Portraits og Kerteminde fishermen

15. November 2016 | The Johannes Larsen Museum

Herdis Jacobsen: Fisker Marius Boesen

Herdis Jacobsen’s 100 year old photographs are full of lived lives.

In a new hanging of pictures in one of the “hammocks” on the 2nd floor of the Collection building at the Johannes Larsen Museum, you will now encounter photo portraits of a handful of Kerteminde fishermen. They tell mutely the living conditions of fishermen in Kerteminde 100 years ago.

The photographer Herdis Jacobsen (1893-1982) is known for her iconic photographs of well-known Danes like Johannes Larsen, Niels Bohr, Bodil Ipsen and many others. She was born in Dalby to the north of Kerteminde. After travelling abroad, she returned to Kerteminde in 1917 and worked with her husband, photographer Herman Jacobsen.

Fishing plays one of the leading roles in Kerteminde’s history, and it is still an active profession here. In 1930, about 20 years after Herdis took most of her portraits of fishermen, Kerteminde had about 155 registered fishing boats. Since then, the boats have become fewer, but bigger.

Many of the old fisher families live in the town, and therefore, the fishermen that can be seen in the portraits in the exhibition are far from forgotten. Their names can still be heard in rooms and fishing shacks around town.

When Herdis Jacobsen photographed the fishermen, she was alone in a dark, enclosed room with her light source and her model. She took her time, up to an hour or more. In that way, the model had time to get used to the situation, get over his shyness and open up. Only then did Herdis Jacobsen begin photographing her model, creating her expressive portraits.

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