(museum of the tropics)


Although the designs are the same, in the older sets the name of the Colonial Institute is used. This was the original name of the Dutch institute when it was build. The construction took place between 1915 and 1926. 

In 1926, when the current building in the east of Amsterdam was inaugurated as the Colonial Institute, the collection already included 30,000 objects as well as a substantial number of photographs. A variegated whole, mainly brought together by private donations and donations from explorers, travelers and scientists. It was meant to be an institute that researched not only the cultural history, but also the development of  (agricultural) products and production in the Dutch colonies. It also included a museum. 

In the first decade of the Colonial Museum, the Dutch public mainly saw local handicrafts and trade products: the school collection, mainly for scientific and educational purposes, held beautiful (and extremely popular) examples. With the emergence of ethnology and a more serious interest in non-western cultures, the method of exhibition shifted. Instead of emphasizing an isolated product, the museum focused more on connections: a complete story, paying attention to cultural, social and economic aspects.

After the independence of the former Dutch East Indies in 1950, the name of the institute was changed to Royal Institute for the Tropics and the building now housed the Museum of the Tropics, the “Tropenmuseum”.

top: La Turnhoutoise, Belgium, late 1920's.    below: Van Genechten, Belgium, 1930's and 50's.

In 1963 the Hungarian printer Játékkátyagyar és Nyomda printed an advertising deck for Heineken beer with English indices on the courts and English captions on the aces. Apparently they have copied the Van Genechten image to the last detail, but they got one detail wrong. The museum has always had gray roof tiles, never red ones.