The Golden Coach

The Golden Coach will be on display in the Amsterdam Museum next year! This is the first time that the carriage will be presented to the public after the large-scale restoration that started in 2016. The Golden Coach was presented by the people of Amsterdam to the young Queen Wilhelmina, the first female monarch on the Dutch throne, in 1898. Soon, everyone will be able to see the coach once again in the city where it was made: in Amsterdam. It will be on display from June to October 2021.

The museum showcases the rich history of the Golden Coach. However, it has always been the subject of divergent opinion. Even today. Some people think the carriage is a splendid work of applied art, while others are critical of it. All these different opinions and emotions will be presented, thus making the Golden Coach is the centrepiece of a large-scale, highly diverse exhibition.

In order to properly present the various points of view and the many background stories associated with the carriage, the museum is collaborating with a research team supported by a sounding board group. This diverse group is composed of people from many different backgrounds, from connoisseurs of history and the royal family to experts in the field of colonisation and racism. We will show the public all sides of the carriage, both literally and figuratively. The result will be an exhibition that will interest a very wide and broad audience. In addition to this, the museum is organising an extensive public programme, an educational programme and a research project. This will be launched this autumn.

The Exhibition

We will be putting the Golden Coach on display in the large courtyard, with a harness for six horses. To get the carriage in the courtyard, it will need to be hoisted over the building.

The six monumental galleries of the Amsterdam Museum will tell different stories from different perspectives: rich but also painful historical stories, nostalgic and traditional stories, stories about the use, restoration, symbolism and perception of the carriage.

The gallery reserved to present information about the use of the coach will feature immense projections. Visitors can walk through history, as it were, and be virtually present on various occasions when the coach was used. There is no object that better illustrates the relationship between the royal family and the population, from dedication to the House of Orange to Republican protests. We see the carriage on festive occasions, such as the wedding of Wilhelmina and Prince Hendrik in 1901 and the christening of the infant Princess Beatrix, and as part of the exuberant celebrations relating to the reconstruction of the Netherlands following the Second World War.

We also see how the Golden Coach is a symbol of protest. Smoke, paint and water bombs have been thrown at the carriage during the last century for various reasons. The past decade has also seen criticism of the Golden Coach, which is particularly topical within the context of the current Black Lives Matter protests.

Even more special: because of the large windows in the halls, the public will always have a literally different view of the Golden Coach, to ultimately end up in the courtyard to look at the carriage up close. A unique opportunity!

 

A diverse team

A multidisciplinary research team will be putting the exhibition together, supported by a sounding board group. The Amsterdam Museum has deliberately chosen a team composed of specialists that represent a diversity of backgrounds and areas of expertise. This is to guarantee that the diversity of storylines and voices will be heard, and to translate this into a visual and informative presentation that will be suitable for a wide audience.

Public programme

A colourful public programme will also be presented, Through a variety of  lively, critical and playful programmes, we will be entering into the dialogue with the public about what we see when we look at the Golden Coach – and what we do not see. We will use these divergent perspectives to offer a platform for constructive dialogue on society, history and cultural identity.

In addition to this, lectures will be given in which curators, curators and exhibition makers discuss the various chapters in the ‘life story’ of the coach. There will also be a symposium for professionals and interested culture lovers about the restoration. During the fortnightly broadcasts of the online talk show AM Live we also discuss the previous week’s highlights, encounters and insights. This will enable the public to keep abreast of the developments in connection with the exhibition.

Research

Before and during the exhibition, the Amsterdam Museum will be organising an extensive public survey about the Golden Coach. The results will be presented towards the end of the exhibition. During the survey, we will ask people from all over the Netherlands to say something about the carriage. This will take place during various listening sessions, in a reading room, in a mobile installation that travels throughout the Netherlands and as part of the public programme. Space will also be reserved in the exhibition for the many different points of view, memories and stories that were provided by people from all over the country. This offers a unique opportunity for the Dutch population to share its experiences and opinions concerning the Golden Coach with a wide audience.

Keep abreast of the latest developments

The research and public programme will be launched this autumn, and the exhibition will open in June 2021. Do you want to stay informed of all the latest developments until then? Follow us on social media, through our newsletter or on AM Live.