A bonding experience at Huis Marseille

Huis Marseille is Amsterdam’s first photography museum. Student Katarina and I both arrive by bike and park on Keizersgracht 401. Entering the hall, we feel like we are visiting a friend: an intimate, almost serene atmosphere pervades the building. Could it be because the museum is a former residence? We visit the exhibition Hug of a swan by French-Vietnamese artist Nhu Xuan Nua, who links fashion photography with autonomous work. Interesting for Katarina, who, like me, likes to be inspired for her own work.

Is there more than ‘leuk, lekker, mooi’?

Afterwards we have a chat in the bar of Huis Vasari, while enjoying not a Dutch, but a delicious Italian-style grilled sandwich, as it is now lunchtime for us in this canalhouse named after the Italian artist and architect Giorgio Vasari. Here we are briefly immersed in the la dolce vita lifestyle of 1950s and 1960s Italy. Against this artistic backdrop, we discuss the session. ‘Describe in a few Dutch adjectives how you experienced the session. Using the adjectives from the booklet Dutch on the go,’ I suggest.

Crossing the threshold

The first adjective Katarina chooses is constructief (constructive). ‘It’s an interactive learning method because you want to read the captions to the artworks. It went very well with your help’, begins Katarina.’So that was very constructive.’ She also realized that her level of reading comprehension is good, but she needs courage to speak more. The pictures were also constructive; it was an incentive to discuss them, and we did so extensively.’ The biggest challenge was logistical: the captions were not placed under the photos, so that was really a search.


Smaakvol (tasteful), fantasierijk ( imaginative) and hoopvol(hopeful). These are the words with which Katarina chooses to describe the exhibition. She found the session with the tutor plezierig (enjoyable), and uniek (unique), as we had not done this before, visiting an exhibition together. ‘It felt persoonlijk (personal) and intiem (intimate), especially when we went to buy postcards together in the museum shop at the end of the exhibition. All in all, it was a bonding experience. In a word: indrukwekkend (impressive). And let’s not forget, it was really gezellig as well!

Written by Nathalie Ezendam Keller

Huis Marseille offers a rich and varied exhibition programme that changes on average four times a year. In addition to the changing exhibitions, there is also ample opportunity to display its own collection, which consists mainly of leading modern (national and international) photography.

Published by: Flowently

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