CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Female Power

3 November 2021 - 8 November 2022

Female Power

Exhibition: 3 November 2021 - 8 November 2022

Female Power opens at Rijksmuseum Schiphol on 3 November 2021. This exhibition foregrounds the portrayal of strong and individual women in paintings from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the work of female artists. Each of the women has a unique story testifying to their willpower, vision and courage. The exhibition will run for a full year, and entrance is free to travelers at Schiphol Airport.

The works on display include paintings by the female artists Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750) and Cornelia van der Mijn (1709-1782), as well as portrayals of strong women such as Salome and Maria Magdalen. A particularly interesting story lies behind the double portrait of the two close friends Josina Clara van Citters and Anna Maria Gool, who are exemplary of women in Dutch history who dared to go off the beaten path; they lived together for a large part of their lives.


The Rijksmuseum is keen to devote greater attention to the under-acknowledged part played by women in Dutch cultural history. As part of this process, this year three works by female artists were hanging in the museum’s Gallery of Honour. The Rijksmuseum has also initiated multipronged research into the role of women in Dutch cultural history and the representativeness of the Rijksmuseum collection. As part of this research the museum is conducting a survey of the number of female makers and artists and tracing their life stories, while also finding more detailed information about the women depicted in the paintings. In addition, female collectors, patrons, donors and curators will be scrutinizing the collection and the institutional history of the museum.

Podcast and Stories

The Rijksmuseum has got lots to say about women in its collection. In the Rijksmuseum podcast (Dutch only), Janine Abbring talks with the museum’s Curator of Drawings Ilona van Tuinen about Gesina ter Borch (1631-1690). And you will find several Rijksmuseum Stories about women in art and history.

Rijksmuseum Schiphol

In 2002, the Rijksmuseum became the first art museum to open a branch at an airport. Travelers can visit the museum free of charge, 24 hours a day. Rijksmuseum Schiphol can be found between Lounge 2 and Lounge 3 after passing through security at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Female Power at Rijksmuseum Schiphol is made possible by ING and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.