From 13 May 2017 11:00 to 6 June 2017 17:00

Treasures in the Hortus

Johanna Westerdijk inspires Utrecht-based gold and silver smiths

‘Treasures in the Hortus’ is the name under which twenty-five gold and silver smiths from Utrecht show their new work (inspired by Johanna Westerdijk's work and life) in the Oude Hortus of Utrecht University Museum.

Sierraad van Zita Jansen.
Jewellery by Zita Jansen. This is one of the over one hundred unique pieces of jewellery in the exhibition 'Treasures in the Hortus'. Photograph by Boris Schmidt.

The pieces of jewellery are inspired by Johanna Westerdijk's life and work. In 1906, the then 23 years old Johanna Westerdijk was appointed director of the Phytopathology Laboratory 'Willie Commelin Scholten' in Amsterdam. A year later, she was also appointed director of the CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre. Under her leadership, its collection of fungal cultures became the biggest in the world.

In 1917, she became the first female professor in the Netherlands. She supervised 56 PhD Candidates and almost half of them were women. This year, the university celebrates her merits to science with the Westerdijk Anniversary.


The exhibition will last for three weeks and consists of over one hundred pieces of unique jewellery. The gold and silver smiths were inspired to make these by phytopathology, fungi and Johanna's motto: "Working and partying form healthy minds." Their ranks include famous gold and silver smiths, as well as new, young colleagues. All jewellery has been made of either Fair-Trade or sustainably recycled gold and silver.

‘Treasures in the Hortus’ is open from 13 May to 6 June 2017, daily from 11 am to 5 pm. The Oude Hortus is in the garden of the University Museum at the Lange Nieuwstraat 106 in the centre of Utrecht.

Start date and time
13 May 2017 11:00
End date and time
6 June 2017 17:00