chapter  11
20 Pages

Military Matters: Approaches to the Photographic Collection of the Dutch Army Museum

The military world often appears self-contained, with its specific culture, distinctive uniforms, green vehicles and armoury of all sorts. It is also a world of strict hierarchy and discipline, marching platoons and shouted orders, a world under total control at all times. On manoeuvre an army must be completely self-sufficient, calling on a diversity of support units to service the deployment of fighting units. These complex needs are of course sometimes made publically visible, in ways that range from ‘open days’ and recruitment campaigns to formal on national and royal occasions, often with a colourful ceremonial touch. The role of the army museum, then, is also one of public visibility and a space where these diverse military processes, operations and functions can be translated for the public. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the ways in which photographs were used in this process of translation in the Dutch National Army Museum [hereafter AM].1