Bertien Van Manen

1942 · Netherlands

Artist biography

A revolutionary photographer that has blurred the boundaries between commercial and documentary imagery, Dutch artist Bertien van Manen proved to be an essential figure in the advance of the art form.

Getting her start in the realm of fashion, van Manen grew to prominence for her ability to capture the essence of design. Having come in contact, though, with the work of Robert Frank included in his 1958 The Americans, van Manen began to shift her focus to a more documentary lens. Following this inspiration, van Manen’s camera took her to new spaces and places and, later in her career, truly around the globe as she searched for new experiences and sampled new cultures. The result of this exploration is an impressive body of work in both black and white and color that continue to dazzle fans of her work today.

In addition to publication featuring her work, including 2010’s Let’s Sit Down Before We Go, van Manen’s photography has been showcased in numerous exhibitions, and her work is also part of some of the world’s most prestigious museum collections, including those of the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and The Metropolitan Museum of Photographie (Tokyo).

Bertien Van Manen

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