tahné Kleijn, photos at Helmond Art Gallery

Tahné Kleijn - Stilte heeft het laatste woord

Tahné Kleijn - Stilte heeft het laatste woord

Tahné Kleijn - Stilte heeft het laatste woord
Tahné Kleijn - 'Stilte heeft het laatste woord' @Helmond Art Gallery (2021)

Corona divides. It divides people between 'debauched young people' and 'selfish elderly', 'nagging entrepreneurs' and 'wage slaves', 'conspiracy theorists' and 'gullible'.
But what all these groups have in common is the silence at the end.
Silence has the last word is a series about the corona crisis, in which everyone involved is recorded.
From care to the hospitality industry and from a wedding to a funeral.
It shows the pandemic in all its facets.

www.tahnekleijn.nl (NL)
YouTube 'Tahne Kleijn Stilte heeft het laatste woord'
nl.linkedin.com - tahnekleijn



Harry Gruyaert - Retrospective exhib (@Helmond)

Harry Gruyaert - Retrospective exhib (@Helmond)
This photo was taken from another exhibition in the art gallery, a video was shown in a booth.
I skipped it of course, totally disgusted.

Unfortunately I cannot promote the Reprospective exhibition of work by Harry Gruyaert, as the jerk had stipulated 'No Photography' of his work. Forbidden. Verboten.
A steward walked with me to enforce the restriction. I was the only visitor, he had to open it up for me, kept a close eye on me when I walked past the photographs, so maybe the lack of promotion is not helping to attract visitors. I hope so, what an asshole.



Het Valkhof, museum and castle remains
The Valkhof castle dominating the skyline at Nijmegen on the river Maas

Het Valkhof, museum and castle remains
Ancient history of Nijmegen

Het Valkhof, museum and castle remains
Roman history related to Nijmegen

Het Valkhof, museum and castle remains

Het Valkhof, museum and castle remains

Het Valkhof, view on the bridge over the river Maas
Het Valkhof, view on the Waalbrug over the river Maas (visible from the nearby park)

Inspired by Edward Hopper
Inside the Valkhof museum, a photo inspired by Edward Hopper

The remains of the Valkenburcht
Remains of the Valkenburcht (Valkenhof park)
Castle walls

Remains of the Valkenburcht (Valkenhof park)

Remains of the Valkenburcht (Valkenhof park)

Remains of the Valkenburcht (Valkenhof park)

Remains of the Valkenburcht (Valkenhof park)
Unfortunately closed, due to renovations

Because Charlemagne is said to have built a palace near Nijmegen, the city of Nijmegen is sometimes referred to as 'the imperial city'. Charlemagne was there on Easter in 777 and several times between 804 and 814. He probably even lived there then.

In 911 the Carolingian family house died out, but the emperors who subsequently ruled the German Empire (Otto I, Otto III, Conrad II, Henry III) continued to visit the Kaiserpfalz repeatedly for acts of government, until in 1047 during a revolt against Emperor Henry III, it was burned down by Godfrey with the Beard.
In the following century, the emperors only briefly visited Nijmegen to continue their journey to Utrecht. Between 1152 and 1155 Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa built ramparts and walls around Nijmegen, and he restored the castle to its former glory.

When Frederick II and his son Conrad were deposed from the throne by Pope Gregory IX, Count Otto II of Guelders ('Gelre', Gelderland) took advantage of this opportunity and took possession of the imperial castle.
Roman King William II of Holland wanted to assert his rights to the castle, but could not repay the expenses that Count Otto had incurred. Thus William II pledged the palace and the city of Nijmegen with its dependencies for '16000 marks in silver' to Count Otto, until this sum had been repaid by the Roman king.
However, the city remained an imperial city and therefore under the protection of the German Empire. In 1254 William II was a guest at the castle and he gave permission to rebuild the Kerspelkerk, which initially stood outside the ramparts, and now placed within the ramparts. This later became the Sint-Stevenskerk.

From the 13th century, the counts of Gelre further expanded the fortification of the Valkhofburcht. This is how the castle complex was created from 1450-1500, as can be seen on many maps and prints.

As late as 1769, new rooms for the Prince-Stadtholder were built on the 2nd floor.
However, due to the civil strife at the end of the 18th century between the prince-minded and patriots, William V in 1786 considered it advisable to stay outside The Hague for a while.
He chose (in addition to Het Loo) Nijmegen, where the viscount was kind to the stadholder's house. On 11Sep1787, a large Prussian army led by the Duke of Brunswijk arrived at the castle, which the next day with troops stationed in Ooij, Persingen and Nijmegen advanced to Holland.

What followed was the road to decline and oblivion.
In 1794 the French penetrated the 'Maas en Waal'-region. In the castle a meeting was held under the leadership of Frederick of York, to see if the city should be defended or not.
On October 27th, the French launched an attack on the outposts near Neerbosch. On November 2nd, the Prince came by with his son. The administrators and magistrates left the city on November 5th, partly for administrative reasons, partly out of cowardice...
The French then fired large artillery, setting fire to the city and causing great damage to the castle.
On November 8th, the garrison left town and the French moved in. The people seemed satisfied because the defenders had misbehaved.
The castle was deemed damaged beyond economic repair.

Thus, on 09Feb1796, the complex was sold for Dutch florins (dfl) 90.400 and traders were able to reuse the precious tuff stone, with which it had been erected, for buildings in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the country.

After the demolition, the vacant site was raised, so that the remaining archaeological treasures were well preserved, and it was converted into a walking place.
The park was designed in English style by J.D. Zocher Sr., ca. 1800.
About 30 years later Hendrik van Lunteren radically adapted that design. After the urban expansion of 1878, the Flemish landscape architect Lieven Rosseels reclassifyed the park in 1886 with a bridge over the Voerweg to the Kelfkensbos.
De Waal could be seen from the Valkhof in 1925 (on a photo by Kees Ivens).
In 1978 the Valkhofvereniging was founded, which aims to protect and make accessible the remains of the Valkhof.
In 1980, a Roman 'pillar of the gods' of Emperor Tiberius was found on the Kelfkensbos.
In 1999 the Museum Het Valkhof was opened, after a design by Ben van Berkel.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Valkhof (NL)



IDe Pest - The Plague (Het Valkhof, exhibition)
De Pest - The Plague (@Het Valkhof, exhibition)

De Pest - The Plague (Het Valkhof, exhibition)

De Pest - The Plague (Het Valkhof, exhibition)

De Pest - The Plague (Het Valkhof, exhibition)

For four centuries, Europe was in the grip of plague.
The Black Death, as the disease is sometimes called, caused tens of millions of victims.
The museum shows in De Pest how one of the most devastating infectious diseases that ever plagued the world has left its mark in art (!) and society.
With more than 200 works by artists such as Gabriel Metsu, Albrecht Dürer, Erwin Olaf and Berlinde De Bruyckere and writers such as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio and Albert Camus, the museum connects the history of the plague with current events.
Never before has an exhibition of this size been devoted to this subject in the Netherlands.
(Text from the museum's website)

tentoonstellingen.museumhetvalkhof.nl/zien-en-doen/tentoonstellingen/de-pest/ (NL)
More photos on Flickr.com



Photo exposition by PRIDE PHOTO Foundation on int'l LGBTQ+ communities
Public photo exposition by PRIDE PHOTO Foundation on international LGBTQ+ communities

Photo exposition by PRIDE PHOTO Foundation on int'l LGBTQ+ communities

Photo exposition by PRIDE PHOTO Foundation on int'l LGBTQ+ communities

Photo exposition by PRIDE PHOTO Foundation on int'l LGBTQ+ communities

Photo exposition by PRIDE PHOTO Foundation on int'l LGBTQ+ communities

Photo exposition by PRIDE PHOTO Foundation on int'l LGBTQ+ communities

The Pride Photo exhibition shows the winning photos of the 2020 competition, and a selection of other photos specially selected by the foundation's curator.
The images offer a glimpse into lives and worlds familiar to some, and perhaps surprising, new or even a little uncomfortable for others.
These photos hopefully encourage visitors to think about sexual and gender diversity in an accessible and respectful way. It may facilitate a respectful dialogue about prejudice, and the often plight of the LGBTQ community worldwide.
The exhibition travels through the Netherlands to the following locations:

1 Mei – 20 Mei Amsterdam Centrum
22 Mei – 10 Juni Groningen
12 Juni – 1 Juli Amsterdam Noord
3 Juli – 22 Juli Amsterdam Zuidoost
24 Juli – 11 Aug Amsterdam West
13 Aug – 31 Aug Amsterdam Oost
2 Sept – 23 Sept Maastricht
25 Sept – 17 Okt Assen
19 Okt – 14 Nov To be advised




Smother - crime fiction tv-series

Smother is an Irish thriller drama series written by Kate O'Riordan and directed by Dathaí Keane.
The series was produced by BBC Studios and Raidió Teilifís Éireann, and premiered on 07Mar2021 on RTÉ One. It aired in the UK by Alibi in June 2021.

Set in a small town on the wild and rugged coast of County Clare, Val Ahern (Dervla Kirwan) is a devoted mother and is determined to protect her family against suspicion of an accidental (?) death. And particularly her three daughters Jenny, Anna and Grace.

At a wedding anniversary Val's husband Denis (Stuart Graham) announces his agreement to divorce Val and hand her over to her boyfriend, who is also present at the party. Everybody is gobsmacked.
Denis is later found dead at the foot of a cliff near their home the next morning.
Val attempts to investigate the events that unfolded the night before, trying to stay ahead of the police investigation.
Slowly motives for murder (as the postmortem investigation shows) appears with everyone...
It seems that not all the daughters were equal in the eyes of Denis: Jenny is not in his will and is left hanging to dry with a considerable debt for an investment Denis asked her to make.
And unstable Anna finds out Denis was selling her café without her knowing.
Rory, Anna's husband, is terminally ill but hides it from his family, including his kids with his former wife who shows up at the troubled scene. Anna fights for what she considers has become her kids.
Cal, Val's boyfriend, is more and more sidelined by Val for her preoccupation chasing suspects, including Rory's son Calum who is known to have a violent temper.
Frank, the brother of Frank and business associate, is trying to pick up the pieces of the failing investments Denis made, and also finds Denis shafted him..
Denis was a real piece of work and probably deserved to die, but who actually did it..?

A bit too melodramatic at times for my taste, but a well written and well played script.
A 2nd series was announced in April 2021 and is expected to premiere in early 2022.





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Created: 02-JUL-2021