March 29, 2023

Batik related Museumtips

My Museumcard with Batik Statement selfie

A post to highlight some exhibitions, because it was on my planning already and it is Museumweek starting this weekend. 
From 1 till 7 April it is Museumweek in the Netherlands. An this time they have a great action, people can go with borrowed Museumcards to museums. Normally the museumcard is person-specific with your name & photo on it, but for this week you CAN go with a card borrowed from someone. A lovely action, and if you want to lend my card, please leave a comment or send me an email. I will not have time to use it myself next week.

My reel in the exhibition 'Continue This Thread'

I first have to give as a tip an exhibition I am part of, ‘Continue This Thread’ at Amsterdam Museum. The exhibition is made by curator Roberto Luis Martins together with designers Karim Adduchi & Tess van Zalinge. The exhibition shows current designs with depot treasures, it highlights the act of mending and the passing on of crafts. It is a great show, a reward after the pandemic as you will, since it features projects that started in that time. 
Some of the works by Karim Adduchi are presented that I only knew from photos when I wrote the Modemuze post 'Ver­bin­den op af­stand: hoe mode daar­op in­speelt'. Like the Social [Distancing] Fabric Project. It is now beautifully displayed in one of rooms and it was for me extra special to see it after reading and writing about it. 
The exhibition has a room on the platform Modemuze. Here I am featured with a reel. The reel I made after visiting the batikworkshop Kamis Batik in Terengganu, Malaysia. It is just one of the videos, but like we say in Brabant “wie het kleine niet eert is het grote niet weerd” {if you do not honor the small, you are not worthy of the great}.  I am very proud to be featured in this lovely exhibition that gives the power of craft a stage. 
Go see Continue This Thread ~ it runs till 3 September, Amstel 51 location, in Amsterdam.
When you are at the museum, do visit the exhibition 'De Maasdamme collectie'. This collection of dioramas by Rita Maasdamme (1944–2016) tells about the histories of the former Dutch colonies from the unique perspective of enslaved people, Maroons, and the Indigenous population.

In other news; Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam, Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Afrika Museum in Berg en Dal & Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden will all change their names into 'Wereldmuseum', so World museum. A much easier and more open name than Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen. The official name change will take place after the Summer.

Batiks in Kruispunt Rotterdam 
at Wereldmuseum

In September 2020 the semi-permanent exhibition Kruispunt Rotterdam opened at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. I worked behind the scenes with curator Francine Brinkgreve for the selection of Batiks and change some of the information, because it had wrong dates and attributions. Unfortunately the edits didn't make it into the exhibition. It was said they would be changed, but until this day the old version of the information signs are in the display. Although this is frustrating, the batiks that are on display are wonderful. There is also an interactive display in which you can make a digital batik and other amazing textiles and objects.

Info with Nutmeg Batik in Tropenmuseum

In May 2020 I posted a blog 'What to do with the Nutmeg Batiks?' because I knew it was selected for the new semi-permanent exhibition at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. I was worried my provenance research would not be used, nor any new research would be done on this Batik. 
In June 2022 I was invited for the exhibition Our Colonial Inheritance. It was pretty busy, so the only thing I did was look for the batiks that were on display. My worries became reality. Not only was the batik attributed to Carolina Josephina von Franquemont, it also states this Nutmeg design was made for European women. Since there are hardly any Batiks with a nutmeg design known, it is a bold & painful claim considering the history of the nutmeg. Should we not be sure before putting it as facts in the description? Attribution is such a vage term. It is simply put that it is believed to be made by a certain person. However who believes it and on what grounds make if an attribution is believable. However it is not common to mention this, why not? Would it not make sense to add this information, to add the claimer as a disclaimer? Anyway, in a few months my final reports on my provenance and colour research will be finished & published (fingers crossed). I hope this will provide some more insights & disclaimers.

Batik objects at Stedelijk Amsterdam

For more Batik in the Netherlands, I have the following visit tips, also in Amsterdam. 
First 'Yesterday Today’ showing the Stedelijk Museum collection until 1950. In this exhibition is a room on Indonesian influence featuring Batik made in the Netherlands. It has a great big cabinet decorated with motifs using batik on wood designed by Louis Bogtman. A name I didn't knew before a student reached out to me about his work last Summer. There are also other objects by other makers. Several smaller pieces in a display case, a chair and a folding screen. Lovely pieces and you can easily combine a visit here to another exhibition in Amsterdam.
At Museum het Schip is until 27 August an exhibition on the relationship between the former Dutch East Indies and the Amsterdam School movement. In this exhibition again lovely pieces by Bogtman among others. 

Clock and batik cloth designed by Louis Bogtman 
at Museum Het Schip

I am also invited by Museum Het Schip to give a talk. In their Webinar series, Museum het Schip joins forces with Heritage hands-on, Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur, and Yayasan Museum Arsitektur Indonesia to explore these relations by inviting heritage experts, historians, architects, curators, and artists.
The Webinar on Wednesday 3 May {Netherlands (CEST): 14.00 - 16.00 hours / Indonesia (WIB): 19.00 - 21.00 hours } is about the application of batik in Indonesia as a heritage practice and its application in the late-colonial period by Dutch artists, including those of the Amsterdam School movement. How do the Dutch and Indonesians nowadays look upon the debate on artistic freedom versus the appropriation of a visual language and techniques from another culture? 
Hope to see you there!

Last minute tip, de exhibition 'Nijkerk en Nederlands-IndiĆ«' at Museum Nijkerk, runs till end of April. Not open on Sundays, so I haven't been able to go yet. But there is also a talk with the curator online who tells more about the research behind the exhibition and it continuation. 

And future tip, end of the year the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam will open their Indonesia exhibition. When I know more, I will update of course.

Photographer Cees de Jonge making a picture 
of a book in the library of Textielmuseum

For a reading tip, with the museumcard you also have entrance to the library of the Textielmuseum on weekdays. They have many books on Batik. It use to be my go-to-place in my early blogger years to study about Batik. For an upcoming story I am writing for Things That Talk we recently did a photoshoot of the objects in the library. It is not only a rich collection, it is also in a very nice library. Online you can browse the titles they have and they are always happy to help. So go & read!

And for a more active Batik experience. On Saturday 3 June I will give another workshop at De Katoendrukkerij in Amersfoort. For more info go to

Thats all tips for now - If there are any batik related exhibitions, can be outside of the Netherlands too that you like to tip, please leave a comment. 

Feedback/reviews on visits you made after reading the tips in my blog are also welcome.

Enjoy your museum visits!