Issue #257  3/17/2023
Rijksmuseum Curators, Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom Win AIPAD Award
Hans Rooseboom (left) and Mattie Boom at the installation of the Modern Times show in the Rijksmuseum, 2014. © Vincent Mentzel
Hans Rooseboom (left) and Mattie Boom at the installation of the Modern Times show in the Rijksmuseum, 2014. © Vincent Mentzel

The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) has announced that Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom, Curators of Photography at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, are the recipients of the annual AIPAD Award.

The AIPAD Award recognizes and celebrates visionaries who have spent their lives at the forefront of the field of photography. The Award will be presented during the VIP Opening of The Photography Show presented by AIPAD on Thursday, March 30, 2023. The show runs from March 31 through April 2 at Center415 on Fifth Avenue at 38th Street in New York.

"It is a privilege and a pleasure to present the 2023 AIPAD Award to Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom, our first international recipients of the prize," said Lydia Melamed Johnson, Director of AIPAD. "These exemplary scholars have brought contemporary and vintage photography to one of the most storied institutions in the world, bringing new audiences to the medium and breaking ground for new media in hallowed spaces. Mattie and Hans have curated a spectacular collection while creating shows that engage viewers and expand their understanding of fine art photography. I thank them both for their long and enthusiastic support of AIPAD."

Mattie Boom and Hans Rooseboom will kick off a series of in person AIPAD Talks during the run of The Photography Show. On Friday, March 31, at 1 p.m., they will be speaking about Curating Photography at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with moderator Jean Dykstra, editor, Photograph Magazine at Center415.

The AIPAD Award was established in 2017 to acknowledge those who have significantly changed the photography landscape. Previous AIPAD Award winners are Jeff L. Rosenheim, Joyce F. Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2022; Sarah Greenough, Senior Curator and Head of the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in 2019: Keith F. Davis, formerly Senior Curator of Photography at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo., in 2018; and Anne Wilkes Tucker of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Sandra Phillips, Curator Emerita of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in 2017.

Mattie Boom is Curator of Photography at the Rijksmuseum. Photography is the youngest collection in the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum for art and history in Amsterdam that offers an overview of Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the present day. The collection of photographs now consists of 160,000 items and the Rijksmuseum Research Library has brought together a collection of more than 20,000 photobooks from 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Boom studied Art History and Archeology at Leiden University. From 1984 she worked as photography curator at the Netherlands Office for Fine Arts in The Hague and organized such exhibitions as "19th Century Photographic Art" (1989) in the Rijksmuseum and "Photography between Covers" about the Dutch post war photobook (1989) at the Amsterdam Museum. She was one of the founders of the Netherlands Photographic Society and president of this society of public institutions holding photo collections in the Netherlands from 1992 to 2002. Since 1994, she has been curator for photography at the Rijksmuseum.

In 2007, she collaborated in a national project to write a new history of photography in the Netherlands: "Dutch Eyes. A Critical History of Photography in the Netherlands" (Hatje Cantz 2007). She was one of the editors of the Rijksmuseum Studies in Photography supported by the Manfred and Hanna Heiting Fund. Recent exhibitions and catalogues include "Modern Times Photography in the 20th Century" (2014) and "New Realities. Photography in the 19th century" (2017) (both with Hans Rooseboom), as well as "Everyone a photographer. The Rise of Amateur Photography in the Netherlands 1880-1940" (2019), which is also the title of her PHD-research on this topic. Boom and Rooseboom are currently preparing an exhibition in the Rijksmuseum on American photographs (2025).

When Hans Rooseboom became interested in photography at the age of ten, he did not know it would become the focus of his professional life. During his time at Utrecht University (1985-1991), he definitely decided to become a photo historian. He started working in the Rijksmuseum in 1991. Together with Mattie Boom, he started collecting photographs for that institution in 1994, first focusing on the 19th century, then, in 2004, adding the 20th century as well; by now, they are also collecting 21st-century photographs.

In the mid-1990s, Rooseboom started working on his PhD, a collective biography of early professional Dutch photographers working between 1839 and 1889. A commercial edition was published in 2008 (in Dutch), "The Photographer’s Shadow". After having finished his PhD, Rooseboom started writing on topics including: "What’s Wrong with Daguerre? Reconsidering Old and New Views on the Invention of Photography" (2010) and "Électricité. Ten Advertising Photographs by Man Ray" (2013).

In 2014, the Rijksmuseum created a separate photo gallery. Many of the photography exhibitions mounted there and in the museum's exhibition wing were jointly organized by him and Mattie Boom. These exhibitions include "Modern Times. Photography in the 20th Century" (2014, catalogue), "New Realities.Photography in the 19th Century" (2017, catalogue), and "Ed van der Elsken. Crazy World" (2020). The "New Realities" book won the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photography Catalogue of the Year Award in 2017, thanks to the design of Irma Boom. He is now preparing an exhibition and book on the history of American photography, scheduled for February 2025--once again with Mattie Boom. It will be the culmination of some 18 years of collecting American photographs for the Rijksmuseum.