Revs Institute acquires treasures of Van Bever Photography Archive

Revs Institute™ is proud to announce the acquisition of the photographs of André Van Bever, one of the preeminent motorsport photojournalists of the 20th century.

Comprised of over 29,000 images, the André Van Bever Photograph Collection will join over 120 archival collections already selected by Revs Institute for preservation. The images will be indexed and digitized, making Van Bever’s work accessible to researchers, scholars, and enthusiasts through the Revs Digital Library.

“Throughout his career, André Van Bever chronicled motor racing history, from Juan Manuel Fangio in 1949 to Niki Lauda in 1975, making him one of the most renowned visual witnesses of post-war motorsport,” says Scott George, Curator of Collections at Revs Institute.

Born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1922, diverse interests marked André’s early life, from trains to mountaineering and horseback riding. His family’s background in jewelry did not resonate with him, and photography became his true calling. The camera allowed him to explore his love for action, discovery, and artistry. André Van Bever’s career in photojournalism began in 1946 when, at the early age of 18, he covered a motorcycle race at the Bois de la Cambre in Brussels as a favor for a friend. It was at this same race he met writer and racing driver Paul Frère, who became his great friend and frequently used Van Bever’s photographs in his articles and books. André eventually befriended many of the great Belgian drivers of his time, including Olivier Gendebien, Lucien Bianchi, and Willy Mairesse.

In 1947, Van Bever began a 28-year tenure as the official photographer of Belgian newspaper Les Sports. Together with his wife and collaborator, Nicole Englebert-Van Bever, André covered the great European races of the 1950s and 1960s. Later, as a freelancer, he continued to cover racing until 1975. His work graced the pages of publications such as Royal Auto, Le Moniteur de l’Automobile, Sport Moteur, Virage, Autosport, Auto Motor und Sport, Car and Driver, and more. His commitment to preserving the history of motorsport and his artistic approach to photography made him an iconic figure in the industry.

Beyond motorsport, André Van Bever had an innate passion for photography that extended into his personal life. He documented friends, strangers, and the world around him, always seeking to capture the natural, living aspect of his subjects. He was an excellent gentleman-rider, too, and returned to racing horses at the age of 53.

“As a custodian of automotive history, I am delighted to see André Van Bever’s iconic photography find its home at Revs Institute,” says Miles Collier, founder of Revs Institute. “Through his lens, Van Bever’s work has immortalized the rich history of motorsport, and its inclusion in the Revs Digital Library ensures that it will continue to inspire and inform generations of automotive researchers, enthusiasts, and historians.”

Revs Institute wishes to recognize the efforts of Nicole Englebert-Van Bever, whose tireless efforts to preserve André Van Bever’s legacy have made this acquisition possible.