Housed in an impressive 19th century building, the Tropenmuseum is one of Europe’s leading ethnographic museums, with an impressive collection of objects and artifacts from around the world. Divided in different sections, the permanent collection displays fascinating objects from Southeast Asia, Oceania, Africa and Latin America – from instruments to weapons, jewelry, textiles and much more.
Organized in a dynamic way, the exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through the colonial past of the Netherlands and invites for reflection upon the relationship between the Dutch explorers and the local populations from the tropics and sub-tropics. You can easily spend hours losing yourself in the hot and sweaty climates of Indonesia and dive into the frenetic rythms of African drums.
The non-permanent exhibition presents an exciting collaboration between the Tropenmuseum and National Geographic – bringing together the works of the ten top photographers of the prestigious society in an exposition themed “Masters of Photography”. Featuring in it are the best works of Frans Lanting, Steve McCurry, David Doubilet, Michael Yamashita, Joel Sartore, Jodi Cobb, Michael Nichols, Chris Johns, Annie Griffiths and Paul Nicklen.
A particular highlight of this exhibition is the 52-minute long documentary of the story behind the photography that made one of the most famous covers of National Geographic – the one of the young Afghan Girl with the striking green eyes. The documentary retraces the journey undertaken by photographer Steve McCurry to find this girl 17 years after he had taken her picture in a refugee camp in Pakistan. Unsure on whether she was even alive he obtains the help of a local journalist to try to locate her. A fascinating account and a powerful tale reflecting the story and suffering of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees.
Last but not least, the whole first floor of the Tropenmuseum is taken over by Dutch artist Jasper Krabbé who, in a unique collaboration with the museum, was allowed to create a “Soulmade” exhibition from his favourite objects from the resourceful depositaries. Organized in nine spaces, this hand-picked collection of articrafts is explained by the artist himself through audio-guides available in French, English, German and Dutch. Our attention is brough to singular objects, drawings or paintings and giving a “soul” through Krabbé’s enthusiastic and exhilarating words.
For more information on the museum and its exhibits visit: www.tropenmuseum.nl
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm.