Exhibition ‘Armed with beauty’

Women and power since the Middle Ages

21st of April till the 31st of October 2018

Throughout history men have traditionally been portrayed with the customary symbols of power such as deadly weapons, shining armour and imposing castles. The ‘Armed with beauty’ exhibition tells the story of the often less visible power of women, with the aim of prompting visitors to reflect on the methods that women through the ages have used (and still use) to wield influence. The exhibits reflect a wide range of subjects including diplomacy, social networks, marriage, the woman as mother, female beauty and fashion and jewellery.

Famous women in Dutch history such as Jacoba van Beieren, Maria Tesselschade, Belle van Zuylen and Aletta Jacobs are brought to life with historic artefacts. Most of what we know today about these celebrated women has come to us from their romanticized biographies as told in books, films and art. The exhibition makes use of these sources, but tries to separate the myth from the reality.

The female icons chosen for the exhibition are or were role models who were an inspiration to many. For this exhibition, Muiderslot asked three contemporary female Dutch artists to present their vision of the theme of ‘women and power’. In their new works produced specially for this occasion they play with the historical narrative of ‘strong women’ and give a modern-day interpretation of the subject. Visitors are also invited to give expression to their personal view of the role of women since the Middle Ages.

The exhibition takes place in the theme year 2018 ‘Powerful women’.

Copyright photo at the top: Isabelle van Zeijl – Courtesy The Cynthia Corbett Gallery