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Henk the owner of the Whisky a Go-Go and the bartenders at Club Homolulu act out a tipsy toast to drunkenness, SX-70 Polaroids, 1980
Voordekunst (For the Arts) is a crowdfunding site popular with artists and book publishers in the Netherlands. Please visit the page that the book’s editor Leonor Faber-Jonker has created for Selling Polaroids in the Bars in Amsterdam 1980, a book of photographs by Bettie Ringma and me (Marc H. Miller). This is the final week for the campaign, but with your help we will quickly reach our crowdfunding goal.
Selling Polaroids in the Bars of Amsterdam, 1980 celebrates the raucous Amsterdam nightlife that Bettie and I experienced forty years ago. It is also a tribute to the SX-70 Polaroid camera and the remarkable Polaroid photo that self-developed in one minute with sharply focused details and beautiful colors. The book is published by Uitgeverij Lecturis and will be available in mid-June.
Please visit our Voordekunst crowd funding page.
Gabriël Metsu, The Old Drinker, oil on panel, Rijksmuseum, 1661-1663
Portrait of a man in a bar on the Zeedijk, SX-70 Polaroid, 1980
“As it so happened, Bettie and Marc tapped into a deeper cultural touchstone: the longstanding tradition of Dutch tavern portraits, which dates back to the work of 17th-century painters like Adriaen Brouwer and Jan Steen. As an art of the people, these madcap scenes of raucous delight were the snapshots of their time that challenged the prevailing morality while simultaneously preserving idiosyncratic characters engaged in lascivious escapades.”
– Miss Rosen, “Polaroids of Amsterdam’s bar scene in the 80s,” i-D online, March 13 2023
Patti and Lily, Cafe Rex, SX-70 Polaroid, 1980
Two men at the Turkish bar and restaurant Cascade, SX-70 Polaroid, 1980
“Zoom out farther, and it becomes apparent that the photos show a society experiencing considerable change. After the Second World War, Amsterdam became a much more multicultural city because of various migration flows. This historical development is clearly reflected in the Polaroids, and that makes the photos unique. They show people or places that you rarely encounter in exhibitions of more famous city photographers.”
– Mark Bergsma, “A Treasured Piece of City History,” essay from Selling Polaroids in the Bars of Amsterdam, 1980, 2023
Bettie Ringma and a man with a knife, Zeedijk, SX-70 Polaroid, 1980
Marc H Miller and woman, Zeedijk, SX-70 Polaroid, 1980
“Bettie and Marc were the perfect team to create the bar Polaroids, an art project from and about real life. Above all, they saw photography as an adventurous way to go out into the world and discover new places and people. As their friend and former colleague Curt Hoppe says: ‘A walk on the wild side, that’s what it was. It had just that little bit of danger you need to make something special.’”
– Leonor Faber-Jonker, “Walk on the Wild Side,” essay from Selling Polaroids in the Bars of Amsterdam, 1980, 2023
Selling Polaroids in the Bars of Amsterdam, 1980 is a 206 page bilingual hardcover book with over 200 color photos.
Those who contribute 50 euros to our Voordekunst campaign will receive a copy of the book upon its release in mid-June.