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Start Date 24 June 2017
End Date 22 July 2018
Venue Rijksmuseum
Location Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thanks to celebrities like Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Queen Maxima, lace has made a comeback. Lace is the quintessential luxury product. The lacemaker creates gossamer-fine patterns with stitches or with needle and thread playing with an open or indeed very dense structure. The enormous skill this requires, the labour-intensive process and the high quality of the linen thread make it a costly product. 

Elegance and refinement 

Since the beginning of the 16th century when it first came into being, lace became popular as a decoration on clothing and in interiors until long into the 20th century. Even contemporary designers like to use lace or lace motifs. Lace patterns are constantly changing, but elegance and refinement are a constant factor. 

The Rijksmuseum has the largest lace collection in the Netherlands. It comprises around 3,500 pieces dating from the late sixteenth to the early twentieth century. An important part of the collection consists of pieces belonging to Queen Wilhelmina, who had a great love of lace and assembled a beautiful range of items. 


Thanks to a comprehensive registration and photography project funded by the Sara Geertruida Aalders Fund, all the pieces in the lace collection can soon be viewed in Rijksstudio. This presentation of a selection of masterpieces in the Special Collections marks the completion of the registration project.