Discover the stories of 1001 influential 20th century Dutch women

Discover the stories of 1001 influential 20th century Dutch women

From October to March, Amsterdam hosts an exhibition of 1001 women of the 20th century who shaped Dutch life. On October 3, King Willem Alexander opened the exhibition, which is based on the book of the same name by Els Koek.

Famous, notorious and obscure Dutch women

Photographs, documents and objects tell the many stories of Dutch women who broke new ground in the 20th century. Some were celebrated in their lifetime and saw considerable degrees of fame. Others went unnoticed or drifted into obscurity shortly after achieving massive feats. Many went down in history as notorious, being remembered perhaps for outrageous or controversial reasons.

Womens' stories that still resonate in 2018

Although the exhibition focuses on the past, namely the 20th century, it resonates with women of the present day, seeing as womens’ rights and recognition for women as equal citizens are a hot topic.

Many of the selected women are a source of inspiration, such as Beatrix de Rijk (1883-1958), who, in 1911, became the first Dutch woman to hold a pilot’s licence, or Carry Pothuis-Smit (1872-1951), one of the first female members of Amsterdam's city council and later the first woman in the Dutch senate. There are also stories told of women who, for one reason or another, ended up on the wrong side of history.

Accessible for all visitors to the Dutch capital

The exhibition, showcasing all of these remarkable women, takes place at the Amsterdam Museum. You can find it located between Kalverstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, in the heart of the shopping street and just a stone’s throw from Amsterdam Central Station.

Running from October 4, 2018 to March 10, 2019, the exhibition features explanations in English, so visitors from all over the world can marvel at the brilliance, ingenuity and infamy of these fascinating people of the 20th century. There is also an audio tour of the exhibition in English, making it thoroughly expat-friendly.

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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