hindeloopen from 2 july 2016 to 31 december 2021

The stubborn Frisian town of Hindeloopen used to be a real metropolis. However, Friesland was less appealing to the inhabitants of this town than the rest of the world. On their trading trips Hinderloopers brought Dutch furniture from Amsterdam, fabrics from India and porcelain from China. This created a typical Hindelooper style that combined authentic Dutch and exotic elements.

In the 17th and 18th centuries the Hindelooper sea captains retuned home with goods from all over the world. Through these many influences Hindeloopen looked very different from the rest of Friesland. Women wore colourful fabrics from India, Asian porcelain decorated living rooms, and richly decorated wooden furniture was widely used.

Trade collapsed in the late 18th century and Hindeloopen became isolated. The population concentrated more on fishing rather than on commerce and the flow of foreign influences ceased. The hodgepodge of Dutch and exotic home interiors and clothing survived and came to be known as ‘typically Hindeloopen’.


Already in the 19th century people were aware of the special Hindelooper style. The colourful Hindelooper Room captured the hearts of visitors to the 1878 World Exhibition in Paris. It was a characteristic Hindelooper interior that came to known as 'typically Dutch'. After the World Expo, the chamber, which could be dismantled into several components, travelled all over the world. Artists today are still influenced by the Hindeloopen style. Fashion designers Victor and Rolf have made dresses inspired by this idiosyncratic style, and it inspired a collaboration between Christien Meindertsma and the Roosje Oud Hindelooper Kunst 1894 Foundation that produced new furniture in the Hindelooper tradition.

chris kabel

Even today, artists and designers are still influenced by the Hindelooper style. Chris Kabel designed a series of lamps, which he had painted by Gijs Frieling with his own interpretations of traditional Hindelooper motifs. The shadows in the paintwork now seem to be caused directly by the light source.

Chris Kabel