Curator medieval collections
Study and career
Annemarieke Willemsen (1969) studied art history and archaeology at Radboud University Nijmegen, where she obtained her PhD in 1998 for a study of late medieval children’s toys. Since 1999, she has been working at the National Museum of Antiquities as Curator of the medieval collections. There, she is responsible for all domestic finds from after the Roman period. She is particularly interested in material culture (also as a phenomenon) and everyday life in the Middle Ages, with an emphasis on children, play, education and fashion in the past. She is director of the quinquennial Dorestad Congress, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and Museum Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome.
Her passion is combining sources: objects, images and texts, always in dialogue with each other. Annemarieke Willemsen is an ‘omnivore’ as far as subject matter is concerned: a specialist in the Later Middle Ages who at the National Museum of Antiquities is mainly concerned with Merovingian, Carolingian and Ottonian find complexes, but who has also published on the Romans and the Vikings, who has worked a great deal with medieval manuscripts and still knows her objects from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Ask me a question about
- Finds and other objects from the fifth to the seventeenth century
- Medieval matters
- Material culture, daily life and combining sources
- Child, play and education in Roman, medieval and early modern times
- Project The Year 1000 and the Dorestad Congress
- The Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome and the RMO scholarship
Important research projects
- The Year 1000 (2021-2023)
- The material culture of student life, 1200-1600 (2008-2024)
- Strictly personal: late medieval material culture (2012-)
- L.J.F. Janssen and the excavations of Dorestad in the 19th century (2009-)
- Gloves, mittens, and gauntlets, 700-1700 (2013-2016)
- Late medieval belt decorations (2006-2012)
- Schools and pupils in Western Europe, 1300-1600 (2001-2007)
- Vikings in the Netherlands (2003-2005)
- Roman children’s toys (1999-2002)
- Medieval children’s toys (1994-1998)
- The leather and textile for the frame: From David Williams’ purse bars to excavated, preserved and depicted medieval purses, in: D. Boughton & K. Hawkins (eds.), Back in the bag, Essays exploring artefacts in honour of David Wynn Williams, Woking 2022, 111-119.
- Mixed emotions: The Swords of Dorestad, in: A. Willemsen & H. Kik (eds), Dorestad and its Networks, Communities, Contact and Conflict in Early Medieval Europe, Leiden 2021, 101-115.
- Growing up in Opulence: The Material Culture Provided for Children Around 1500, in: S. Mareel (ed.), Renaissance Children. Art and Education at the Habsburg Court (1470-1530), Mechelen 2021, 58-71.
- Children’s Toys in Italy, 1350-1550, in: V. Kopp & E. Lapina (eds), Games and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Turnhout 2020, 263-288.
- The Geoff Egan Memorial Lecture 2013: Taking up the glove: Finds, uses and meanings of gloves, mittens and gauntlets in Western Europe, c. 1300-1700 AD, Post-Medieval Archaeology 49-1 (2015) 1-36.
- Medieval Chic in Metal, Decorative Mounts on Belts and Purses from the Netherlands, 1300-1600 AD.
- ‘Man is a sack of muck girded with silver’: Metal Decoration on Late-medieval Leather Belts and Purses from the Netherlands, Medieval Archaeology 56 (2012) 171-202 [awarded the Martyn Jope Prize 2012].
- Back to the Schoolyard, The Daily Practice of Medieval and Renaissance Education, Turnhout 2008.
- Vikings! Raids in the Rhine-Meuse Delta 800-1000, Utrecht 2004.
- Kinder delijt, middeleeuws speelgoed in de Nederlanden, Nijmegen 1998.
- Full list of publications Annemarieke Willemsen up to and including 2021.
- 5000 years of beads (National Museum of Antiquities, 2022)
- Medieval gardens: Earthly paradises in East and West (National Museum of Antiquities, 2019)
- Al 200 jaar van nu (National Museum of Antiquities, 2018)
- Brooches (National Museum of Antiquities, 2017)
- Cutting-edge history. The sword as a weapon and a symbol (National Museum of Antiquities, 2016)
- Golden Middle Ages. The Netherlands in the Merovingian world, 400-700 AD (National Museum of Antiquities, 2014)
- Medieval chic. Decoratieve mounts on belts and purses, 1300-1600 AD (National Museum of Antiquities, 2012)
- The Archaeology of the Netherlands. From Prehistory until yesterday (National Museum of Antiquities, 2011)
- Dorestad. Medieval metropolis (National Museum of Antiquities, 2009)
- Schitterend sieraad (National Museum of Antiquities, 2007)
- Vikings! (Bonn/Centraal Museum Utrecht/Roskilde, 2005)
- Gat in de stad, Ontdek de stadsarcheologie van Nederland (National Museum of Antiquities, 2004)
- Mysterie Middeleeuwen (National Museum of Antiquities, 2003)