Symposium Asia > Amsterdam

Complementing the exhibition 'Asia > Amsterdam. Luxury in the Golden Age' this symposium (9 November 2015) will explore Amsterdam’s unique role as a link between Asia and Europe in the 17th century.

foto Anonymous, Jean Nieuhoff, c. 1670 - c. 1690It were Dutch traders who commercialized the import of Asian luxury goods. Increasing quantities of goods from Asia of varying quality arrived in the Netherlands, luxuries that large segments of the Dutch (and European) population were eager to own. Amsterdam had a central role in both the accumulation of goods and knowledge from Asia and their distribution throughout Europe. What exactly was it, though, that was distributed? The Asian objects people chose, the way they were appreciated, the Dutch production of Asian-style objects and the publication of lavishly illustrated books on their countries of origin, all helped to create an ‘image of Asia’. Amsterdam distributed not only Asian luxury goods and information throughout Europe, but also this ‘image of Asia’.

The appreciation, appropriation and distribution of ‘Asia’ will be the subject of the contributions to this symposium.


Click here for a preliminary programme


9 November 2015, 9 am - 7 pm



Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam