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Ron Santing
Ron Santing
Role
Advisor - Cultural Heritage
Email
r.santing [at] dutchculture.nl
 

Golden Coach exhibition at Amsterdam Museum

Golden Coach exhibition at Amsterdam Museum

The controversial Golden Coach is exhibited at Amsterdam Museum, featuring a public programme supported by DutchCulture's Matching Fund.
By Lotte Bosch

After a restoration that took more than five years, the controversial Royal Golden Coach can be seen again by the public for the first time. Before, the Golden Coach was used annually on Prinsjesdag. The coach is housed in a glass enclosure in the courtyard of the Amsterdam Museum and can be viewed up close. The exhibition, opened on 18 June by King Willem-Alexander, is on display until February 27, 2022. The exhibition features a public educational programme, providing background knowledge through an online magazine and publication and activities and talks. This programme was supported by DutchCulture’s Matching Fund for international heritage cooperation.

Media
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King Willem-Alexander at the opening of the exhibtion. Photo: Jan-Kees Steenman
Caption
King Willem-Alexander at the opening of the exhibtion. Photo: Jan-Kees Steenman
Controversial painting

The Golden Coach is now the subject of a current debate, caused by the painting on the left side of the vehicle: Hulde der Koloniën ('Tribute from the Colonies'). Depicted are people from the colonies paying tribute to a white youthful woman symbolising the Netherlands. An increasing number of people are finding this depiction of colonialism inappropriate for national celebrations.

Contemporary artists

Besides the coach, the exhibition features hundreds of cultural-historical objects and commissioned contemporary artworks provide a multifaceted view of the history and use of the Golden Coach and the past and present discussions about this iconic vehicle. The contemporary works mainly reflect on the symbolic value and materiality of the coach, including the controversial painting.

Artists from different generations with diverse cultural backgrounds were commissioned to create an ensemble of contemporary perspectives on the coach. They reflect on the rituals surrounding the coach, the materiality and craftsmanship of the carriage, and the colonial past and its legacy today. Their installations, sculptures, painting, photography, sound art, and performances offer artistic and critical perspectives on the Golden Coach. Iswanto Hartono's work Colonies is one of these.

Plan your visit

The Amsterdam Museum invites visitors to share their knowledge, views and experiences about the Golden Coach through discussions and talks. Tickets for the exhibition and public programme activities can be bought online.