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The Hermitage, Amsterdam
Thirty enormous 17th century group portraits from the collections of the Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum have been brought together for the first time and will be on display in the Hermitage Amsterdam from 29 November 2014.
Together they illustrate the story of the collective citizenship that is so typical of the Netherlands.

The Backbone of the Netherlands
The elitist alliances of the seventeenth century ultimately evolved into a huge egalitarian consultation culture. The Netherlands defines itself in hundreds of thousands of institutions and societies. From bridge clubs to art funds, from residents' associations to reception centres and from brass bands to nature conservation: everything is run by volunteers, who keep talking until consensus is achieved.
Photographer Taco Anema recorded the phenomenon in group portraits, people sitting around a table—the only way to do it, he says.
His predecessors thought exactly the same.


Jacob Backer - The governors of the Nieuwe Zijds Huiszittenhuis in Amsterdam,
ca 1650, 272 x 312 cm, Collection Rijksmuseum,

Taco Anema - # 53 / The Royal Dutch Mathematical Society in Utrecht,
2012, 150 x 106 cm, Collection Huis Marseille


Hermitage Amsterdam
Amstel 51
1001 GR Amsterdam



The Dutch Boards


Delftsch Studenten Corps


Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen


Diaconie van de Kloosterkerk


Landelijk Aktie Komitee Scholieren


Souvereine Militaire Hospitaal Orde van Sint Jan van Jeruzalem, van Rhodos en van Malta, associatie Nederland




Marokkaanse Vrouwen Vereniging Nederland


Levensverzekering Maatschappij “De Onderlinge van 1719 U.A.”


Santa Companhia de Dotar Orphas e Donzellas


Vereniging Sinti Roma en Woonwagensbewoners Nederland


Amsterdamse Spinoza Kring, Amsterdam




Landelijke Federatie Chinese Vrouwen Verenigingen