Biography: City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

Biography: City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo


Eva Besnyo (1910–2002) was a Dutch-Hungarian photographer who participated in the Nieuwe Fotografie (New Photography) movement.

In 1928, she started to study photography at József Pécsi’s studio where she also served an apprenticeship. In 1930, at the age of 20, she moved to Berlin where she first worked for advertising photographer René Ahrlé before working on photoreportages with the press photographer Peter Weller. She became part of the social and political circle of intellectuals which included György Kepes, Joris Ivens, László Moholy-Nagy, Otto Umbehr and Robert Capa. In 1931, she opened her own studio where she was successful in receiving agency work. Her well-known photograph of the gipsy boy with a cello on his back stems from that period.Threatened by the onset of National Socialism in 1932, she moved to Amsterdam with her Dutch friend John Fernhout whom she married. With the assistance of Charley Toorop, she participated in exhibitions which led to commissions in press photography, portraits, fashion and architecture.

Her solo exhibition in the Van Lier art gallery in 1933 consolidated her recognition in the Netherlands. Besnyö experienced a further breakthrough with her architectural photography only a few years later: translating the idea of functionalist “New Building” into a “New Seeing”.

Unable to work during the German occupation of the Netherlands, she went into hiding. After the war she again received commissions for documentary work but became less active as she raised her two children fathered by the graphic designer Wim Brusse. In the 1970s, she was active in the Dutch feminist movement Dolle Mina, fighting for equal rights and photographing street protests.

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

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City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo


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