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Hemp Gallery

A second museum venue

In the Hemp Gallery you can discover how useful hemp is, and its potential for giving us a sustainable future.

Photo: Maria Cavali.

Rediscovering hemp

For a sustainable future

A second museum venue, on the same canal, was added in 2009 to display even more of the museum’s unique collection. The Hemp Gallery is dedicated to the long history and wider uses of the hemp plant. From paper and sails, to food, plastics, high fashion and design.

Hemp throughout history

Industrial hemp is one of the oldest cultivated crops on Earth. The varieties cultivated for industrial use contain hardly any psychoactive components. Nevertheless, they belong to the same family as the marijuana sold in the coffee shops of Amsterdam. Throughout history, countless different products have been manufactured from hemp. The history of the hemp plant is a history of kings and emperors, wars and merchants and, just as importantly, it is the history of ordinary citizens and traders.

Hemp in the 21st century

A scooter made of hemp fibres? A wall with hemp ‘wood’? Hemp oil for your salad? Designer hemp clothing in boutiques in the heart of Amsterdam? In our second Amsterdam location, the Hemp Gallery, you can discover how the non-psychoactive variant of cannabis is slowly returning to everyday life, reclaiming its rightful place.

Hemp is hot

It can’t be ignored: hemp is hot. For a long time, the ‘industrial’ sister of cannabis has been stigmatized and banned thanks to its family association. Now the multiple advantages of this incredibly environmentally-friendly plant are increasingly recognised. In the Hemp Gallery you can discover how and why hemp must play a central role in a sustainable future.

The Hemp Gallery was completely refurbished in 2021. The exhibition space has been extended, and hemp cladding was added to the walls. An audio tour takes you from the past, through the present and into the future of cannabis, illustrated by special collection items.

From Mondrian to bondage

The Hemp Gallery is full of surprises. From historical hemp cultivation and all the products traditionally made from it, to the many modern applications still being discovered today. From paper and tarpaulin to foods, bio-plastic, construction materials and contemporary design objects. From a real Mondrian to shibari (bondage) rope from Japan.

A new highlight is the exhibition Cannabis Japonica: Shinto & the Spirit of 麻, created in collaboration with guest curator Yuko Ogino, that reveals how closely hemp is interwoven with traditional Japanese culture.


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See live cannabis plants growing in our garden exhibit in Amsterdam.

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