Germaine Van Parys
& Odette Dereze





Germaine Van Parys & Odette Dereze

Germaine Van Parys (1896-1983) was a pioneer in Belgian photo journalism. Together with her godchild Odette Dereze (DOB 1932), Van Parys accomplished an impressive oeuvre. Their work offers a unique insight into the history of Belgium from 1918 until the end of the last century.

Van Parys made a substantial contribution to the development of professional photography in Belgium. Her field of interest was broad, seeing that she recorded historical milestones as well as everyday scenes. Moreover, she managed to build a relationship of trust with the Belgian royal family, which culminated in legendary portraits.
The work of Odette Dereze, too, reflects a broad interest in politics, culture, business and events. Her photography betrays a skilled eye, one that is trained on the human being.
The exhibited photographs tell a powerful, visual story in which universal themes, such as sorrow, joy and dreams are woven into the journalistic assignments. We see Belgium through the lens of two master photographers.

By way of exception, the archives of these photographers were open to the general public thanks to the support of the Germaine Van Parys Foundation and the efforts by Prof. Johan Swinnen who is also fellow-curator of this exhibition.

This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue: 'De aanraking van de tijd. Germaine Van Parys en Odette Dereze', [The touch of time. Germaine Van Parys and Odette Dereze] Johan Swinnen (Publ. Luster) and a children's book 'Kijken met Germaine', [Looking with Germaine] Johan Swinnen
(Publ. Luster).