Kahmann Gallery was founded late 2004 by collector and entrepreneur Roy Kahmann. While the original concept was to focus purely on Dutch vintage photography, the scope has broadened over time to include international photographers and younger talents. Kahmann Gallery is as a specialist in the presentation and sale of exclusive fine art photography that has either made history or will most likely do so.
The gallery holds about six exhibitions a year in its Amsterdam home and 3 in the Rotterdam location. It cooperates with various international galleries and museums and participates in international art fairs. Kahmann Gallery acts also as an art dealer and adviser for the acquisition of photography for companies or corporate collections.
The gallery exhibition programme is a mix of vintage and contemporary photography. In addition to a large vintage print collection (1930 – 80), Kahmann Gallery represents the work of almost 30 national and internationally renowned photographers. The gallery is also a supporter of new photography talent and has created Kahmann Gallery LAB to coach these artists on their first steps into the commercial art world.
Roy Kahmann (1959) was born in Amsterdam. Where he started working at the age of 18 in the design business. In 1979, while working as an apprentice at Total Design, he had the opportunity to work on a Ed van der Elsken’s publication. Sparking his love and passion for photography. During that time, Kahmann bought his first original print by Van der Elsken, a piece that is still part of his extensive photography collection to this day.
In the years following, Kahmann worked as a designer and art director for design and advertising agencies. At the end of the eighties he met his other great love, Lindy Hering. A few years later they got married. Together they immediately shared the interest and love for photography. It was the start of a search for interesting prints for more than thirty years. A collection that only grew after both found a print worthwhile.
By the end of 1994, Kahmann started thinking about starting a communication agency: a hybrid between a design agency and an advertising consultancy company. The agency opened its doors in February 1995.
At his new office in Amsterdam, many new projects came to life. In 2001 Kahmann founded the first (European) online photo gallery: Vintagephoto.nl, an initiative to put Dutch photography squarely on the international map. Three years later that initiative evolved into a physical gallery. The HUP Gallery (Holland Unique Photography) founded in November 2004, opened officially in February 2005.
Kahmann and his team started their first photo festival. The Holland Unique Photo Festival was organized in the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam in October 2005 and October 2006. Both three-day festivals boasted over 1,200 m2 of exhibition space and were considered a notable success. Unfortunately, a planned third festival in 2007 was canceled due to a withdrawal of promised grant money.
Design and photography found each other in GUP Magazine as well. In 2005, a new photography platform unfolded with international aspirations. In October 2009 GUP Magazine was nominated for a Lucie Award in New York City - the Lucie Awards being photography’s equivalent of the Academy Awards. GUP Magazine is now nearing its 17th anniversary and is distributed worldwide in 30 countries. With GUP Magazine he publishes two books about photography talents. In the quest for discovering and stimulating new photography talent, GUP annually creates and publishes New Dutch Photography Talent, a book and accompanying exhibition celebrating the best emerging Dutch photographers of the year. FRESH EYES celebrates the best photography talent in Europe. The book presents the greatest emerging photographers the continent has to offer. FRESH EYES brings talent to the attention of galleries, museums, publishers, and collectors and is yearly launched in Arles. At the beginning of 2009 HUP Gallery changed its name and moved as Kahmann Gallery to the Lindengracht 35 in Amsterdam.
His latest initiative is Haute Photographie. Haute Photographie is a boutique photography fair with the allure of a museum. A unique concept that has not been realized before. Haute Photographie is being held every year in February at the Rotterdam Art Week and in September in Amsterdam.
Kahmann is not only an entrepreneur and graphic designer, but also primarily an art collector. Together with his wife Lindy, they own nearly 10,000 original photographic works.