Het Nieuwe Instituut organises exhibitions and activities in the fields of architecture, design and digital culture, and researches its own role in the cultural sector. Photographer Johannes Schwartz was asked to select a series of images from the State Archive’s photography collections that relate to the sort of cultural organisation that Het Nieuwe Instituut wants to be: interdisciplinary, rooted in research, and with a strong focus on innovation and representation.
These notions and the programme that has been set to fulfil Het Nieuwe Instituut’s agenda (Landscape and Interior, Things and Materials, and changing annual themes) form a thread that runs through the selection. This collection of images, which is not static, but being constantly added to and edited, is used in a variety ways to communicate about Het Nieuwe Instituut, for example, in projects that are in development, or themes that are being addressed by long-term research projects. Or they are used for special products, such as publications and reproductions. This also provides a means by which to analyse the collection in unusual ways – more theme oriented than object oriented, more substantive, but also more associative and personal. This project has resulted in a set of several hundred images which can be drawn upon for different purposes and which can help to both support and shape the identity of Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Architectural Photography in the Collection
At the end of the 1990s, an inventory was taken of all the photographic material hidden in the collection of what was then the Netherlands Architecture Institute, today Het Nieuwe Instituut. The photographs were used by architects for publications, education and lectures, and were sometimes the bearers of new trends and ideologies. Drawing together prints and negatives from the different photographic archives allowed new insights into their historical and documentary value to emerge.