Een huis genaamd Marseille


Twenty years ago – in September 1999 – a monumental canal house at 401 Keizersgracht named “Marseille” was given a new purpose as the Museum of Photography. This was thanks to Mr. J. de Pont, who had bought the house in 1995 with the intention of giving it a public function. Mr. de Pont had a special connection to the house; part of his own family history was connected to it. As Caroline Hanken, the author of the book Een huis genaamd Marseille (‘A House Named Marseille’), writes: “Working on this book, I sometimes wondered whether a house should be considered part of the world of inanimate objects. Houses are, of course, made of stone and wood. But the more I delved into the history of Huis Marseille, the more I came to the conviction that a house shares a beating heart with its inhabitants. It participates in their lives.’

Caroline Hanken delved into the histories of the residents who lived in Keizersgracht 401 and Keizersgracht 399 beginning in the seventeenth century. That neighboring building was connected to Huis Marseille in 2013, creating a doubled museum. In Een huis genaamd Marseille, Caroline Hanken takes you through 350 years of Amsterdam history, by means of the lives of the residents. Beginning with a flamboyant merchant who had Huis Marseille built in 1665 at the height of his fortune and the deeply religious, Baptist diamond cutter who erected the building next door, via an immensely wealthy sugar baker, a bickering mayor’s son, a wealthy widow from a powerful family of regents, an early feminist, a disappointed patriot, a writer from Indonesia, several art collectors, a do-gooder, a film distributor, an inspired lawyer and a hider in the secret annex…. Each forms a link in a long chain that connects today’s photography museum to the seventeenth century.

  • Caroline Hanken
  • Een huis genaamd Marseille – Leven aan een Amsterdamse gracht van de zeventiende eeuw tot nu
  • Design by Joost Grootens
  • Cover: Huis Marseille
  • Photo cover: Viviane Sassen
  • Paperback
  • 16 x 24 cm
  • 288 pages
  • Illustrated (235 color and b/w)
  • Dutch
  • ISBN 978-94-6208-518-3
  • In collaboration with nai010 publishers

Een huis genaamd Marseille



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