Rijksmuseum & Slavery is adding 77 museum labels to paintings and objects in the permanent collection that explore their relationships to Dutch colonial slavery.


Many of the works in the Rijksmuseum’s permanent collection have links with the Netherlands’ slavery past. It’s a relationship you probably won’t notice at first glance, and one you won’t read about on the museum label next to the object: from the nutmeg harvested by enslaved people, to an enslaved woman shipped off to the Netherlands; from the image of a dance party on a Surinamese plantation that hides critical messages about the slaveholder, to the pulpit from which an 18th-century legal philosopher made the case for abolishing slavery.


Rijksmuseum & Slavery is adding 77 museum labels to paintings and objects in the permanent collection. The new labels will remain in place for a year, until February 2022. All of them focus on the colonial power of the Netherlands, which from the 17th century onwards was inextricably bound up with a system that included slavery. Some of the labels tell the stories of people who, under Dutch rule, were enslaved and put to work, and had their status reduced to that of objects, while others highlight people who profited from slavery, or spoke out against it.

When the Slavery exhibition and Rijksmuseum & Slavery have ended, we are going to evaluate both the pre-existing museum labels and the new ones. Wherever possible, the new information will be integrated into our museum in order to do greater justice to the Netherlands’ complicated history.


We have collected the museum labels in a booklet that is available free of charge in the museum. The references for the texts in this booklet can be found at our website, and can be downloaded online. All the labelled works are also available online as a collection in Rijksstudio. 

Follow the route with the Rijksmuseum app

The Rijksmuseum app maps out the ideal route and directs you from one object to the next. This way, you will see all the extra museum labels in the permanent collection. And because 77 works in 1 route is quite a lot, we have divided this route into 2 parts. You can open them in the app in the For you tab, or via the links below.


Rijksmuseum & Slavery is made possible in part by Fonds de Zuidroute / Rijksmuseum Fund and the Mondriaan Fund. 

In the permanent display
Until 26 February 2023


Daily 9 tot 17h.


Museumstraat 1
1071 XX Amsterdam


Wheelchair access
Guide dogs allowed
Lifts on every floor


Free cloak room
Photography allowed
Free WiFi

All practical info

Still Life with a Turkey Pie Still Life with a Turkey Pie

Rijksmuseum & Slavery