16 Oct - 12 Mar

Maasdamme collection in Amsterdam museum


The exhibition The Maasdamme Collection can be seen in the Amsterdam Museum. The collection of dioramas by Rita Maasdamme (1944-2016) sheds in a unique way light on the histories of the Dutch former colonies from the perspective of enslaved people, Maroons and indigenous people.

Variety of stories
Get to know more than 130 creatures, as Maasdamme called the dolls in the dioramas themselves. With her dioramas that she made from the 1980s, Maasdamme showed a history that she and many other contemporaries here and in the former colonies had never learned at school. From slave trade in the port of Paramaribo, a Maroon village and the uprising of Tula to more contemporary scenes such as a depiction of the prostitution village Campo Alegre on Curaçao.

Creatures full of details
The creatures are purely handmade and are made entirely of fabric. Maasdamme has extensively studied the history, environments and people and has recreated everything down to the smallest detail with various materials. Details such as nails, sometimes with a polish, lips that have a different color on the inside, and teeth are lifelike. Much attention has also been paid to hair, eyebrows and eyelashes to bring the dolls even more to life.

The Maasdamme collection, until March 12, 2023, Amsterdam Museum, Amstel 51