Bulletin - Bart Sorgedrager

February 21, 2017

RRB Photobooks is pleased to present a collection of the books of Bart Sorgedrager.  Under the heading "Netherlands, land of factories without chimneys', Sorgedrager has made photographs in factories across the Netherlands in order to preserve the vanishing Dutch industrial sector.; collating archive material and his own images upon a factory closure, often presenting the finished product to the employees. This collection is particularly thematically interesting for what it represents about the relationship between photographers and corporate structure. Also notable in this collection is Sorgedrager’s first book on Ajax football club and his reimagining of a Dutch cold war information pamphlet.


1. IJzer aan de Oude IJssel

Published by Fragment, 1988. Softcover. 135 Pages. text in Dutch. Signed. One of the earlier examples of Sorgedrager’s industrial photobooks, documenting the iron foundries in the Achterhoek. Illustrated with black and white archive images, Sorgedrager’s own colour photographs and drawings with text and photo plates.


2. Cold War, Civil Defense in the Netherlands 1949-1989

Legermuseum Delft, 1997. Hardcover, Leporello format. First Edition, 500 copies. Signed. 34 pages. The book combines b&w archive images detailing what Dutch citizens should do in case of a nuclear attack, with Sorgedrager’s own colour photographs revisiting the sites and artefacts of the original material. The archive images show staged b/w images, often hand coloured with white to highlight what is important in the image. When, later in the 80’s, people realized that the tactics of a nuclear war would result in complete annihilation anyway, this little pamphlet came to be seen as a joke, while Sorgedrager’s own photographs pick up on the same dead-pan aesthetic as the original images and reveal the fact that these places and rooms seem as unsuited for their initial intent. Most notable for its accordian-like Leporello format, pages printed front and back, allowing the book to be read two ways.


3. De Ritmeester 1887-2005

Self-Published, Amsterdam, 2005. Hardcover. 80 pages, 21x27cm. Edition of 350. One of the number of books Bart Sorgedrager has produced on the history of the industrial sector in the Netherlands, De Ritmeester 1887-2005 focusses on the Ritmeester cigar factory. The book features numerous colour photographs of the factory paired with portraits of employees while smoking and more formal group portraits of the workers.


4. Temidden Der Ajacieden

Waanders, 1987. Softcover. 58 pages. Text in Dutch. Signed

Foreword by Freek de Jong. Little known and scarce photobook of life at Ajax football club, during the era of Johan Cruyff’s management, from 1986-1987. Cruyff was one of the most famous exponents of the football philosophy known as Total Football, and coached a young Ajax side to victory in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1987. This book follows the glories of the club, the training, the travel, and the crowds. One of, if not the best football photobook. 


5. De Unileverfabrieken in Delft, Loosdrecht en Vlaardingen

Self-Published, Amsterdam, 2008. 3 Hardcover, volumes in black slipcase. Red, Green and blue cloth. 22 x 27 cm. Signed and numbered edition of 50. Each volume of 70 pages commemorates one of three recently closed Unilever factories in the Netherlands. In Sorgedrager’s typical style, each book brings together colour photographs of the factory’s interiors and exteriors, archive images, formal employee portraits and other supplementary material. The design gives a nod to the products made at the factory, with the endpapers featuring product images of foodstuffs such as mayonnaise and chilli sauce.£550

6. De Kruitfabriek In Muiden 1702-2004

Self Published, Amsterdam, 2004. Edition of 500. Soft card covers, 24 x 17cm. 48 pages. Text in Dutch. Signed. One of a number of Sorgedrager’s books detailing Dutch factories, this title focuses on the gunpowder production at Muiden. The factory itself faced a number of controversies over employee safety and the alleged illegal supply of gunpowder to Iraq. The book features 20 colour photographs and 12 b&w contrasting building exteriors with the industrial machinery within.


 7. De Heftrukfabriek in Almere 1991-2013

Self-Published, Amsterdam, 2013. Hardcover over spiral binding. 96 pages, 20 x 22 cm. Text in English and Dutch. Signed. This title documents the Mitsubishi Forklift Factory in Almere, produced on its closing. The images focus on the production process and the factory employees. This book, which was created in close collaboration with the photographer refers in its design to the machine parts catalog by using tabs and spiral binding.


8. DRAKA: De Kabelfabriek In Amsterdam-Noord 1910-2016

Hardcover; original cloth in illustrated slipcase. 112 pages 25.5 x 26.5 cm. Text in Dutch. Edition of 500. Signed. Produced on the closing of the DRAKA cable factory in Amsterdam, the book begins with the company’s foreword with two aerial photographs and a floor plan of the company, which the structure of the book follows beginning with the doorman and ending in dispatch, along with 78 employee portraits. Sorgedrager references the product made in the book design by way of the reproduction of drawn cable cross-sections printed on transparencies.



9. De Buizenfabriek in Arnhem 1925-2010

Self- Published, Amsterdam, 2010. Hardcover, 230x205mm. 80 pages, 37 colour photographs. First edition of 400 copies. Bart Sorgedrager has produced a number of books for companies based in the Netherlands, often produced when the business was closing or relocating, as is the case here. This publication was commissioned by the steel manufacturing company Corus. It was published on the occasion of the closure of their pipe manufacturing factory in Arnhem, and a copy was given to all employees on their last day. The book features 37 colour photographs including 7 pages of photographs showing small portraits of the company employees. Foreword by site manager Ferdinand Kalas. Photo-illustrated blue endpapers. Silver paper-covered boards, spine and covers blocked in blue and black.


See the full collection here

For orders or queries please email josie@rrbphotobooks.com