CODART is the international network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art. The tremendous popularity and the fact that works of art from the Low Countries of the 15th through the 19th century are widely disseminated means that CODART’s network is extensive and unique. Major holdings of Dutch and Flemish fine and decorative art are located in approximately 50 countries. Most of these collections – assembled by royals and individuals passionate about Dutch and Flemish art – are currently held in public museums. CODART aims to make this widespread cultural heritage more visible and accessible to an international public. At the same time, the organization aims to increase public knowledge of Dutch and Flemish art, thereby lending a historical phenomenon a contemporary dimension.
“Ever since it was founded in 1998, CODART has played a fundamental role in the area of Old Master art from the Low Countries: it is a valuable network of curators responsible for collections of Northern European art who are utterly committed to furthering our knowledge of this heritage as well as preserving it. I particularly appreciate CODART ’s atmosphere, created by the researchers in ‘the field’, museum people familiar with the behind-the-scenes operation and function of the cultural heritage institutions they serve, as well as the material presence of the works of art in their care. Accordingly, meetings of CODART members and the relations forged there are fundamentally professional, effective and extremely friendly.”
Cécile Scaillierez, Musée du Louvre, Paris
At present, CODART connects over 600 curators from more than 300 museums in almost 50 countries. Members not only work for prestigious institutions such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, the Prado in Madrid, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Louvre in Paris, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, but also for less well-known museums in Australia, Cuba, Mexico, Poland and Ukraine. These curators serve a large audience: the museum-going public. As a result, CODART ultimately reaches a far broader target group than just its members: art historians, museum visitors, private collectors and art dealers; in fact, anyone interested in Dutch and Flemish art.
CODART fosters international cooperation in the areas of exhibitions, research and publications through its activities. Projects and exhibitions relating to artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer ultimately reach millions of people worldwide. It is therefore not surprising that CODART, which was founded in 1998, has attained such a prominent position within the international museum community.
How is CODART funded?
CODART is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science via the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), which is also CODART’s main cooperating partner. The RKD also offers office spaces to CODART. Special projects receive supplementary subsidies from organizations such as the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation, the Mondriaan Fund and the Dioraphte Foundation. In addition to its members, CODART is supported by donors and sponsors through the Friends of CODART Foundation and the American Friends of CODART Fund.
CODART offers various platforms for the exchange of international expertise on Dutch and Flemish masters.
CODART’s annual congress is a unique event for members, who gather from all over the world to share insights and find partners for new exhibitions. The congress themes focus on issues related to curatorial work within a broad, topical and international framework. The CODARTfocus meetings are comprehensive sessions in which curators show their collections, open their stores, and discuss their exhibitions with their colleagues from all corners of the compass.
CODART’s website is the main port of call on the internet for everything related to Dutch and Flemish art in museums. It functions as an information and meeting center, a research tool, and as a guide to information and sources found elsewhere on the internet, such as museum websites, universities, and research institutions. Around 1000 unique visitors consult the website daily. They scan the latest news of the museum community, seek information about museum curators, visit exhibitions, look at paintings in collection catalogues, read the CODART publications and the Curator in the spotlight section. Specialists and students can find suggestions for further reading, links to online publications, bibliographies, or the addresses of individuals and institutions that can help them further with their research.
“It goes without saying that CODART is important for curators, because this organization offers us the possibility of meeting colleagues from all over the world. This allows us to exchange information and discuss new ideas. As a curator in St. Petersburg, it means a great deal to me that Eastern and Western European museums are once again au courant about each other’s collections.” Irina Sokolova, State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
The CODART eZine provides information on the network’s activities, members and collections, new developments, less well-known collections, and new curators. It is a digital magazine made for and by our members and friends, meant for everyone interested in Dutch and Flemish art around the globe.
More than 1500 subscribers from outside the curators’ network are kept informed about current exhibitions and news reports through CODART’s free e-mail service. CODART has also attracted a growing number of aficionados through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
“This is a wonderful, essential and enthusiastic organization that deserves everyone’s support.”
Johnny Van Haeften, Johnny Van Haeften Ltd, London, Patron of CODART
The prestigious American-Canadian organization Archimuse has twice awarded a prize to CODART’s website as the “Best Museum Professionals Site” for its richness and the easy accessibility of its content.
CODART on Dutch television
In 2006, the Dutch broadcasting company AVRO produced a documentary about a visit of an international CODART group to museums in the Netherlands. Want to see this documentary (50 minutes)? Click here.
CODART year report
The Dutch Tax Administration has designated CODART as an ‘institution for general benefit’ (Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling [ANBI]). CODART recognizes the importance of transparency and publishes its year report online: Year report 2017 Stichting CODART.
For more ANBI information click here.