Affiche met o.a. werk uit de serie 'vanitas-beelden’ van kunstenaar Gijs Assmann Affiche met o.a. werk uit de serie 'vanitas-beelden’ van kunstenaar Gijs Assmann

Tot Zover

Delicious Death

What do we eat during funerals and mourning? A Delicious Death, the new thematic exhibition, lets you see, hear, smell and taste how food plays a role in all sorts of moments surrounding death.


The Netherlands has a rich tradition of funeral food, and even today there is plenty of development when it comes to coffee tables and mourning meals. Museum Tot Zover has curated an exhibition on food culture and the big farewell. It highlights contemporary art and lots of information about culinary mourning traditions and contemporary practices. Plus: a rehabilitation of the good ol’ Dutch buttercake.

The importance of food and drink during mourning cannot be overstated. It provides refreshment in grief and helps cope with death. Food gives energy and comfort. It even creates a small moment of pleasure, beyond the limits of pain. There are also memories attached to food. Certain dishes, tastes or smells can make you think back to deceased loved ones years later: "She liked that so much."

Food has played a major role in funerary and memorial practices since the dawn of the human race. Think food offerings and grave gifts, lavish funeral feasts, funeral cookies, pretzels, loafers and typical dutch coffee tables. Did you know that even nowadays sweet treats are sometimes gifted to the deceased in the coffin?


Pretzels and funeral cake

Eating together creates connection, especially after a funeral. What you eat then differs from person to person and changes with the times. Booz and the bitterball is increasingly spotted at funeral receptions, but the butter cake remains as popular as ever. The winner of the Great Funeral Cake Test has a place of honor in the exhibition.

A Delicious Death shows how food plays a role at all kinds of moments surrounding death. There is documentary photography and the food theme is woven into the permanent museum presentation. The museum also shows an extensive collection of old and new mourning tableware, and you can smell scents associated with mourning and burial.

A selection of contemporary artists collaborated. Remy Jungerman made a poignant video and Narges Mohammadi created a wall of halva. In the garden is a fountain; it is a monument to coffee and cake, by Peer Vink. Culinary historian and filmmaker Kiriko Mechanicus made seven videos about culinary mourning customs in various cultures.

A Delicious Death - what do we eat during funerals and mourning? will be on display from June 9 at Museum Tot Zover, Amsterdam.

The entire exhibition has texts available in English: from thematic textpanels to artwork and object descriptions.

Participating artists

Gijs Assmann, Raúl Ortega Ayala, Razia Barsatie, Frank Bloem, Alicia Framis, Klaas Gubbels, Remy Jungerman, Erik Mattijssen, Kiriko Mechanicus, Narges Mohammadi, Mai van Oers, Carmen Schabracq, Studio Lernert & Sander X Aux Raus, Peer Vink, Marije Vogelzang, Kees de Vries + many funeral photographers

In de media

Charlotte Kleyn kreeg een preview van de tentoonstelling en schreef erover in het Parool op 6 juni 2023 ' 'Eten kan heel troostrijk zijn'.

Lees het uitgebreide artikel van Hiske Versprille over onze caketest in de Volkskrant van 9 mei 2023.


Concept + samenstelling
Laura Cramwinckel
Wouter van Herwaarden
Zakelijke projectleiding, eindverantwoording
Guus Sluiter
Tentoonstellingsontwerp + styling
Jeroen Bijl
Grafisch ontwerp
Linda Beumer
Petra Possel
Laura Cramwinckel
Wouter van Herwaarden
Guus Sluiter
Marketing + communicatie
Lizz Heijn
Sorella Loman
Museum Tot Zover
Wouter van Herwaarden
Vormgever magazine (coming soon)
Marleen Luiten

Met dank aan

Alle kunstenaars, de afscheidsfotografen en geportretteerden, deelnemers Herinnerdingen, Carolina Verhoeven, LAM museum, AkzoNobel Art Foundation, Museum Voorlinden, Ron Mandos Young Blood Foundation en andere bruikleengevers, Hiske Versprille, Cees Holtkamp, onze (bedrijfs)donateurs, het AFK, Stichting De Rode Loper op School, Sandra Schouten, BOOST, De Nieuwe Ooster, Hanita, Liesbeth en alle vrijwilligers.

Meer weten? Mail communicatiemedewerker Lizz Heijn,

Zie hier voor perskit.