The Hague, Netherlands


Palace Garden, The Hague, Netherlands, August 1929, by Stéphane Passet, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

The autochrome above is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photo (A 61 978 X) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

Vintage landscape: flowers amicorum

May bouquet, 1880s, Alkmaar Archives on flickrA watercolor by Margaretha Roosenboom from an album amicorum created for the writer Anna Louisa Geertruida Bosboom-Toussaint on the occasion of her 70th birthday in 1882, via Archief Alkmaar Commons on flickr.

The album (684 loose sheets in an ornamental wooden box) contained drawings, watercolors, photographs, text, and music by friends and admirers.

The contributors represented a cross section of the cultural elite in 19th century Netherlands and Belgium, including many artists who were part of the Hague School.

After Bosboom-Toussaint’s death, the album was eventually given to her hometown of Alkmaar and is now in the collection of the Regional Archief Alkmaar.

To see some flower arrangements created and shared today, please visit Cathy at the blog Rambling in the Garden. She hosts “In a Vase on Monday.”

Vintage landscape: a terrace

Heiloo, 1815, via Alkmaar Archives on flickrA farmhouse of To (or Ter) Coulster, in the town of Heiloo, Netherlands, 1815, by J. A. Crescent, via Regionaal Archief Alkmaar Commons on flickr.

You can click on the image to enlarge it. There are more of Crescent’s charming watercolors here.

A garden is the interface between the house and the rest of civilization.

Geoffrey B. Charlesworth