During preparations for the exhibition and publication Fotografie in Nederland 1920-1940, held in The Hague in 1979, only fifteen exhibition prints and one roll of film were found. The exceptional quality of these photos was however immediately apparent.
After World War Two Elenbaas was best known as a printmaker and artist. His surviving negatives of the thirties show how powerfully New Photography influenced social photography. That influence is evident not only in street situations typical of photographs of workers, but also in pictures of a wet road surface and a toppled lamp-post after a demonstration.