Exhibition: Somewhere between Art and Kiek

Many Leiden students were immortalised by the 19th-century photographer Israël Kiek. An exhibition in the Old University Library (from 8 October to mid-December) is dedicated to his work. If you have any antique photos, bring them along to the photo viewing day. Your photo just might turn out to be a genuine Kiek!

Group photos of students

Israël David Kiek (1811–1899) became famous for his group photographs of students posing in striking arrangements, such as in a roof gutter or on a stepladder. Many of these pictures were taken at night, when drunken students would show up on his doorstep and ask to be photographed. Kiek became a household name, and a “kiekje” came to mean any unpretentious, impromptu photo.

The exhibition displays photographs by Kiek taken from the collections of the Leiden University Libraries and the Academic Historical Museum, as well as from the archives of the Minerva student association and of Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken

Photo viewing day

There is a suspicion that many more of Kiek’s photographs remain to be discovered in the archives of families who had a strong tradition of studying in Leiden. Everyone is warmly invited to come to the Old University Library for the photo viewing day on 24 October to show their old photographs to a team of expert who  will appraise their historical value and tell you if they have any monetary value.

The experts are particularly interested in photographs taken by Kiek, but other old photos (up to 1945) are also welcome. The experts are:

  • Flip Bool, photo historian

  • Maartje van den Heuvel, conservator of photography at Leiden University

  • Willem Diepraam, qualified valuer for photography 

Register for the photo viewing day via: fotokijkdag@photofestivalleiden.com


The exhibition Tussen Kunst en Kiek (“Somewhere between Art and Kiek”) is part of the International Photo Festival Leiden.
Old University Library, Rapenburg 70, Leiden
14 October – mid-December 2015

Open during office hours from 8.00 to 18.00 hrs. Entry is free

Photo viewing day on 24 October 13.00 - 17.00 hrs.

(12 October 2015)

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Last Modified: 14-10-2015