Netherlands East Indies

Netherlands East Indies, or Dutch East Indies, is the name of the archipelago that came under Dutch colonial rule and subsequently achieved independence as Indonesia. This exhibition presents a history of three and a half centuries of Dutch presence on these islands.

Dutch East Indies Company (VOC)

In 1596, a ship sailed for the first time from Holland to the East Indies. In the seventeenth century, the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie - VOC) founded and captured trading stations on these islands to make a profit in the spice trade.

TIP: For three centuries, the Dutch in the East Indies had their portraits painted in the Indies. View the paintings and photos, and notice how fashions changed among Dutch men and women.

Colonial theatre

Listen in the colonial theatre to the stories of seven lifesize mannequins at the centre of the exhibition. Some of the people in this display actually existed, others are characters from fiction with their own personal story: a senior colonial official, an artist, a colonial soldier, a native civil servant, a housewife, a missionary, a planter.

Other sections of the show deal with Education in the East Indies, Art in the East Indies, At Home in the East Indies, Commerce in the East Indies, Discovery , and Presentation.