A grey room of Gold

A grey room of Gold

With the exhibition FLASH BACK, the Mauritshuis is celebrating 200 years of being an art museum. “A Grey Room of Gold” was created not to celebrate but to commemorate the invisibility of 400 years of colonial violence. Stories such as that of six Brazilian Tarairiu men forced to perform a sacred ritual dance in front of a white Dutch audience in the Golden Room of the Mauritshuis in 1644 or the forgotten letters in the Dutch archives of Pedro Poti, a Brazilian Potiguara leader and diplomat for the Dutch, writing about violence and peace, highlight this invisibility. This stands in stark contrast to the significant scholarly interest in histories of colonial wealth, exemplified by the 2014 scientific research of the Mauritshuis’s Golden Room, resulting in an archive of hundreds of photographs of microscopic cross-sections revealing 400 years of paint layers—a timeline in paint. In “A Grey Room of Gold,” the paint layers represent colonial wealth, juxtaposing the voices of different Indigenous leaders from the past and present.displayed on plates alongside images of Brazilian landscapes and animals collected by Dutch anthropologists in the early 20th century. These plates serve as commemorative reminders of how the colonial body was consumed, almost literally, as the Indigenous men were forced to perform during an evening-long dinner.

Work: Installation vitrine with 17  porcelain plates, with photographic prints.









With special thanks to

Finn Maätita -assistent researcher

Bastienne Kramer – technical advisor

Yvonne van Versendaal -graphic designer

Carolina Monteiro –  advisor Brazilian colonial histories

Margriet Eikema Hommes-  art historian specialized in historical painting techniques.


Mauritshuis team:

directeur Mauritshuis Martine Gosselink

Curator Hedwig Wosten

Senior Curator Quentin Buvelot

Coördinator Tentoonstellingstechniek Boy van den Hoorn