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Faces of North Holland project colleagues photograph

Portraits of North Holland

A joint initiative with the Amsterdam Museum

Portraits for and by everyone

Do you ever walk through a museum, see a portrait and think the person looks like you? No? You’re not the only one. The paintings of yesteryear often portray white men in stately clothes who were sufficiently prominent to have their portrait painted. You also see married couples: a white man and woman. Most paintings tell a Christian or colonial story. These portraits were painted in times gone by, but the other side of the coin isn’t often displayed in museums. It’s time for new portraits, new faces, new stories. Time to make sure everyone visiting a museum recognises themselves. Time for inclusivity. You have to be seen to be heard!

‘Be/come as you are’ group portrait for the Faces of North Holland project

Two exhibitions

Portraits of North Holland is expanding the portrait collection at Frans Hals Museum and Amsterdam Museum. We’re scouring the province of North Holland to collect new and varied portraits of individuals or groups that represent you and your community. These works are inspired by pre-modern group portraits in North Holland museum collections. We’re working with social and cultural organisations to reach as many communities as we can. All North Holland residents, including you, are welcome. All the portraits we collect will be displayed online. A special exhibition will be organised in Haarlem and Amsterdam in 2024 and 2025 for all to see.

‘Pavers’ at the Faces of North Holland project

Various projects

Portraits of North Holland consists of various projects and presentations and an exhibition in both museums in 2024 and 2025. Through collaborative co-creation with social and cultural organisations, portrait competitions and a mobile photo studio, the museums are reaching out to as many people as possible across the province and making it easy for them to join in. A conference will be organised at the end of the project to share learnings with museum colleagues. This will include research into the impact of the project.

Portrait competition winners


Groot Heiligland 62, Haarlem

Open Tuesday – Sunday
11 AM – 5 PM


Grote Markt 16, Haarlem

Temporary modern and contemporary art exhibition

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