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Exhibition House of Vineyard in The Willet-Holthuysen House


Appeared on:

ma 30 oktober 2023, 13:00 hour

House of Vineyard, 2023, Bete van Meeuwen

From December 2, 2023, the Amsterdam Museum presents the exhibition Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens. The exhibition is co-curated by House of Vineyard, the first ballroom house in the Netherlands. In the rooms of the Willet-Holthuysen House, an Amsterdam Museum location, House of Vineyard exposes the power of ballroom culture with thrilling fashion interventions and art installations.

Historical spaces in a current perspective

As trailblazers of the Dutch scene, House of Vineyard explores the power of ballroom, where themes like resistance, building community, and self-expression play a significant role. For the exhibition Grand March: A Historic House through a Ballroom Lens, the ballroom house guides the visitor through the historic spaces of the Willet-Holthuysen House through a ballroom lens. They do this by augmenting the spaces inside the Amsterdam mansion with installations comprising fashion, jewelry, photography, and visual arts. Various interventions are situated throughout the house in order to disrupt gender norms, for example by combining a sixteenth-century armor with contemporary ballroom aesthetics. House of Vineyard members show old and new works from their own collections, but also draw from the Amsterdam Museum’s fashion collection.

Behind the scenes depot Amsterdam Museum 2023 foto door Bete van Meeuwen

Ten-year anniversary

Ballroom is a subculture full of expressiveness and creativity. During balls, participants compete against each other through different categories, such as voguing, realness and runway. This year marks ten years since the first ball was organized in the Netherlands. The anniversary will be celebrated with this exhibition and a corresponding public program with panel discussions, film screenings, tours, and workshops. The exhibition includes House of Vineyard looking back at the past decade by showing highlights of their balls in the interactive installation Karosa (Papiamentu for parade float): an encounter between a cabinet of curiosities and a Caribbean parade float.

A strategy to demand space

Ballroom was created for and by Black and Latinx-American trans women and queer people in the 1970s in Harlem, in New York City. Organizers opposed the established, often racist pageants by holding balls for, with, and by LGBTIQ+ people of color. During a ball, participants compete in various categories to win trophies, cash prizes, status, and respect. The balls are lively underground events, a manifestation of resistance to the predominance of cisnormative society. Ever since the emergence of these balls, ballroom has remained a flourishing subculture. Many people active in the ballroom scene are members of a “house”. Houses represent a group of people who have chosen each other as “family”, providing a safe home where there is space for every individual.

Ballroom is a place where art and activism meet. It is a form of protest and resistance, and a radical celebration of our existence and our right to claim occupy space.

Viva Pride Campaign, 2019, Amber Vineyard, foto door: Tom ten Seldam

Amber Vineyard

House of Vineyard’s commitment to shaping a scene that creates space for fearless self-expression is a source of inspiration to many. Their creativity and artistic expression make them a distinct and beloved part of the current culture.

Roberto Luis Martins, 2022,  Foto Amsterdam Museum, pfg

Roberto Luis Martins

Curator of Fashion and Popular Culture at the Amsterdam Museum

Black Pride Ball 2022 Foto Tarona

About House of Vineyard

House of Vineyard was founded in 2014 by Mother Amber Vineyard. The internationally recognized House consists of about 30 people and growing. Together with Father Elly Vineyard they have found chosen family in each other. Since its establishment, it has continued to be of great impact, trail-blazing for ballroom culture. Fostering community, providing educational spaces while challenging conventions in and outside of the ballroom scene. Besides its major contribution in organizing and participating in balls, House of Vineyard facilitates affordable community classes and shares their knowledge and family values during takeovers at art schools and stages across the country. Since 2018, House of Vineyard has travelled to South-Africa, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Surinam to support people in creating their own ballroom communities and now extended the House to South-Africa. This is the first exhibition co-curated by House of Vineyard as a collective

Huis Willet Holthuysen Foto Monique Vermeulen

About The Willet-Holthuysen House

The exhibition is on view at the stately Willet-Holthuysen House, part of the Amsterdam Museum, on the Herengracht in Amsterdam. This double mansion is comprised of several historical interiors, including a 19th-century ballroom and a French-style symmetrical garden, and is home to numerous impressive historical objects. Programming at the Willet-Holthuysen House includes exhibitions which illuminate the former residence and its past from different perspectives. Each presentation highlights a different aspect of the house.

The Amsterdam Museum is generously supported by the Municipality of Amsterdam (Main Benefactor), VriendenLoterij (Founder), Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie and the ELJA Foundation (Main Partner Education).

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