SILVER – Mata Hari, the myth and the maiden at Fries Museum by Studio Louter / OPERA Amsterdam, Netherlands

Case Study


A blockbuster exhibition that would do credit to Mata Hari, the most famous Frisian woman. The mission was to make visitors empathize with Mata Hari and see the woman behind the myth.




A narrative structured like a movie scenario. The first rooms show the most well-known part of Mata Hari’s life: her trial and sentencing to death for espionage. It is followed by a flashback to her childhood days. The visitor then accompanies her through her life and comes to understand the choices she made. The apotheosis of the exhibition shows Mata Hari’s striptease dance projected on transparent veils.



To make sure that the few, small, often textual objects got the attention they deserved. To translate each scene of the story into a meaningful spatial metaphor.




The selected materials bring all parts of the exhibition together. When visitors enter, they see Mata Hari’s eyes projected on veils. The transparency of veils was used to give visitors a glimpse of the next room. Visitors are enchanted by Mata Hari’s dance as they walk through the veils and see the projection on themselves as well.


92,781 visitors over 5 months. Visitor rating: 8,5/10. Visitors stay in the exhibition averaged 70 min, a record length for the museum. The veil projection granted Silver Prize by the f@imp 2.0 AVICOM awards.