Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam - Powerful, Captivating, Profound and Haunting

Dickerman Prints was honored to be selected to print a remarkable, historic exhibition which can be viewed at the Goethe Institut in San Francisco now through April 17, 2015. This is the premier exhibition of the work of photographer Annemie Wolff.

Judith Trijtel - 1943 Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Judith Trijtel - 1943
Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Lost Stories, Found Images

Violence, persecution, unrest and fear were the norm for Jews living in 1943 Amsterdam. Yellow Stars of David were to be worn at all times, and at any moment one could be arrested by the Gestapo and be sent to a Concentration Camp. 

Yet, in the midst of chaos, photographer Annemie Wolff’s portrait sessions offered people a reason to get dressed up and smile: if only for a brief moment in time. 

Six decades later, one hundred rolls of film were discovered in an attic; each roll containing profound portraits of Amsterdam’s Jewish population.

Perhaps the most haunting and captivating aspect of these photographs are the smiles and optimistic gazes that grace the faces of these people. Included are children, infants, and adults of all ages, many of them wearing that Yellow Star of David. 

Little is known about the history of these portraits; which leaves us us to ponder the question of their purpose. Why, at such an incredibly tense time in the middle of a war, would people have pictures taken of themselves and their loved ones? Also, what did Wolff plan to do with the prints and why were the rolls untouched until now? 

Some mysteries have been solved; the box of negatives include a register detailing the names of all of the subjects.  Dutch researchers continue to trace the identity and fascinating stories of the individuals depicted. Most of the images in this show include captions which detail what is known of the histories of their subjects. While about half of the portrait subjects survived the war, these images represent the last trace of the many others who perished in the camps. 

Hilde Jacobsthal - 1943 Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Hilde Jacobsthal - 1943
Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam provides a means of learning, exploration, and creating a space to discuss our collective history, how it affects our current lives, and how we can pass it on to future generations. The compelling images provide an unforgettable experience for viewers to delve into the past, present, and future of the Jewish and human experience.   

. . .

About the Printing of the Show 

All the photographs exhibited in Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam were prepared and printed by Seth Dickerman.

As Seth wrote to Simon Kool, the show's Dutch curator, 

“I am deeply moved to be involved in producing Annemie Wolff’s portraits. These images are truly great, completely heartbreaking and almost unbearably profound.” 

Seth’s approach was to print this work as if he were printing it for Annemie herself. 

“These portraits are beautifully made and wonderfully lit. They are also extremely professional. There can be no mystery as to how she would want them printed - which would likewise be professionally, and consistently - with fully detailed highlights, open shadows, and most importantly,  to always work to help the subject look his or her very best.” 

Seth feels grateful and fortunate to have the opportunity to print such powerful and moving work. Having printed work by both Vivian Meier and Annemie Wolff within the span of a year has been “a privilege.” 

. . .

On Display through April 17, 2015

After months of work, we proudly invite you to experience Annemie’s work for yourself at Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam. The exhibition is supplemented by a number of activities, film screenings, and lectures. 

Goethe Institut
530 Bush Street, ART Lounge
San Francisco, California

To learn more about the exhibition and attendant program, please visit JewishFed.org.

Annemie Wolff - Self Portrait Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Annemie Wolff - Self Portrait
Copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

All photographs on this page are copyright: Monica Kaltenschnee

Fine Art Printing Workshops at the Lab


Seth Dickerman (left)

Seth Dickerman (left)

Do you have favorite images that deserve to be printed and displayed? Perhaps you have images that you know will make great prints, but you aren’t sure how to get them to look their best.

Dickerman Prints is now offering fine art printing tutorials and workshops. Through collaboration and instruction, we will work to give your images greater depth and range. Learn how to make beautiful, engaging prints that articulate what you would like your photograph to say.

2 Hour Personal Photoshop Printing Tutorial, $375 
Uses of 10 feet of 30” wide Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper is included. (A $300 value.)

This private session includes two hours of one-on-one instruction with Master Printer Seth Dickerman and 25 square feet of 30″ wide Fuji Crystal Archive paper, exposed and processed in our state-of-the-art Polielletronicca printer.* The tutorial will be tailored to the needs of each participant, and can accommodate photographers with advanced Photoshop skills, or those just beginning their digital practice. Regardless of experience, this tutorial will give you the tools to make your prints better than you thought possible!

Areas of assistance can include:
- image manipulation, retouching and editing
- tonality, density and contrast
- uses of curves, levels, layers, masks, brushes
- image sharpening
- image rescue techniques
- darkroom techniques as they translate into digital photography best practices
- file sizing
- formatting decisions
- cropping
- editing
- sequencing
- portfolio preparation
- exhibition preparation
- paper choices
- print finishing options

Seth Dickerman has been a professional printer since 1978, working with many of the country’s most respected photographers. A highly experienced teacher, Seth has trained many other professional printers. He has taught at both the UC Berkeley ASUC Art Center and at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and has led numerous other fine printing workshops. His extensive darkroom experience uniquely informs his work with digital materials. Seth has exhibited his personal work widely and is represented by Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. His work is in many public and private collections.

*10 linear feet of 30” wide paper will yield up to 45 8×10” prints, or a lesser number of larger sized prints. Any remaining unexposed paper will be available you for you to print on at a later time, at your convenience. Additional personal tutorial time is $150 per hour, and includes 4 feet of 30” wide paper. Arrangements can also be made for those working with negatives and transparencies.

Image © Baron Wolman

Image © Baron Wolman

Fine Printing Group Workshop: Making your prints look their best, $750 
Three sessions, for 3-6 students. Use of 15 feet of 30” wide Fujicolor Crystal Archive paper is included. ($450 value)

Led by Seth Dickerman, this workshop will cover a variety of fine art printing techniques. We will look at our prints critically, discuss how they may be improved, and then print them to our satisfaction. The workshop is designed to give participants a solid foundation of digital editing skills. We will focus on professional digital darkroom techniques, covering topics like tonality, contrast, density, and image manipulation.

Session 1 (October 4th: 7:30 – 9:30 PM): Introductory Lecture, Group Critique, Demonstration

Session 2 (October 5th: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM): Group Printing Day
Participants will be encouraged to continue with their printing on their own over the following 2 weeks in preparation for Session 3.

Session 3 (October 25th: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM): Group Critique and Printing/reprinting

DIY “C” Printers: Improvement Prints for 40% Off

Our clients have a discerning eye when it comes to perfect prints. If you’re one of the many photographers and hobbyists who utilize our Print on Demand service, this discount was created with you in mind.

For those unfamiliar, Print on Demand allows photographers to make digital “C” prints- without the need for print technicians. We love our staff, and we chose them for their incredible abilities, but there are times when we’d just like to have control over our own prints!

We all like to make the most of our print canvasses, by printing out small test strips before that final large print. But inevitably, you will sometimes prnt an image and find you need to make another change before calling it perfect.

If you find that your final print needs just one more reprint, or essential change, you can get your second print at 40% off.

We take our role as a community-based photo lab seriously, and to us, this is one of our most important services. We remain the only lab in the bay area that offers DIY digital “C” printing and workspace. Our color-managed digital darkrooms are always free while you’re printing (as is the espresso and tea!), and it’s our sincere hope that this encourages the creation of new work, beautiful photography, and gorgeous prints.

Make them great!

A Tour of 1141 Howard Street

The boxes are unpacked, the workstations are up and running, and the sunlight pours in every morning (cue uplifting piano interlude).

Seth’s work, and the new home of the pigment printer.

The new darkroom

The new darkroom

Our next big project is the addition of new magnetic gallery walls. This will prove to be an incredible improvement to those of using the Print on Demand service. Clean, white walls will surround each digital darkroom providing the proper darkness for each workspace, and empty, white wall space to examine finished prints on the outside.