Back | Articles

The 2016 Highlights of Dutch Arts & Culture in the United States

2016 was again a jam-packed year with well over 1,500 Dutch arts and cultural activities in the United States. It would be too much to highlight them all, but here we will give a glimpse of some of these projects.

2016 was again a jam-packed year with well over 1,500 Dutch arts and cultural activities in the United States. This number is most likely higher by a few hundred activities, but this is what the Cultural Department at the Netherlands Consulate in New York was able to track! It would be impossible to highlight them all, but below you can find a selection of what took place, separated by cluster activities during large-scale events as well as per arts discipline. We are proud of all the Dutch talent that crossed the ocean, and thankful for all the American organizations that believed in this talent and provided a podium and support. We look forward to seeing more projects come to fruition in 2017 and beyond!

Note: It would be impossible to mention all 1500+ events in this list, and we apologize if a project is not mentioned below. A more complete overview can be found on our Dutch Culture USA social media platforms.  

Amsterdam Arts & Culture Trade Mission to NYC

Courtesy of Richard KOEK

Early September, more than 60 cultural institutions from Amsterdam visited New York to be part of an arts & culture trade mission, led by Vice Mayor and Alderwoman for Arts and Culture Kajsa Ollongren. On the schedule were, among other things, a fact-finding mission at New York museums, workshops focused on fundraising, city marketing, cultural education, diversity and innovation in the music industry.

Ollongren and her counterpart Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor of New York, discussed jobs in the creative industry and the importance of arts and culture in spreading tourism. Many participants across all arts disciplines returned to Amsterdam with an expanded network and multiple agreements were made between organizations on either side of the ocean to work together and promote cultural exchange. A few featured collaborations worth mentioning are: New York Public Library & OBA (Amsterdam Library), FOAM & Red Hook Labs, Craft in Focus Festival NY edition at Industry City, Urban Myth presenting actress Thirsa van Til at NY TheaterLab, New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and Amsterdam Art Weekend and Center for Contemporary Opera & Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ co-presenting works by Louis Andriessen, directed by Jorinde Keesmaat.



As in the past years, SXSW, the renowned music, film, and interactive showcase in Austin, TX had a significant amount of Dutch musicians, innovators, designers, creatives and entrepreneurs on its roster. New this year was the ‘Art at SXSW’ program, a platform for artists to gain international exposure and connect with leaders in the fields of music, film, and technology. Nick Verstand’s interactive art installation ANIMA and the world-debut of Silent Room by Simon Heijdens were a successful part of this program.

Besides two Dutch Impact music showcases hosted by FloodFest, a diverse selection of rock and pop bands performed all over Austin. The 2016 line-up contained amongst others Sevdaliza, Amber Arcades, Sofie Winterson, PAUW!, Eerie Wanda and Traumahelikopter. Very popular were the Electronic Music nights, presented by Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in partnership with Red Light Radio and Appelsap, including a set by Dekmantel founder Casper Tielrooij.

This year also saw a diverse group of Dutch innovators and designers in Interactive panels and Digital Domain sessions, who presented ideas and projects in the field of new media and technology such as AR/VR and interactive storytelling as showcased by IDFA DocLab, Sassybot and Cinekid. The film Bodkin Ras, a hybrid of documentary and fiction by Kaweh Modiri had its US premiere in Austin and two short films were part of the popular Shorts program. 



The Consulate again was a proud partner of NYCxDESIGN in 2016! During several weeks in May, a wide variety of Dutch design projects and events took place in all corners of New York City. Just in time before the start of the design weeks, Stefan Hengst finalized his site-specific surface design installation “3 Generations” for the Netherlands Consulate in New York. Circus Family created another lively interactive multi-media installation for the official opening event of NYCxDESIGN at WantedDesign Brooklyn, where Li Edelkoort curated a second edition of Talking Textiles and Lotte van Baalen presented her Plants on Pink project for Visual Magnetics.

Organisation in Design organized the first Ventura New York – The Dutch Edition presentation of new Dutch talent at WantedDesign Manhattan, where no less than fourteen Dutch designers were represented. This inaugural edition of Ventura New York was very successful for the participating Dutch designers, and a follow-up edition is being planned for May 2017.

Frederieke Taylor Gallery presented for the first time at the Collective Design Fair with a special presentation by Pauline Wiertz, where Ornamentum Gallery again showcased new work by various Dutch jewelry designers.  A number of Dutch design brands were present at the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and a networking event was held at the Moooi Showroom and Brand store in Midtown Manhattan! We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the New York design community in 2016! 



For the third year in a row, the Dutch partnered with Northside Festival, creating a large cross-disciplinary presence, showcasing the country’s global creative alliances through content, innovation and music. As founding country partner of Northside, the Dutch consistently added an abundance of knowledge and talent to the festival. New this year was the launch of the official Northside partner event, N-Festival,  scheduled for 2017 in Amsterdam. As part of this exchange, featured bands and speakers in Williamsburg will also present themselves in Amsterdam.

Performances of Dutch bands took place in main venues throughout the festival area in Williamsburg. Blue Crime, Benny Sings and Bombay rehearsed and toured the days prior, while management and Dutch music industry representatives participated in a Music Industry Trade Mission program, comprised of expert roundtables on touring, syncing, music marketing, booking agencies and site visits to Next Big Sound at Pandora, Bandsintown, Bandcamp, FeatureFM and many more addresses across town to discuss specific needs for their bands in one-on-one meetings with labels and studios.

Speakers during Northside Innovation included a selection of interesting Amsterdam-based projects, triggering a “Travel Dialogue” between creatives and the two festivals; Northside and N-Festival. Matthias Oostrik and Suzanne Dikker created a neuroscience experiment with the Mutual Wave Machine. Another dialogue from Joop de Boer (Pop-Up City) shared ideas at the intersection of media, technology and humanity with a special focus on gentrification. VPRO Medialab made a presentation around the future of digital media and its impact.

Theo Jansen Strandbeests


After successful presentations in Miami during Miami Art Week 2014 and the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), the exhibition Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen, with photography by Lena Herzog travelled to the Chicago Cultural Center and San Francisco Exploratorium in 2016, where it received record audiences and rave reviews again. It is safe to say that Theo Jansen and his Strandbeests have now become a firm part of American popular culture after their inclusion in an episode of the Simpsons!


architecture 2016

Quite a few Dutch architects and firms have recently been planning and working in the U.S. in the last few years, including Archi-TectonicsPiet BoonConcreteMecanooOMAOne ArchitectureSO-ILWest 8, and others, with Mecanoo even opening a New York office to start working on large-scale commission for the overhaul of the New York Public Library’s Mid-Manhattan branch and the update of the library’s flagship location on Fifth Avenue.

Archi-tectonics keeps making its mark in Manhattan, with the Soho Penthouse, the Greenwich Townhouse, and the Inscape mindfulness center in the Flatiron neighborhood. Across the river Piet Boon finalized the luxury residential complex “Oosten,” consisting of 216 units and encompassing an entire block.

On the landscape architecture front !melk again had an extraordinary year, with the ribbon cutting ceremony for their Las Vegas Park as well as the opening of The Barn in Sacramanto, CA, alongside ongoing commissions in Phoenix, AZ, Sacramento, CA, and Syracuse, NY, among others. West 8 finalized the latest stage of their work for Governors Island with the opening of The Hills on July 19, nearly a year ahead of schedule!

And lastly, two cultural spaces were opened to much acclaim in the last month: SO-IL finalized the Manetti Shrem Museum at UC Davis, and OMA celebrated the opening of Faena Forum in Miami Beach. 


Design 2016

As mentioned above, 2016 was a special year with a significant Dutch design presence in New York during NYCxDESIGN, including the inaugural Ventura New York – The Dutch Edition. A notable project included the extraordinary solo exhibition MAD HOUSE by Studio Job at the Museum of Arts and Design. Curated by Ronald Labaco, it featured two full floors of the duo’s work from the last decade, and an exhibition design environment with contributions by NLXL and Exposize. Later in the year the duo would enthrall U.S. audiences with their holiday windows for Barneys

Iris van Herpen had a banner year, with her work prominently featured in the “Manus X Machina” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while her groundbreaking solo exhibition continued it U.S. tour with stops at the High Museum in Atlanta, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where the show is currently still on view. Additional stops will follow, so stay tuned! More Dutch fashion could be seen via New York Fashion Week shows by Maison the Faux and Sophie Hardeman!

After opening their gorgeous New York City location in the penthouse floors of the former Takashimaya store on Fifth Avenue, Carpenters Workshop Gallery continued their support for Dutch design with solo exhibitions by renowned designers Maarten Baas and Sebastian Brajkovic. Also part of their stable, Studio Drift installed a large interactive installation at The Armory Show!

And last but not least, The Wolfsonian at FIU in Miami Beach opened its much awaited exhibition “Modern Dutch Design.” On view until April 30, 2017, the extraordinary exhibition features top pieces from the museum’s collection of Dutch furniture, decorative arts, design drawings, posters and bookbindings. In addition the museum invited Dutch contemporary designer Christie van der Haak to produce a massive site-specific work for its façade and entrance. Don’t miss this spectacular installation, and while you are in Miami Beach, don’t miss the Dutch Architectural Photography exhibition by The Gallery Club, the above mentioned Faena Forum, and the various large-scale Studio Job sculptures around the Faena District

Last but not least, TEFAF arrived in New York in October for its first New York edition. While the fair mainly focused on old masters and antiquities, Dutch contemporary design firm Tom Postma Design created a critically acclaimed design for the Park Avenue Armory in NYC! Watch for the next edition in May 2017, which will focus on Modern art and design.  


EDM 2016

As was the case over the last years, our calendar of events showed a high frequency of E(D)M events featuring DJs from the Netherlands across multiple genres, from techno to deep house to dance to tropical house. Dutch DJs ranked high on the global DJ lists. Frequent travelers were Martin GarrixHardwellTiëstoArmin van BuurenAfrojackBakermatSunnery JamesLaidback LukeOliver HeldensBingo Players and many more. Tiesto had a summer-long residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile in Boston, the Together festival showed that beyond big names as mentioned before, the Netherlands boasts a wealth of musical talent. After a successful Dutch focus in 2015, the Dutch returned, this time with Dekmantel presenting Fatima YamahaPalms Trax and Juju & JordashFontys Academy for Creative Industries presented an educational exchange at the MMMMaven headquarters, where expert Mark van Bergen elaborated on the history of House & Electronic Music in the Netherlands, while he sat down with Bob Diesel, a Boston-based DJ. The founders of Together Boston as well as Dutch Culture USA, received an official proclamation from the City of Cambridge, recognizing the festival’s contribution as well as the Dutch impact on Boston’s culture and electronic music scene. 


JazzWorld 2016

A myriad of Dutch jazz as well as world musicians, who travel back and forth between the States and the Netherlands, impressed American audiences with their jazz gigs and improvisation sessions. Frequent performers were a.o. Marike van DijkBen van GelderMehmet Polat, who returned for a month-long tour after a first introduction to the US in January, Joris Teepe and Vivienne Aerts.

Album presentations and promo-tours were organized with appreciative audiences and approving critics in attendance, such as Among Verticals by alto-saxophonist Ben van Gelder, and New Amsterdam by the Philippe Lemm Trio, led by percussionist Philippe Lemm.

Dutch jazz pianist Peter Beets performed as special guest during the annual Django Reinhardt Festival at Birdland in New York; Funk and jazz saxophonist Candy Dulfer boarded the Smooth Jazz Cruise twice last winter to perform with a crème-de-la-crème of jazz and soul stars; Sabrina Starke performed in the New York region to mark the launch of her self-titled US debut album.

The Dutch “reed quintet” Calefax, consisting of wind instrument players, celebrated their 30th anniversary as a collective, with a USA tour covering both East and West coast treating their audiences to a repertoire with influences from world music, jazz and improvisation.

And last but not least, On December 19 Rose Ellis, vocalist and songwriter, released her new album “Like Songs, Like Moons.”


Classical 2016

2016 was also a banner year for top of the bill classical and contemporary music from the Netherlands. The year started with the announcement of the appointment of Dutch Conductor Jaap van Zweden as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, which he conducted in November. Van Zweden, who is currently director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, will succeed Alan Gilbert beginning in the 2018-2019 season.

Recitals and concerts were given by violists Tosca Opdam and Simone LamsmaKobra Ensemble, Harpist Lavinia Meijer and Marc Pantus. New York-based Conductor and composer Johan de Meij worked with orchestras across the US.

On November 29 and 30, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performed Mahler’s Fifth Symphony for a sold out Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Carnegie Hall in New York.  The full orchestra performed under the direction of the popular guest conductor Semyon Bychkov. The program featured compositions Theatrum Bestiarum from Detlev Glanert and Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. The orchestra will be back in the United States in 2018 and 2019.

Pianist Saskia Lankhoorn performed at the Look & Listen festival, featuring new and contemporary music in a visual art environment. Lankhoorn played selections from her recent ECM release entitled “Dances and Canons”.

The best students of the Early Music Departments of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and Juilliard School of Music in New York, performed in Boston and New York, the Ultimate Bach, Hohe Messe work, conducted by Bach expert Ton Koopman. Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center was completely sold out and the Boston Early Music Festival performance received praise from expert critics.


pop rock 2016

As mentioned above, various Dutch bands and musical acts performed at the SXSW and Northside festivals. But throughout 2016, several Dutch rock and pop bands crossed the ocean for gigs on a variety of stages and festivals across the U.S. 

Chef’Special toured as a support act for Twenty One Pilots all summer long, playing new material and their international hit single “In Your Arms”; Singer/songwriter Dotan opened for the renowned American singer-songwriter Ben Folds on his US Tour that reached from Oklahoma to Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois; Death Alley’s psychedelic mix of protopunk and metal was performed extensively in August and September on East and West Coast stages. From Philadelphia to Las Vegas, and from San Francisco to San Diego, the band released their debut album “Black Magic Boogieland” to the American stage; and Dutch metal band Epica toured across the US recently and back in March with the band Nightwish with the Dutch musician Floor Jansen as leading lady and stole the show in many cities.

Singer-Songwriter Jennie Lena was the Dutch featured act in Live in Your Living Room NY 2016, performing in small venues and living rooms, engaging with her audience, meeting other singer-songwriters and bands and recording new material during the day. 

Visual Arts / Photography


The past year again showed a wide array of Dutch visual arts projects and presentations across the United States. Various Dutch galleries participated in fairs in New York and Miami, such as AmstelAndenken, BorzoRutger BrandtDelaiveGRIMMGerard HoflandKallenbachLivingstoneLMAKRon MandosPriveekollektieRuebSmith DavidsonFrederieke TaylorTen Haaf ProjectsTorchUpstreamVIVIDWanrooij, and others. 

Notable public art projects included Allard van Hoorn’s installation on Pittsburgh’s Market Square, large-scale murals by Niels “SHOE” Meulman and Adele Renault for the Nashville Walls Projects, work by Folkert de Jong and Remy Jungerman for the Art Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY, Atelier van Lieshout and Dana Lixenberg installations for EXPO Chicago Projects, Children of the Light public Reflector Suits performances at the Day for Night Festival in Houston, and new work by Levi van Veluw for the Hermes New York flagship store windows. 

Museum and non-profit solo shows included presentations by Bik van der Pol at the Perez Art Museum  Miami, Rob Voerman at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Rineke Dijkstra at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum, Marie-Cecile Thijs, Ruud van Empel, Hendrik Kerstens and Hellen van Meene at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Guido van der Werve at the Frist Center in Nashville, Jacco Olivier at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Sebastiaan Bremer at the Art Galleries at TCU in Dallas / Fort Worth, and Niels Post at Transmitter in NYC.

As in previous years, work by a large number of Dutch artists was presented via solo exhibitions at US galleries, including Popel Coumou at LMAK Gallery, Richard Koek at Sena Space, Jan Banning at various locations, Viviane Sassen and Elspeth Diederix at the Casemore Kirkeby in San Francisco, Rafael Rozendaal at Steve Turner in Los Angeles, Guido van der Werve at Luhring Augustine in NYC, Robert Zandvliet at Peter Blum Gallery in NYC, Daan van Golden at Greene Naftali Gallery in NYC, Rob de Oude at various NYC galleries, Koen Delaere and Bas van der Hurk at Halsey McKay in East Hampton, Ruud van Empel at Stux + Haller in NYC, Hyland Mather at Lane Meyer Projects in Denver, Amie Dicke at Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles, Koen Delaere at Mike Weiss in NYC, Maaike Schoorel at Marc Foxx in Los Angeles, Lies Kraal at Susanne Vielmetter in Los Angeles, Kristen Leenaars and Jeroen Nelemans at South of the Tracks in Chicago, Tjalf Sparnaay at Bernaducci Meisel in NYC, among others.

Last but not least, the successful Photoville festival moved to a great new location in Dumbo, Brooklyn and continued its ongoing attention for Dutch photography, with presentations by Kadir van LohuizenRobin de Puy, and Vivian Keulards.


film 2016

2016 saw many US premieres, screenings and digital releases of Dutch films as well as a very strong representation in the festival circuit. A big success was Pieter van Huystee’s film Hieronymus Bosch: Touched By The Devil, which was screened at several venues throughout the US and new dates and venues were constantly added. The year kicked off with Dutch filmmakers well-represented during Sundance Film Festival, which featured four world premieres among seven Dutch productions and co-productions in the official selection.

Tribeca Film Festival featured the long-awaited “Strike a Pose” by Dutch filmmakers Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan which tells the personal story of Madonna’s most famous troupe of dancers, and “the Ark” a ground-breaking VR documentary bt Jongsma & O’Neill. Dutch short film “Hold On” by Charlotte Scott-Wilson, featuring Charlie Chan Dagelet, won an award in the Shorts competition.

Last Summer, the world’s largest documentary festival IDFA teamed up for the first time with New York’s underground rooftop film festival Rooftop Films. IDFA and Rooftop Films co-hosted 3 nights of both Dutch and international films on different rooftops in New York City, including a night of Dutch documentary shorts. IDFA’s longtime director Ally Derks received the Pioneer Award from the International Documentary Association (IDA) on December 9th, acknowledging her extraordinary contributions to advancing the nonfiction form and providing exceptional vision and leadership to the documentary community. 

The 52nd Chicago International Film Festival screened four films by Dutch directors:”Elle” by Paul Verhoeven, “Layla M.” by Mijke de Jong, “Strike a Pose” by Ester Gould & Reijer Zwaan and “Love is Thicker Than Water” by Ate de Jong. Both AFI Docs and AFI fest featured Dutch films and filmmakers in their festivals in June and November.  Four full feature and five short documentaries were shown at AFI Docs in Washington, DC, while Dutch directors Mijke de Jong, Michael Dudok de Wit, and Paul Verhoeven had their films screened at AFI Fest in Los Angeles. 

The 2016 edition of the Woodstock Film Festival put the spotlight on Dutch cinema with three feature films, inviting producers and filmmakers to participate in professional panels and Q&A’s. Movies by Tjebbo Penning, Mike van Diem and André van Duren, participated in the festival’s World Cinema Competition. Penning’s Clean Hands received an honorable mention for the acting skills of lead-actress Thekla Reuten.

During two weeks in November, the Film Society Lincoln Center screened the total body of films from Paul Verhoeven as part of ‘Total Verhoeven‘, a retrospective of the Dutch director, including a sneak preview of his latest movie ‘Elle’. Verhoeven participated in Q&As after sold-out screenings of RoboCop and his second Dutch feature, Turkish Delight.

Dutch children’s films were popular as in previous years and featured at festivals such as the Belmont World Family Film Festival, the BAM’s Children’s Festival and the Chicago Annual Children’s Film Festival.


Literature 2016

This year proved to be a special and strong year for Dutch literature in translation. The Netherlands, together with Flanders, were the 2016 Guest of Honor countries at the famous Frankfurt Book Fair. On this occasion, the German Book Office and representatives of the Netherlands and Flanders Literature Foundations organized a kick-off event in September, including a book give-away of Guus Kuijer’s The Bible For Unbelievers.  

Book tours and launches took place across the U.S. and included amongst others the following Dutch authors and books: Bette Adriaanse, who wrote her book “Rus Like Anyone Else” straight into English; crime writer Marion Pauw “A Girl in the Dark”, for which film rights were acquired by New York-based Dutch Tilt Productions; Herman Koch’s Dear Mr. M, which received raving reviewsIlja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba, Jaap Scholten’s “Comrade Baron: a Journey Through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy” and Nachoem Wijnberg celebrated the release of “The Jews” as well as his poem collection “The Divan of Ghalib”.

Two young adult books were released in the U.S. in 2016. Anna Woltz’ young adult novel “A Hundred Hours of Night”, set during hurricane Sandy in 2012, was written after Anna lived in New York, for three months, and experienced Sandy herself. Meanwhile, Marieke Nijkamp‘s young adult book “This Is Where It Ends” got published in the US, in January and made it on the bestseller list of the New York Times, in the category of Young-Adults!

For the first time, the Netherlands participated in The New Literature from Europe Festival, an annual celebration of writing from across the European continent. Featuring readings and discussions between leading and emerging literary voices from Europe. The Dutch featured author was Tommy Wieringa who participated in three talks and a reading of his just-released and well-received English translation of “These Are The Names”.


Dance 2016

In 2016 a variety of Dutch classical, modern and contemporary Dutch dance was featured in the U.S. During the American Realness showcase at Abrons Arts Center in early January, Fernando Belfiore–resident at Dansmakers Amsterdam–performed his piece “AL13FB<3” for an audience of professionals and contemporary dance fans. 

In April, the renowned Scapino Ballet Rotterdam returned to the U.S. to perform in the opéra-ballet “Les Fêtes Vénitiennes”; a co-production of Opéra Comique and Les Arts Florissants.Conducted by William Christie and performed at the BAM, this seldom-performed production explored the hedonistic side of the Baroqu. Scapino Choreographer Ed Wubbe was praised for its reinterpretation of Baroque dance with contemporary wit and humor.

More recently, the Nederlands Dans Theater performed at the Fall For Dance Festival in New York City Center as a prelude to its sold-out 4-day run at the same venue in November. The New York audience was treated to  U.S. premieres of Safe as Houses and Stop-Motion, choreographed by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot; and The Statement, choreographed by Crystal Pite. Additionally, Nederlands Dans Theater performed at the Guggenheim Museum in its ‘Works & Process’ program and at the Met Breuer during pop-up performances.

Theater & Opera

Performing Arts 2016

Dutch theater and music theater was well presented in 2016, with among others a continued series of successful and well reviewed performances by the productive Amsterdam-based, Belgian-born artistic team consisting of director Ivo van Hove and scenographer Jan Versweyveld. During its annual gala, the New York Theatre Workshop honored Ivo and Jan for their 20 years of successful collaborations, including the highly successful off-Broadway smash hit Lazarus, a musical based on the oeuvre of David Bowie, who passed away early January not long after Lazarus premiered. World-renowned Toneelgroep Amsterdam, led by Ivo van Hove, returned to Brooklyn to enthusiastic reviews for their Shakespearean mash-up of Kings in the trilogy Kings of War. Successful Broadway and Kennedy Center runs of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, directed by Van Hove, led to two Tony Awards. Another Miller revival, The Crucible, with an impressive cast, including Saoirse Ronan, Ben Whishaw and Ciarian Hinds, premiered to solid reviews in April and ran for more than 3 months.

For the first time, the Dutch play “Poison” was performed in New York. The original title “Gif,” written by playwright Lot Vekemans and directed by fellow Dutchman Erwin Maas received great reviews and ran for 5 weeks at the Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row 42nd Street.  

Another exciting US premiere took place in LA, where Among Us, an immersive theater experience was presented during the Live Arts Exchange festival. This performance, developed and directed by Marike Splint, a Dutch director and faculty member at the UCLA Theater Department, specializing in site-responsive and immersive theater, was developed at Dutch outdoor theater festival Oerol.

In a special Winterreise festival, Dutch performer and chanteuse Wende Snijders was featured with pianist Gerard Bouwhuis in a showcase of ‘Winterreise’ at National Sawdust New York, in a special production with new music by Dutch composer Boudewijn Tarenskeen

Dutch Theater for Young Audiences keeps standing out. Multiple performances of the Box Brothers created by Oorkaan and Tetris from Arch8 took place in 2016. During the annual IPAY conference, the biggest showcase for Theater for Young Audiences in North-America, Tetris by choreographer Erik Kaiel won the Victor Award for its outstanding production, appreciated by both young and older audiences.

Dutch director Jorinde Keesmaat brought the U.S. premiere of two distinctive works by Louis Andriessen merged in one piece, combining the desire of the mythical Ulysses and the desire of the legendary Anaïs Nin. Staged at National Sawdust, The Center for Contemporary Opera presented and produced this unique production, which received rave reviews from major newspapers.   

Besides Odysseus Women and Anaïs Nin, two works by Dutch composer Louis Andriessen were staged in New York and Los Angeles. The Park Avenue Armory brought “De Materie” and Los Angeles witnessed the first-ever performances of “Theatre of the World” by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall and a co-production with the Dutch National Opera.

Another co-production with the Dutch National Opera saw the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, last October  when “Guillaume Tell“, Rossini’s epic telling of the William Tell fable returned to the Met stage after an absence of more than 80 years, in a new production by Pierre Audi, artistic director of the Dutch National Opera since 1988.

Old Masters

Old Masters 2016

Dutch Old Masters remain as popular as ever in the United States and 2016 was a year full of great exhibitions, with a particularly impressive series of Rembrandt-related exhibitions. Some highlights:

The successful Museum of Fine Arts Boston exhibition Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer traveled to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

In collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem opened the striking Asia in Amsterdam exposition that explored the transformative impact that Asian luxuries had on Dutch art and life during the Golden Age.

The Dallas Museum of Art the exhibition Vermeer Suite: Music in 17th Century Dutch Paintings presented works from the Leiden Collection by Vermeer and his contemporaries demonstrating key aspects of 17th Century musical culture.

At the Van Gogh’s Bedroom exhibition at the Art institute of Chicago all three versions of the famous The Bedroom were brought together for the first time in North America.

Together with a number of Rembrandts early self-portraits and etchings and drawings of the scenes from the life of Christ, the painting Judas Returning the Thirty Pieces of Silver was also presented for the first time to an American audience in the Rembrandt’s first Masterpiece exhibition at the Morgan Library.

Another premier in the U.S. was that for the first time in 300 years, one of Rembrandts earliest paintings–“The Unconscious Patient, Allegory of Smell–was reunited with three other paintings from Rembrandts series on the five senses in the exposition Rembrandt’s Senses at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

With nearly 100 paintings, the Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt  show in the National Gallery of Art in Washington revealed the importance of drawings to paintings of the Dutch Golden Age. Another unique drawing show, Drawings from the Age of Bruegel and Rembrandt was organized by the Harvard Art Museums and showed the range of subjects and techniques explored in the drawings of Rembrandt and the adaptation of his draftsmanship by some of his pupils and close followers.

At the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth exposition explored the works of Vincent van Gogh and looked at the evolution of the Dutch artist’s love of the natural world, powers of observation and mastery of detail through a special group of landscape paintings spanning his career.

The Human Animals: The Art of Cobra show at the University Museum of Contemporary Art in Amherst, presented the history of the CoBrA movement through paintings, sculpture, prints, and primary documents. It also explored the connection between the group’s work and the influence it still has on the contemporary art scene. The A Gesture of Colors show at the Philips collection in Washington was organized to mark to the 10th anniversary of Karel Appel’s death.

In October, TEFAF presented its inaugural New York edition, which included presentations by a number of Dutch dealers: A. Aardewerk Antique Silver and JewelleryKunstgalerij AlbrichtAronson Antiquairs of AmsterdamHaboldt PicturaMireille Mosler, Ltd.Vanderven Oriental Art, and Joan Wijermars

Lastly, the Rembrandt and the Jews exposition in the Figge Art Museum in Davenport featured a collection of 22 etchings by Rembrandt that explored the relationship between the artist and the Jewish residents of Amsterdam with whom Rembrandt shared the same neighborhood.   


Heritage 2016

2016 has been an exciting and productive year for projects aiming at raising awareness about the Shared Cultural Heritage between the US and the Netherlands. The New Netherland Institute in Albany continues the translation and digitization of all the West Indian Company papers to revitalize the story of New Netherland. The Institute also sustained its focus on Young Emerging Scholars by organizing a panel at their Annual Conference in New Jersey and by offering Fulbright scholarships to young researchers.   

Another 2016 highlight was the opening of the semi-permanent ‘New York at its Core’ exposition of the Museum of the City of New York, telling the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to a world capital and preeminent global city.   

This year, the New York Municipal Archives launched a unique online cooperation with the Stadsarchief in Amsterdam: New Amsterdam Stories. Guided by scholars from the New Netherland Institute this project tells the story of the people that left Old Amsterdam to sail to New Amsterdam by tying both archives together, making original documents found in both archives available to the general public for the first time. 

The Oldest (Dutch) House in Brooklyn, The Wyckoff House Museum, hosted Dutch Textile artist Farida Sedoc as an Artist in Residence. Through research, workshops and artmaking this project ‘Thread Lines’  connected heritage with contemporary culture. 

Digging for our Dutch Roots, the two-day event in Rochester, offered an opportunity for teachers, students, genealogists, academics and the general public to learn more about the “forgotten colony” that shaped the New York State area. The event organized by the New Netherland Institute and kicked off by the author of the best seller ‘An Island in the center of the World’ and NY times Journalist Russel Shorto. 

Port Cities, a global multimedia performance art project with live music, links five cities along the trade routes of the Dutch in the 17th century by exploring their different connections to these routes: from Perth to Cape Town and from Amsterdam and New York to Jakarta. Interdisciplinary artist Talya Chalef kicked off the Project in NYC with talk back sessions for a more in-depth understanding of the Colonial History in New York 

Lastly, in New York, the New Amsterdam History Center organized a lecture on Women of New Netherland and New England with amongst others Andrea Mosterman in the panel.  

Social Media

This Year, Dutch Culture USA has again been very active on social media and we saw steady growth on our blog and social media accounts. We are happy and thankful to see so many followers liking and visiting us on Instagram (1,776 followers), Twitter (6,406 followers) and Facebook (17,088 followers). We hope that you enjoy reading about all the exciting Dutch cultural activities in the United States and hope to see you return in 2017 and beyond! If you want to stay informed, please make sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

DutchCulture USA