His Majesty the King Willem-Alexander awarded the Medal of Honor for Art and Science of the Order of the House of Orange to photographer Erwin Olaf on March 13, 2023 at Noordeinde Palace.
The medal of honor is awarded to persons of exceptional merit in the fields of art and science. The award is also based on a special bond with the Royal Household.
Erwin Olaf has been photographing for over forty years, using a bold approach to portraiture to address themes of ethnicity, sexual diversity and economic inequality. His work has been shown in exhibitions and museums worldwide and has received international awards. The Rijksmuseum, for example, has over 500 works from Olaf’s oeuvre in its collection. In addition to his artistry, Erwin Olaf is committed to professional education with a heart for craftsmanship.
Erwin Olaf has created several portraits of King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their daughters. He designed a new euro coin with the King’s image in 2013 and took the official state photos in 2018.
Courtesy Galerie Ron Mandos