15 July till 25 September from Friday – Sunday, 1 – 4pm.

The mini-exhibition PORTRAITS WITH AN EDGE is a remarkable Dutch history lesson by the well-known historian Maarten van Rossem. His love for history, stamps and the National Portrait Gallery comes together in his personal selection of the ten most remarkable people who have ever appeared on a Dutch stamp. The Dutch National Portrait Gallery shows these portraits in the Portrait Gallery Studio on the Marineterrein in Amsterdam, all accompanied by Van Rossem’s signature commentaries.

Van Rossem: ‘Postage stamps are a highly interesting and highly undervalued aspect of Dutch culture. Some of our stamp issues can be seen as a living National Portrait Gallery. What they depict is after all a reflection of what was considered important [at the time of issue]. I couldn’t resist choosing people who are not world famous in Dutch history, but who, in my opinion, should be world famous’. 

Maarten van Rossem, 2022

National history on ten postage stamps

It is impossible to summarize our national history in ten postage stamp portraits. Maarten van Rossem has therefore chosen the ten most important people who, in his opinion, deserve to be world famous in the Netherlands, to be known by the Tiktok generation and by the public whose knowledge of the national history has faded. The result is a concise History of the Netherlands for young people and newcomers, a memory refresher for the elderly, but above all a personal choice by Van Rossem. Who has been important in the fields of thinkers, science and culture, and why? To whom does he think we are indebted?

Anna Zernike, 2013
Eduard Douwes Dekker, 2006

Portrait Story

Watch here the Portrait Story – Portraits with an Edge in which Maarten van Rossem discusses three of the selected postage stamp portraits.

Participation program: who’s missing?

The selection shows that the choice of who was depicted on stamps is a reflection of an era’s state of emancipation and inclusivity: the vast majority of people on a stamp are male. Because we want to contribute to more inclusivity, (online) visitors can indicate who they think deserves a postage stamp. The participation program that has been developed for this exhibition, asks visitors and neighbours, young and old, to send in their suggestions for who deserves their own stamp.

Who would you like to see on a postage stamp? 
Draw, cut, paste, or photograph your suggestion and you might win real stamps of your hero.
Send us a picture of the portrait by e-mail postzegel@dutchnationalportrait.gallery or share your it on Instagram and tag us: @dutchnationalportraitgallery

The exhibition will therefore be concluded with a finissage, during which we will present the public’s postage stamp-sized supplement in the presence of Maarten van Rossem.

15 July till 25 September from Fri – Sun from 1 – 4pm.
Portrait Gallery Studio, Kattenburgerstraat 5, building 003D, 1018 JA Amsterdam.

Anna Zernike, postzegel uit 2013