CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Vrouwen van van Loon: Anna, Louise en Thora

Women of van Loon: Anna, Louise and Thora Exhibition: 18 October 2008 - 5 January 2009

Museum film on the exhibition

From the museum website, 22 September 2008

In the heart of Amsterdam on the Keizersgracht stands the stately home of the Amsterdam regent family Van Loon. Through the ages the interior hardly changed and the house still evokes the time when Mrs. Van Loon came rustling down the staircase and Mr. Van Loon made his daily visit to the Stock Exchange.

The role of the woman in the history of the Van Loon family has never got the attention it really deserves. For centuries it weren’t so much the men but the women who preserved the family line, let it flourish and gave it distinction because they often provided the marriage with capital and power. In these connections ‘love’ was of minor importance to the merging of two important families.

Three women have played an important role in the history of the Van Loon family:

Anna Ruychaver (1573-1649) brought power being the daughter of the mayor of Haarlem and gunpowder trader Marten Ruychaver. Her uncle Nicolaes Ruychaver was a famous general in the war against Spain;

Louise Borski (1832-1893) was the heiress of the Borski’s, the most powerful family of bankers in the Netherlands of the 19th century, and owner of the immense estate Elswout near Haarlem;

Thora Egidius (1865-1945) was the charming daughter of a Norwegian consul. In 1884 Hendrik Maurits van Loon bought the majestic house on the Keizersgracht as a wedding present for his son Jonkheer Willem Hendrik van Loon and his wife Thora Egidius. As Dame du Palais to Queen Wilhelmina Thora van Loon organized her weekly Jour in the Blue Drawing Room.

In this exposition portraits, documents, garments, fans and parasol’s of these Women of Van Loon will be displayed, along with photographs of members of international royal families given to Thora van Loon and to the present Mrs. Van Loon, Mistress of the Robes to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.