The collection of Zeeuws Museum

These videos were made possible thanks to the contribution of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

Rooms of Wonder (“Wonderkamers”)

The so-called Rooms of Wonder are located in the attic of the Zeeuws Museum. In three large wooden transport boxes, historical ‘cabinets of curiosities’ are furnished with the appearance of a historical ‘Wunderkammer’. Every cabinet forms a miniature world. The showcases are packed with the most diverse Zealandish and exotic objects, about 800 items in total. In addition to everyday objects, you will also discover unusual pieces. Some are just beautiful to look at and others will tell you remarkable stories.

What they all have in common is that they all evoke a sense of wonder. What does an item represent? Where is it from? Why is it here in the museum? These objects inspire, help you to retrieve memories or make you discover new things. Every cabinet has its own universal main theme: Home & Trade, Life & Death and Power & Splendor.

The Home & Trade cabinet displays everything in the field of trade, living and leisure. From Chinese porcelain to antique coffee cans, from beautiful chintz rugs to wicker mats from Indonesia, from a game of ‘slabberjan’ to mah-jongg.

In the Life & Death cabinet, you will find objects that deal with saying farewell, starting a new life, family and religion. Examples include Zealandish mourning garments, an Egyptian mummy, Indonesian fertility images, wedding rings, Bibles and Qurans.

The cabinet Power & Splendor focuses on the human need for outward show and power. Many shiny objects such as the most diverse pieces of jewelry (from Zealandish buds to leg decorations from Papua) but also weapons, uniforms, distinctions and portraits of heads of state can be found here.

Tapestries – world famous carpets with naval battles from the 16th century. The six famous Zealandish tapestries tell about the struggle of the Zeeuwen against the Spaniards in the Eighty Years’ War. This unique series was made between 1593 and 1604 on behalf of the States of Zeeland.

Bursting with stories

Burning ships, strong defenses and officers fleeing on a sandbank can all be found on the tapestries of the Zeeuws Museum. Six important moments from the Eighty Years’ War are depicted. Every carpet is full of details and is bursting with stories. Four weavers were instructed by the States General to make the carpets. The carpets served to retain the heat, to keep out the draft and to impress the other – competing – states. Several sea battles are depicted on the carpets. The main message that the images want to convey is; not the Holland province, but the Zealanders have expelled the Spaniards!

What is Zeeland?

How do you tell the story of Zeeland, with such a diverse collection, in a current and appealing way? Ask ten Zealanders what Zeeland is and you will get just as many different answers. Outside the province, people will recount famous clichés such as Zealandish Girl, sun, sea and mussels. In Zeeland, all aspects are discussed. Contrary to chronology and conventions, the exhibition brings together the many perspectives on the culture and history of Zeeland.




Museum informatie

Zeeuws Museum
Abdij 3
4331 BK


Maandag Gesloten

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