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Colonial Objects And The Display Of Power. The Curious Case Of The Cabinet Of William V And The Dutch India Companies

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Chapter Summary

Before the establishment of the cabinet as a separate public institution, several earlier collections performed similar functions in Dutch society. The early collections were never public in the modern sense of the word, but they were neither completely private. The cabinet of William V was different in this respect, that it was indeed established as a public institution, with its proper building, opening hours and an entry fee. The rationale behind its collection was museological rather than personal. That is what makes this cabinet a museum rather than a traditional cabinet of curiosities. The display of colonial objects in William 's cabinet did not stand by itself. Not only was it part of a larger display of naturalia, antiques and art, it was part of a broader cultural programme displayed by William and Wilhelmine , in which especially theatre and music played an important role.

Keywords: cabinet of William V; colonial objects; Dutch society



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