DRIEDIMENSIONAAL NIEUWS | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X



The nineteenth-century wax museum can be viewed as a contemporary mass medium that showed people scenes from the news. The Nederlandsch Panopticum was the first of its kind in the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam between 1882 and 1919. As an informative visual medium, the Panopticum had to compete with other media, like the illustrated newspaper, for the attention of the public. At the same time, the wax museum also depended on photographs published in these same papers: wax models were often, and in the course of time almost exclusively, modelled after photos. This reciprocal relationship can be seen as an example of ‘intermediality’. In the end, the wax museum lost ground, foremost, to the new mass medium of the time, cinema, which took over both as an urban attraction and as a popular visual medium.


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