From Holland with Love

munkacsi_martin_2007_110__0458Martin Munkácsi, [Buyers assessing lots at flower auction, Aalsmeer, Netherlands], ca. 1929

munkacsi_martin_2007_110__0459Martin Munkácsi, [Buyers reviewing lots at flower auction, Aalsmeer, Netherlands], ca. 1929

munkacsi_martin_2007_110__0460Martin Munkácsi, [Bidding at flower auction, Aalsmeer, Netherlands], ca. 1929

The very first flower auction in the Netherlands was established in 1899, at the famous flower market in Amsterdam. Due to a growing demand a decade later, a group of flower growers decided to group together and start their own auction near the town of Aalsmeer. They held their first auction on December 4, 1911 in café “Welkom.” Within a year, the auction turned out to be highly profitable and by the end of 1912 the auction cooperation “Bloemenlust” (translated as “flower desire”) was officially established.

Around 1929, the period that Martin Munkácsi visited and photographed the flower auction, the original facility in Aalsmeer had undergone several expansions and the cooperation continued to grow. Today the auction flower auction in Aalsmeer consists of six different locations with a central auction building that is the second largest in the world. Each day nearly 20 million flowers and more than 2.4 million plants and garden plants are being processed and distributed to different countries all over the world.

About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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