The Great Enjoyment (The Art of Pleasure)

Exhibition and associated events

Museum: Museum Joure  website
Years: 2019-2020

Museum Joure

Museum Joure is a cultural historical museum that focuses on “the making” of both the traditional (artisan) and the more industrial production method(s), now and in the past. The following four themes are central:

  • Douwe Egberts, collections in the field of coffee, tea and tobacco;
  • Printing, factory and shop;
  • Frisian clocks;
  • Metal, including silver and copper collections (beaten and cast).

The museum focuses on tangible heritage such as endproducts, tools, machines and workshop(s) as well as non-tangible heritage such as the knowledge and skills needed for the manufacturing process. They tell the stories of these processes.

The museum works closely together with regional craftsmen and communities to capture and retain traditional knowledge and skills. At the same time, the museum encourages the younger generation to work with these traditional techniques and materials. These principles are made visible by organizing exhibitions, demonstration days, contact moments with craftsmen and communities and  educational activities. In the future Museum Joure also wants to stimulate innovation by linking craftsmen and designers.

We want to stimulate children and young people, who are gripped by the making process, and help them to get started and keep on doing so. For this group we organize in-depth demonstration afternoons with the help of real professionals. In addition we consult creativity centres and artisans to seek out places in society where they can develop themselves further.

Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage is part and parcel of Museum Joure. How to safeguard this heritage best for future generations is a quest for the museum. The different crafts and production methods require tailor-made solutions. We do this, among other projects, in “de Maakfabriek”, a hands-on project. Children and young people are involved in this project. In about sixteen afternoons a year (during the holidays) they can work with traditional techniques and materials, based on the collection of the museum, also with the ones shown in the exhibition “The Great Enjoyment”.

The starting point is to experiment and to get the opportunity to start using traditional materials and to develop their own ideas. So, no prescribed traditional projects that need to be followed step by step but using imagination and stimulate learning and innovation by investigation.

Photo: (c) Henk Veenstra

The Great Enjoyment (The Art of Pleasure)

Description of the project / practice / program

The exhibition, “the Great Enjoyment” which will be held in the autumn of 2019, is an exhibition on the impact of the introduction of colonial goods: coffee, tea and tobacco. The starting point of the exhibition is showing how people in the past have enjoyed this colonial goods. This was often done by showing off new household objects, dinnerware, special teapots, snuff- and tobacco boxes. Often these objects were especially made to emphasise the special rituals involved in the consumption of coffee, tea and tobacco.

Of course we also tell the downside of the story, the way in which coffee, tea and tobacco were produced. Often by exploiting and suppressing large groups of people. Not unimportant is the mention of health, an aspect about which different opinions were expressed in the past, compared to nowadays.

The idea for the exhibition “the Great Enjoyment” (September 2017 until April 2018) arose out of a loan request from “the Patriciers house” in Dordrecht. This museum gives an impression of a Patrician household at the end of the 18th century. Initiator for this exhibition was the Dutch Federation of Pipe smokers. This loan request made us realize that Museum Joure possesses a beautiful collection connected with pipe smoking and tobacco. However, this collection had not been exhibited in the museum in recent years. The reason was a growing movement that wants to ban smoking from today’s society. This is understandable because of the harmful substances in cigarettes that increase the chance of illnesses such as lung cancer and heart & vascular diseases. The Netherlands has an active discouragement policy regarding smoking.

After several discussions in the organization and also in the Board of the museum, we decided that it would be a pity to hide away the tobacco collection in the depot for good. But the sensitivity of the subject calls for a careful way of exhibiting this tradition. Museum Joure has chosen to show the tobacco collection in combination with two other colonial goods namely coffee and tea and to focus on the introduction of these goods in the 18th century. So on pipe smoking and tobacco snuffing and not on the smoking of cigarettes which became more popular later on.

How were practitioners of intangible cultural heritage involved?

Very often exhibitions in the Museum of Joure come about in close cooperation with ICH practitioners. Sometimes they themselves put the exhibition together. In most cases we choose for a combination with activities to stimulate active use, for instance workshops and educational activities for schools.

Also in this case the ICH practitioners will be actively involved. There is a lot of mutual exchange. The Dutch Federation of Pipe smokers has a great knowledge of the culture of pipe smoking and we gladly make use of that. The members own some beautiful objects with which we happily supplement the exhibition. The federation  is very active and enterprising (that is their assignment by KIEN). So they are better informed on the developments in the world of ICH. They stimulated our museum to participate in this conference so that we can learn from it.

At the same time we must find a balance in looking at the exhibition and accompanying activities that will do justice to the initiative and the involvement of the Dutch Federation of Pipe smokers and take into account the policy concerning smoking and the sensitivity of our supporters on this subject and of our sponsors and the municipality who subsidize us.

Museum Joure clearly wants to decide on the contents of the exhibition and chooses for a broader approach by adding coffee and tea as “new products”, also showing the downsides of these products. The former and current production method and also the health issues will also be pointed out. Showing the coffee and tea culture as it is nowadays and also paying attention to the culture of pipe smoking on the ICH list in the Netherlands are obvious choices. We gradually get a picture of how we want to put the exhibition together and do justice to the different points of  view.

A next step will be the activities during the exhibition. We want to organize three special events on the three products in this exhibition. We will organize the event on (the culture of) pipe smoking together with the Federation of Pipe smokers of course. In what format this will take place will need a lot of thinking: a lecture, may be demonstration(s) or even workshops in the museum in Joure? Which activities are appropriate for us, regarding the health concerns of smoking? More discussion will be necessary , in our organization and with the Federarion of Pipe Smokers. We hope to find a fitting solution by the beginning of the summer.

CV of the author

Iris Nutma

Iris Nutma (1973) studied Art Policy at the faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. From 1999 to 2006 she was policy officer culture at the municipality of Groningen. In the following years she was involved in the start-up and organization of various events with monumental sailing vessels, including the annual “Winterwelvaart”. Since 2010 Iris Nutma has been director of “Mar&Klif”, a visitors centre of the National Landscape Southwest “Fryslân”. She has been combining this position with the directorship of Museum JOURE since 2014.


  • Museum JOURE experiences a gap in knowledge, skills and expectations between experienced craftsmen and young people. Craftsmen are often unable to materialize that craft to a level that is interesting and understandable for young people. An experienced educational employee with know-how and feeling with young people is therefore indispensable.
  • With regard to objects and subjects that evoke discussion, Museum Joure believes it is right to show where this discussion comes from by also explaining the history of exploitation for instance. This creates more understanding than by removing certain objects and avoiding these stories.



16 June 2020 from 20:05 to 20:05


Joure, Netherlands


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