In the spotlight

Indian masterpiece Aiyanar

With the support of the BankGiro Loterij the Tropenmuseum purchased a unique Indian masterpiece during the opening of TEFAF Maastricht. Aiyanar is the son of the male gods Shiva and Vishnu, the latter in the temporary female form of the seductively beautiful Mohini.


Papua Web Special

This web special serves as a digital exhibition of over 2000 objects and photographs of the former Netherlands New Guinea. The Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua occupy the western half of the island of New Guinea. The eastern half is the independent state of Papua New Guinea. When it was a Dutch colony, the western half of New Guinea was part of the Netherlands East Indies. After the Second World War, Indonesia gained independence. Meanwhile, New Guinea remained under Dutch rule - it was known then as Netherlands New Guinea. In 1962, sovereignty passed to Indonesia, and the name was changed several times (Irian Barat, Irian Jaya). Since 2001, this western section has been known as Papua. In 2008, it was divided in two provinces: Papua and West Papua (Papua Barat).


Valuable beads: trade beads

In the 17th century beads became an instrument in the urge for expansion of the European powers. Beads were relatively cheap and a much coveted commodity in the “newly discovered countries”. Considerable quantities of beads were exported to Africa, South-East Asia and Northern America. Important centers for bead making were Venice, Bohemia and the Netherlands. One of the most important exporters of beads to West-Africa, intermediating between bead producers and traders, was the firm of J.F. Sick & Co. Explore the beads collection of the Tropenmuseum online. Click on a sheet for more information, zoom in using the scroll wheel of your mouse. View the sample cards with beads in high resolution.


In the spotlight: Emilie van Kerckhoff

Emilie van Kerckhoff traveled in the first half of the 20th century to North Africa, India, Japan and the Dutch East Indies. What she saw in the streets, in temples and palaces, she captured in her sketchbooks with pencil drawings and water colors. Together with Sara Swart, Van Kerckhoff made her first trip to Java in 1910. At the Borobudur and the Kratons of Yogyakarta and Solo, she focused on a multitude of new shapes and colors.


Virtual Collection of Masterpieces (VCM)

Twenty nine museums from Asia and twenty six from Europe have contributed around 1000 masterpieces to the Virtual Collection of Masterpieces (VCM). This web-accessible selection of images and accompanying information on Asian masterpieces from Asian and European museums is a fantastic search tool for people from various levels interested in art and cultural history. The VCM project promotes mutual understanding and appreciation between the peoples of Asia and Europe, specifically through the use of works of art and culture.