The museum is closed. We hope to see you soon. Sign up for our newsletter and we will keep you posted!

The magnifying glass and pocket watch are the first things we notice in this close-up photographic self-portrait by designer Paul Schuitema. They allude to the precision of the equipment created by one of Schuitema’s clients in the period 1927–31: N.V. Mij. Van Berkels Patent. He designed all the company’s publicity. Photography as a visual element in advertising was new at the time. In Schuitema’s view – and that of his fellow photographers worldwide – the mechanical character of photography was a perfect match for the machine production of their era and photographs could convey a message more quickly and directly than words. The textual reference to Van Berkel in this photograph therefore has very much a subsidiary role. In 1931, he incorporated the photograph in a poster for “Internationaal reclame drukwerk” (International Advertisement Printing), an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, which presented the contemporary avant-garde in this field. Schuitema was able to share his convictions not only through his own work, but also through art education.
© Paul Schuitema/Nederlands Fotomuseum/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Translated title

Self Portrait



Production date

ca. 1929


Click here to view 7 related documents


gelatin silver print

Object number

FA 1343