For one it was an abomination, the other looks back on the school days with great pleasure. One thing is certain: we have almost all experienced it and have our own memories of it. The Hague Museum of Photography presents the exhibition School – In Love, Bored, Overslept.

From photos in class to school parties and while doing homework: in the modern building on the Stadhouderskade you get instant flashbacks to your own school days. “The exhibition is a kind of re-experience or experience – depending on how old you are – of your school day.”

Handing out cigarettes

You will find photos from inside and outside the school. “For example, of a child who does not want to let go of his mother. Or a girl waiting for friends to cycle to school together,” says Annemarie van den Eijkel, communications officer at the museum.

It also becomes clear how education has changed. “Whereas a teacher used to really be in front of the class, a teacher is now much more in the classroom. And grabbing a pupil by the ear to address him, that no longer happens.” Of course the exam parties and the secret distribution of cigarettes should not be missed.

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One of the photos that can be seen at the Fotomuseum Den Haag. Photo © Carel van Hees / collection: Rijksmuseum


They are not just random pictures. Compiler Dirk Kome, a photographer himself, heard criticism about education in the media, while he himself looks back on his school days with great pleasure. “That made Dirk curious. He started searching archives and collections for photos of education and could hardly stop.”

In the Photo Museum you will find photos by Carel van Hees, among others. “For an annual photo assignment from the Rijksmuseum, he photographed schools in Rotterdam, where many cultures come together.” Raimond Wouda photographed in the early years 00 for his series School pupils at schools everywhere in the Netherlands. “Wouda used a remote control to capture the moment. He chose the places where students spend time together between classes.”


As a photographer, Dirk himself could not stay behind. For a year he followed and photographed a HAVO class at his old school. The rest of the images come from photo collections and archives throughout the Netherlands. “Photos that then served as images for a news report, now give an image of the time.”

Annemarie regularly hears that people get flashbacks to their own school days during a visit. “The exhibition is very nice to visit with someone. Because you can have whole conversations about your own or each other’s school days based on what you see. Memories suddenly become active again.”

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Photo © Charlotte van der Gaag

Enough to do

Would you like to do more besides catching up with your museum partner about your school days? In Fotomuseum Den Haag you can book guided tours. “All the background information makes you look at the images in a different way.” If you book quickly, you can get a tour from the compiler Dirk. “He knows so much about this exhibition. There is an hour for it, but you can easily make it an hour and a half.”

Those who want more depth can go to two lectures. Merel van Vroonhoven worked in business but switched to education. In addition to teaching special education, she writes about the importance of good education. She will give a lecture on 4 June in the Hague Museum of Photography.

Jacques Dane works at the Education Museum in Dordrecht and gives a lecture on 25 June about 2023the history of the class photo. “Speaking of which, we have a lot of it.” The museum called for class photos. “There is an overview of 150 years of class photos. We managed to find a photo from every year. That is very cool to see.”


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