Interiors of Dutch Farm Houses (2003)

You may not have realized that 2003 was the "Year of the Farm". Therefore, I was given an assignment by the Dutch Cultural Foundation to photograph 25 farm houses. I was sent to historic farms, which were still functional – some included a herd of cattle, comprised of four cows that were just as old as the farmers themselves. I was, of course, guided by a to-do list including buildings and locations of historical interest. Though this was worthwhile, my attention was sometimes captured by new developments: the combination of a 17th century staircase and a refrigerator, or a wall with Delft Blue tiles and an electrical socket. What I also found intriguing was the frequent combination of historical rooms in the original farmhouse and newly built more modern living rooms and kitchens in the former stables.

Many of the farms were owned by elderly couples or more often just one old farmer: the survivor of a family with many sisters, the guardsman of 85 keeping the family place in order. I am afraid that many of the farm houses that I photographed did not survive the inevitable new ownership in subsequent years.

The photographs were used for the publication Binnen bij Boeren which strongly emphasizes the heritage point of view.