1929 - 2002

Photography, graphics


Karl DE HAAN, photographer, abt. 1970 (Gallery 101 Johannesburg archives)

Karl de Haan in about 1970

Karl de Haan's signature in 1968 (Artlook 21, p. 4)


Brief C.V.

Born on 14th June, 1929, in Java, Indonesia, son of a Dutch hairdresser and an Austrian mother, Karl de Haan's family moved to Holland before WW2; Karl grew up there, studying commercial art for five years at the Art Academy in Arnhem NL, then obtaining a BA Fine Arts at Amsterdam University. He married Corrie in Holland in 1950. After the birth of their son Joek in 1952, they moved to South Africa in 1953, settling in Johannesburg, where daughter Karen was born in 1958.

Karl de Haan first worked in advertising and display, starting his own studio for fashion and commercial photography in 1965, then touring Rhodesia extensively between 1966 and 1968, opening a studio in Brussels in 1969, before going to the USA for 18 months, then returning to Johannesburg. He and Corry were divorced in 1972.


Karl de Haan's stamp in 1970

In 1982, Karl de Haan and his second wife Gail left South Africa from Port Elizabeth to sail on their yacht "Bess" to South America and other parts of the world, settling on the Caribbean Island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. On a trip to Susuwe Island Lodge in the Caprivi Region which his son-in-law was building, he fell in love with the elephants and remained there, spending many hours following and photographing the herds. In 2002, on a holiday trip to the Caribbean he had a stroke and died while there.



Selected Exhibitions

Gallery 101, Johannesburg (The Gallery 101 - U.A.T. 1963 Competition: "Arbeid-Work") (March, 1963 - cat. 22)

Gallery 101, Johannesburg - August, 1965 (images from a fashion assignment in Spain)

Pentax Forum Gallery, Tokyo "African Orpheus" - 1973 (1974)

Gallery 101, Johannesburg ("African Orpheus" - a photographic essay) - 19th February, 1975

Bensusan Museum of Photography, Johannesburg ("A story of a girl who painted herself black") (January/February, 1993)



Book publications

Karl de Haan - part bookcover of "Happy Sun Day", 1969

Karl de Haan cover of "Happy Sun Day", 1969

"Happy Sun Day" by Karl de Haan, published by C.J. Bucher, Luzern/Frankfurt a.M., 1969, 117 pp., 112 b/white ill.

"Sunday Sue" by Karl de Haan, published by Fountain Press, London, 1970, 120 pp. - ISBN-13: 978-0852424100

"African Orpheus" - a photographic essay by Karl de Haan - published in Japan in 1973/1974, was banned by the SA Government on 6th May, 1977, as an undesirable publication. So was the publication "Private Postcards".

„The best Nudes 9“ published by Haga shoten (editors Eiko Hosoe / Ippei Ito), Japan, in 1982 – photo book by Ku Khanh, James Baes, Karl de Haan – 118 pp. – ASIN: B006PAZ4FU

Karl de HAAN - proposed cover of unpublished "Apple & Eve" project in 1969

Proposed cover of unpublished "Apple & Eve" project by Karl de Haan

"The Little Apple Box" ("Apple & Eve") - 65 double pp. (proposed in 1968, not published; the maquette of this project with 85 unpublished plates 50x65 cm is in a private collection in California)



Included in selected publications

"Camera International Monthly Journal for Photography and Film", Lucerne, No. 4, April 1968 (Photos by Harry Callahan, Sven Simon, Karl De Haan and Georges Ashton)

ARTLOOK 21, Johannesburg - August, 1968 - pp. 4-7, ill.

"Camera International" Lucerne Vol. 47, p. 58

L'Officiel de la Photographie et du Cinéma, 1971, no. 198, Octobre 1971 (Karl de Haan "Variations en noir et blanc")

Various issues of "Playboy" during the 1960s and 1970s (including "Eve Today" from Playboy Press 1974 Book 2 - Guido Mangold, Pompeo Posar, Karl de Haan)

His pictures have been published in "PhotoGraphis" annual pre-1975.

"Camera" (International Federation of Photographic Art), 1974 - Issues 1-6, (104 pp. vol. includes pictures by world-famous photographers incl. Karl de Haan on p.152)

"Photography and Travel" (published by Argus Group) - Portfolio "This month Karl de Haan" - October, 1974, pp. 8-13

Karl de Haan - image from "Photography and Travel" October 1974, part of page 11

"Creative Camera" (Coo Press, London) - Issues 175-186, January-December, 1979, p. 28 (each vol. 75 professional photographers) - the essay for 1978 was on Karl de Haan

"Sons of the Desert: the Arab horse in history, mythology, poetry and pictures" (Delta Books Publ., Johannesburg) (1980) - text: Jean Power; photographs: Karl de Haan; drawings by Christine Egeland - 128 pp. - ISBN 0 908387 02 4

click on image for better view!

"Photography of the nude: an annotated bibliography" (Frank H. Wallis, 1993), 175 pp. with over 3000 citations - ISBN 0963833294

"Jacobsens objectionable literature index" 26th February, 1993 - Supp 99, p.7 ("African Orpheus" listed)

"Green Mountain Doctor" by Colin Smith - Chapter 17 - "Karl de Haan, wandering photographer" (Colin Smith Publ.) (2000) - ISBN 0-9538895-0-5



Selected SA press references

The Star, Johannesburg - 13th August, 1965, ill. (Karl's impression)

The Star, Johannesburg - 5th April, 1969, ill.

The Star, Johannesburg - 15th February, 1975 (New ground in photo essay)

"Communicat", Johannesburg - February, 1975, p.53 ill.

Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg - 26th February, 1975, ill.

SA Financial Gazette, Johannesburg - 28th February, 1975

The Citizen, Johannesburg - 19th August, 1980 (Photographic voyage ...)

Beeld, Johannesburg - 5th January, 1993, p. 9 (de Haan se foto's te sien)

Beeld, Johannesburg - 26th February, 1993, p. 8 (Karl de Haan se perdefoto's in Goudstad)



Selected Public Collections

Bensusan Museum of Photography, Johannesburg


Updated 18th March, 2013

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