black-is-beautiful-(photo Pieter Roozen)
black-is-beautiful-(photo Pieter Roozen)

In the future

Guest-curator exhibition

Singer Laren


Advice and text for the publication and exhibition 2022:

Stadsmuseum Harderwijk

Harmen Meurs stadsmuseum Harderwijk
Harmen Meurs stadsmuseum Harderwijk


2017-2018  Afrikaanse bedienden aan het Haagse hof Haags Historisch Museum

In the sixties of the eighteenth century, two black children, Cupido and Sideron, were given to the future stadtholder Willem V, probably by the West India Company. Seven-year-old Sideron comes from drought and famine-ravaged Curaçao, the slightly younger Cupido from the coast of Guinea, in Africa. The children end up in a world of great luxury and abundance and in the years that follow manage to work their way up to valet at the court of the stadtholder and his wife, Wilhelmina of Prussia. During the French Revolution, they flee with the couple and a small part of the royal household to Great Brittain. Cupido’s descendants swarm out over the Netherlands.

Since the fourteenth century it has been a good practice to give black children as gifts to Northern European monarchs. The black servants of the Van Oranje family are depicted next to the stadtholder or king in many paintings and other works of art, but little is known about the lives of these people.

History, documents and art come together in this exhibition.

Haags Historisch

See reviews and media here

See overview and opening here

The book


2008 Black is beautiful, Rubens to Dumas, Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam

In 2008 I was guest curator of the exhibition Black is beautiful. Rubens to Dumas. Important advisors Elizabeth McGrath (Rubens and colleagues, Warburg institute Image of the Black in Western Art collection), Carl Haarnack (slavery in books), Elmer Kolfin (slavery in prints and paintings) en Adi Martis (contemporary art). Gary Schwartz made his research for The Image of the Black in Western Art available to me.

See more on BB page

See more BB reviews here


2002 – 2003 Licht uit spot aan, 50 jaar tv cultuur door de lens  

Kippa  en Spaarnestad fotoarchief in Haarlem

Licht uit Spot aan poster

Assistant Curatorships:

2001 Ja ik wil Koninklijke huwelijken Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam. Assistant John Vrieze.research Koninklijk Huis Archief / Research Royal Archives

2001 Melle. Het vroege werk 1933-1945  Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem. Idea, editing and production: Ype Koopmans

2003 Liefde uit de Hermitage/ Love from the Hermitage Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam. Assistant Vincent Boele and edit. cat.   

Liefde uit de Hermitage Waanders De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam

Content research for Exhibitions:

  • 2004 Negerplastieken en moderne meesters, Carel van Lier, Museum of Modern Art Arnhem. Research into the current whereabouts of certain works to the benefit of the exhibition

Filmresearch for exhibitions: