Migration had a huge influence on the now world-famous 16th and 17th-century Haarlem art scene. Today, 31% of Haarlem residents have a migrant background. Circa 1625, however, migrants accounted for more than 52% of the city’s population, many of whom came from the former Southern Netherlands. Following the Siege of Haarlem in 1573, the municipal government invited Flemings to come and rebuild the city. And many sought refuge in Haarlem following the Fall of Antwerp in 1585. These migrants brought with them their knowledge of new art and craft forms. But they also had to acclimatise to a new city that didn’t always welcome them with open arms.
This exhibition highlights the stories of Flemish artists in Haarlem during the 1580-1660 epoch, through the eyes of prominent immigrants such as Karel van Mander, Frans Hals and Pieter Claesz. They immerse visitors in their personal experiences and talk about their struggles, networks and specialisations.
The exhibition also includes work by contemporary artists, providing insight into the modern migration phenomenon.