Power of the Throne

until March 10
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Power of the Throne’ is a temporary exhibition that explores the meaning of thrones using art and historical objects. Including the Iron Throne from ‘Game of Thrones’!

Power of the Throne

When we think of a throne we tend to picture a chair with gold and red velvet. This image is perpetuated in films, art and pop culture. But thrones are much more than this. The concept of the throne is deciphered on the basis of seven themes, from symbol and stereotype, to personal and universal. The exhibition also considers connection and protest, and ends with the question of whether the throne has a future.

Symbolism of the throne

Every year, King Willem-Alexander presents the government’s policy in the ‘Speech from the Throne’, in which the focus is on people and society. Yet we are seeing a decline in confidence in the monarchy, political institutions and democracy. Not only in The Netherlands, but around the world.

In relations between the powers that be and the people, the throne is the ultimate symbol, the centre of power. ‘Power of the Throne’ explores this symbolism, considering questions like ‘What makes a chair a throne?' and 'What effect does a throne have on the people who sit on it?'. The meaning of a throne in a parliamentary democracy is also examined.

As well as thrones, the exhibition will also include films, sculptures, paintings and images of thrones in other artworks.

Emmanuel Macron sits on a majestic chair at Paris town hall, shortly after being inaugurated as president of France.
Ivanka Trump, Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel sitting on East River Chairs at the G20 Women’s Summit.

Take a seat

As a counterpart to the throne from the Ridderzaal, the symbol of the monarchy in the Netherlands, the exhibition also includes Alfred van Elk’s 'Troon' (Throne), an artwork which features four spots, equal in status, where anyone may sit, irrespective of their origins, background or family name. Visitors to the exhibition may also take a seat on this throne.

Troon (Throne) by Alfred van Elk
Cartoon criticising ‘Holland’s’ King Willem I, who sits on a throne made of cheeses, a bog full of frogs at his feet.

For kids

We’re going on an adventure in the world of thrones! You know those tall chairs that kings and queens sit on? Well, they are called thrones, and they are like magic chairs.

‘Power of the Throne’ is just like a journey through time, and around the world. It will show you that thrones have always been special place. If you would like to find out more about the thrones, do our activity sheet or take the tour!