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Ingang Tropenmuseum.jpg
Tropenmuseum in 2008
Tropenmuseum is located in Amsterdam
Location of the museum in Amsterdam
Established 1864
Location Linnaeusstraat 2, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Coordinates 52°21′46″N 4°55′21″E / 52.362692°N 4.922517°E / 52.362692; 4.922517
Type Anthropological museum
Collection size 340,000 objects and photographs
Visitors 197,000 visitors (2010)
Director Stijn Schoonderwoerd
Public transit access Alexanderplein
GVB tram lines 9, 10, 14
Website tropenmuseum.nl

The Tropenmuseum (English: Museum of the Tropics) is an ethnographic museum located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded in 1864.[1]

One of the largest museums in Amsterdam, the museum accommodates eight permanent exhibitions and an ongoing series of temporary exhibitions, including modern and traditional visual arts and photographic works. The Tropenmuseum is part of the Dutch Museum of World Cultures, a combination of three ethnographic museums in the Netherlands.[2] Until March 2014 the museum was owned and operated by the Royal Tropical Institute, a foundation that sponsored the study of tropical cultures around the world. The museum had 176,000 visitors in 2009.[3]


The opening of the Colonial Institute by Queen Wilhelmina, 1926.
Interior of the museum.

Frederick van Eeden, father of the writer Frederik van Eeden, and secretary of the Maatschappij ter bevordering van Nijverheid (English: Society for the Promotion of Industry) established the Koloniaal Museum (English: Colonial Museum) in Haarlem in 1864,[1] and opened the museum to the public in 1871.[4] The museum was founded in order to show Dutch overseas possessions, and the inhabitants of these foreign countries, such as Indonesia. In 1871 the institute began research to increase profits made off the colonies. This included attempting to develop improved means of producing coffee beans, rotan and paraffin. The museum came under the influence of ethnologists, who added information on the economy, manners, and customs of the inhabitants. In 1926, they inaugurated the current building in East Amsterdam. At the time, they had 30,000 objects, and a sizable collection of photographs.[4]

Following the independence of Indonesia in 1945, the scope of the museum changed from just the colonial possessions of the Netherlands, to that of many undeveloped colonial states in South America, Africa, and Asia. In the 1960s and 1970s the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs encouraged the museum to expand its scope to more social issues such as poverty and hunger. In the early 1970s a new wing for children was added. This wing is now called Tropenmuseum Junior.[4]


The original building, built in 1926, was designed by J. J. van Nieukerken and M. A. van Nieukerken. It was richly decorated for the time, and took 11 years to build due to World War I and various labor strikes.[5] All of the artwork in the building was created in the first half of the 20th century. In 2003, the museum was listed as a historical building in Amsterdam.[4]

Clove model of a two-wheeled horse-drawn coach with coachman.


The museum houses 175,000 objects, 155,000 photographs and 10,000 miscellaneous drawings, paintings, and documents. It inherited 15,000 of these from the Ethnographisch Museum Artis. These objects are split up into many collections. The museum houses collections for many geographical areas such as Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. They also have several collections in storage that fall outside of their scope. These include collections for China, Japan, Korea, and Europe.

The photography collection consists mainly of historical photographs of the former Dutch Colonies from 1855–1940. In the period 2009-2015 the Tropemmuseum released 50,000 photographs under a Creative Commons licence to the Wikimedia Commons.[6][7]

A theatric collection is housed at the Tropenmuseum as well. The collection houses 5,500 musical instruments as well as various other theatrical objects such as masks and puppets. It also features 21,000 textile artifacts, a majority of which are from Indonesia. Tropenmuseum Junior is a sub-museum. It features interactive exhibits, and draws 30,000 children a year.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Tropenmuseum – Tropical Museum Amsterdam". Amsterdam.info (in Dutch). Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ Fusie volkenkundige musea (2014) - in Dutch
  3. ^ "176.000 bezoekers voor het Tropenmuseum in 2009 – Tropenmuseum". Tropenmuseum. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Tropenmuseum. "Tropenmuseum vroeger en vandaag" [Tropenmuseum Past & Present] (in Dutch). Amsterdam: Tropenmuseum. Retrieved 2010-04-11. [dead link]
  5. ^ "History". Royal Tropical Institute. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Tropenmuseum in collaboration with Wikipedia". Netherlands. 2009-10-21. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Wikimedia Commons (11 Sept. 2015): Images from the Tropenmuseum: 49,235 items

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropenmuseum — Please support Wikipedia.
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1765 news items


Tue, 08 Sep 2015 02:56:15 -0700

In een doos in de bosjes bij het Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam Oost heeft een voorbijgangster dit weekend een gedumpte kitten gevonden in een doos. In het groen naast haar lagen nog drie dode kittens. Lees ook: Emotioneel briefje bij gedumpte poes met ...
Discover Magazine (blog)
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:03:16 -0700

Image: Tropenmuseum. Click for source. One half of the prize was awarded to Youyou Tu, a pharmacologist at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. Her work in identifying anti-malarial compounds in the late 1960s was inspired by ...


Sun, 07 Jun 2015 23:53:25 -0700

Het Metropole Orkest kan blijven bestaan en ook het Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam blijft open. Zij krijgen de komende jaren toch subsidie van minister Jet Bussemaker (Cultuur). Dat is het gevolg van een herverdeling die ze doorvoert op het budget voor de ...


Sun, 13 Sep 2015 03:01:08 -0700

In het nieuwe Grand Café De Tropen komen twee trekpleisters van Oost samen: het Tropenmuseum en het Oosterpark. Vanuit het café kijk je onder drie grote arcades door in de indrukwekkende hal van het Tropenmuseum. Achter de elf meter lange bar ...


Wed, 08 Jul 2015 22:54:08 -0700

AMSTERDAM - Het Tropenmuseum staat dit jaar met een expositie op het dancefestival Mysteryland. De tentoonstelling Body Art, over lichaamsversieringen in de breedste zin des woords, is op 29 en 30 augustus te zien op het evenement op het voormalige ...


Mon, 08 Jun 2015 06:29:02 -0700

Ook het Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam is opgelucht dat het open kan blijven. Het instituut krijgt de komende jaren toch subsidie van minister Jet Bussemaker (Cultuur). Directeur Stijn Schoonderwoerd vertelt dat er binnen het museum maandagochtend een ...


Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:33:37 -0700

sipho mabona has taken over the great hall of the tropenmuseum with larger-than-life origami birds that hang high above visitors. the master in the japanese art of paper folding has constructed the entire flock out of large sheets of square paper that ...


Tue, 29 Sep 2015 08:00:00 -0700

Voor bezoekers is het eerst even slikken: waar zijn alle bomen in het Oosterpark gebleven? Maar wie de renovatie even laat bezinken, ziet wat al die licht en ruimte voor een park kan doen. Het Oosterpark is fris en statig, zonder zijn donkere hoekjes ...

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