2 Dec - 26 May

Exhibition about ballroom culture in Willet Holthuysen


For this special exhibition you just walk across the bridge over the Amstel, from De Plantage into the center and you are already there; in Museum Willet Holthuysen of the Amsterdam Museum.

In this beautiful canal house, the Amsterdam Museum presents the exhibition ‘Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens’. The exhibition is a collaboration with House of Vineyard, the first ballroom house in the Netherlands.

In the rooms of Huis Willet-Holthuysen, House of Vineyard shows the power of ballroom culture with radical fashion interventions and art installations. As trailblazers of the Dutch scene, House of Vineyard explores the power of ballroom, in which themes such as resistance, community building and self-expression play a major role.

Ballroom was formed for and by Black and Latin American trans women and queer people in the 1970s in Harlem, New York. They oppose regular, often racist beauty contests by organizing balls for, with and by LGBTIQ+ people of color. During a ball, queer, trans and cis people compete in various categories, such as fashion, realness, body and performance, for trophies, cash prizes and honor. The balls are exuberant underground events that function as resistance against the dominant cisnormative society.

Since the emergence of these balls, ballroom has been a flourishing artistic culture. Many people active in the ballroom scene are members of a ‘house’. This represents a group of people who have chosen each other as ‘family’, with a safe home in which there is room for every individual.

Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens, Amsterdam Museum Huis Willet-Holthuysen, until May 26, 2024, Herengracht 605, daily from 10 am to 5 pm.