2021: Historische Vrouwen
Museum Prinsenhof Delft shows that our history contains a lead role for William of Orange (or William the Silent). The fact that several power women had a big effect in this story, has been lesser-known knowledge… until now. By sharing some of their letters and stories, the museum is creating a new conversation about William’s life. For the letters, the museum is collaborating with Huygens ING, the Royal Collection and Oxford University’s Women’s Early Modern Letters Online.

With the stories of the women of Orange as a starting point, Museum Prinsenhof searches for new voices and unique stories from modern women in Delft. Met de These stories, along with a selection of original letters from the women in William of Orange’s life, will be on display in the museum.

For this theme, Museum Prinsenhof is organizing free workshops, museum tours and networking opportunities for women in a variety of Delft neighborhoods. The goal is to inspire and connect women with each other, and to invite them to share their own story or that of a woman they look up to. In this, they are also being asked what they would like to pass on to the next generation of women. The stories they share will become part of the Museum Prinsenhof Delft collection.

stories of Delft residents

"Every generation has to do better than the previous one”. Helen Patterson-Skinner – 71 years old

I was born in 1950 in the Nieuw Nickerie district of the former Dutch colony Suriname.
My mother, Maybel Patterson, was born in 1921 in Nieuw Nickerie, Suriname, but grew up in the British colony Guyana. When she was 19, she returned to her birthplace in Suriname. 
I come from a hardworking working-class family. There were few opportunities for self-improvement in our world. My family nevertheless thought it was important we kept doing our best to get ahead. Girls were especially encouraged to do so. They were told: “Your diploma is your husband.” It is a familiar saying in Suriname. The lack of opportunities for development was the main reason for us to go to the Netherlands.

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RespectHennie de Groot-Heupner – 69 years old

My name is Hennie. I live here in Poptapark. I am retired, but I still work in healthcare. Taking care of people is, in fact, my passion. Helping people, seeing what their attitude towards life is, what they have experienced. I work with older people who are beginning to suffer from dementia. That is very satisfying to me. I am a very caring type of person, my children say so, too. It is who I am and how I was brought up. My father used to say: ‘You should always give a guest the best seat in your house.’ I thought then: yes, that is right, in fact. And it not only applies to family but also to people I hardly know.  

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"Find yourself, stay upright. ”Cheraldine Osepa

My name is Cheraldine Osepa. I was born on Curaçao. My mother is no longer alive, but my father is. He is 85 now. My mother passed away in 2015. My mother was a very, very clever woman. Quite strict, but her goal was to make all of us successful, for everybody to study and certainly to be able to look after ourselves in life. I studied in Tilburg and Tilburg has an affinity with Curaçao through the brothers of Tilburg and the fathers of Breda. 

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