Willemijn van Noord

Willemijn van Noord is Junior Curator for the Chinese collections at Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, the Netherlands. Her main research interests are Chinese art and material culture within global history, the role of material culture in representations and perceptions of China, and histories of collecting and display.


Willemijn received Bachelor degrees in both Archaeology and Chinese Studies from Leiden University. After finishing her Master in Sinology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), she worked as a trainee curator of Chinese collections at the British Museum and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery focusing on ceramics and glass. Thereafter she continued in Bristol as project curator for the permanent redisplay of the collection of Ming ceramics (1368-1644). She is currently finishing her PhD dissertation at the University of Amsterdam on the role of material culture in the development of images and ideas of China in the seventeenth-century Netherlands.

Selected publications

  • 2020. “The ‘unhappie ruines’ of Mary II’s lacquer screen: Constantijn Huygens’ plea to preserve a Chinese artefact, 1685-1686” in T. Weststeijn (ed.) Foreign Devils and Philosophers: Cultural Encounters between the Chinese, the Dutch, and Other Europeans, 1590-1800, Brill, Boston & Leiden (2020), 148-204.
  • 2018. ‘Nicolaes Witsen’s Chinese mirror and the logistics of translating Han dynasty seal-script at the turn of the 18th century’ in T. de Graaf, W.  Honselaar, et. al. (eds.) The fascination with Inner Eurasian languages in the 17th century: The Amsterdam mayor Nicolaas Witsen and his collection of ‘Tartarian’ vocabularies and scripts, Pegasus, Amsterdam (2018), 579-602.
  • 2018. “European reflections in Chinese mirrors: interpreting self and other through encounters with Chinese artefacts in the Dutch Republic, 1685-1715” in C. Craig, E. Fongaro & A. Ozaki (eds.) Knowledge and arts on the move: transformation of the self-aware image through East-West encounters, Mimesis International, Milan (2018), 39-56.


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