In 1972, Eye Filmmuseum received the collection of the Geesink studio, containing more than 8000 prints of commercials with a length varying from 7 seconds to 4 minutes. These were ads made in the 1950s and 1960s for cinema and television, using puppet animation and live action, for markets within Europe and the U.S.A. Philips, Campari, Maggi, Heinz and Alka Seltzer were among the studio’s clients. It was only in 2007 that Eye started working on this collection when it received a large funding of the government. This presentation discusses the various challenges and issues Eye encountered while working with this collection since then. How to store, disclose and (digitally) conserve such an enormous amount of short films? In the last 15 years, Eye adopted and adjusted its workflow while realising there are no easy solutions. In addition, while presenting the collection to the public in varying ways, Eye had to address the uncertain copyright status of these films and the use of outdated stereotypes in many of these commercials.

Photo: Leenke van Piet

Leenke Ripmeester
curator animation and advertising film
Eye Filmmuseum (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Leenke Ripmeester finished her PhD-thesis on music videos and youth culture in 2006 at the University of Amsterdam. In 2007, she started working at EYE Filmmuseum as curator of animation and advertising film. She disclosed a large part of the Geesink collection. She also worked on the collection of Toonder which was another big Dutch animation studio specialized in cell animations. Now she is working on the Dutch ‘puppetoon’ animation films of Hungarian born filmmaker George Pál.