Mattie Boom, Hans Rooseboom

Modern Times. Photography in the 20th Century

Modern Times is a monumental book that does justice to the Rijksmuseum’s rich and glittering collection of twentieth century international photography. It is divided into ten themes with a historical introduction. In terms of their imagery the photos are very varied, but with their picture editing and thematic placing the editors and designer have created intriguing contrasts, graphic matches and substantive or photographic connections. Leafing through this book is a feast, not just because of the high quality of the photos in the Rijksmuseum’s collection but also because of the rhythm of old and new, the alternation of spreads, collage-like pages and photographs positioned in isolation with the rest of the page as backing.


The book’s monumentality is emphasized by the substantial, sharply rectangular book block, while the lemon-green colour on the edges gives added cachet to the modernistic aura of the book-as-object with its dainty/heroic photo of the Olympic women’s diving champion of 1936 on the front cover. The paper used for the interior has been well chosen and the cover has an attractive feel thanks to the uncoated, unlaminated paper. The lithography and printing have been beautifully done. The panel were universally happy with this book. 


Edition: 2014
Language: English, translated by Karen Gamester
Publisher / commissioner: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, nai010 publishers, Rotterdam
Designer: Irma Boom Office
Lithographer: Lecturis, Eindhoven (Gerrie van Beek)
Printer: Lecturis, Eindhoven
Binder: Patist, Den Dolder (book block), Van Waarden, Zaandam (finishing)
Dimensions: 234 x 291 x 33
Amount of pages: 340 p.
Number of copies: 5,500
Price: € 40
ISBN: 978 94 6208 176 5
Font and foundry: Rijksmuseum (Bold Monday/Paul van der Laan)
Binding style: sewn hardback, edges coloured by Aldoscreen Zeefdrukkerij, Oudenbosch
Material: 135gsm Symbol Tatami white 1.3 (interior and endpapers), 120gsm Wibalin Natural 500 White, over 1.5 mm grey board (binding)