CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Questions about CODART

CODART is the international network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art. For more information, see the frequently asked questions about our organization below.

An international network organization for museum curators of Dutch and Flemish art. CODART is an independent non-profit foundation based in the Netherlands. CODART aims to bring together individuals from all types and sizes of museums, with the goal to promote and encourage the exchange of expertise, works of art and exhibitions of Dutch and Flemish art worldwide. It works to raise awareness of the artistic heritage of the Low Countries internationally, by supporting the curator in his profession, by expanding knowledge about Dutch and Flemish masters, and by making their works visible and accessible to a large international audience.

CODART is an acronym for Curators of Dutch and Flemish Art. The phrase “Dutch and Flemish art” covers all the art to come from the Low Countries, including medieval and early Netherlandish art.

Museum curators are the people who care for the collections of a museum and present them to the public. They study the condition of the objects in their charge, working with conservators to preserve them as well as possible. Together with the education and communication departments of their museums, they display and explain to the public the art in their museums. They research the authorship and history of the objects in their collection, write collection catalogues, guidebooks and wall labels. They also organize loan exhibitions and write exhibition catalogues. Should you like to read more about the work of a curator, please also visit the Curator in the Spotlight pages

In 2022, CODART has approximately 600 members and associate members from more than 300 museums in almost 40 countries. See the Directory of Curators for all members of CODART.

The idea to create an organization for the network of museum curators of Dutch and Flemish art came from Gary Schwartz, an American-born Dutch art historian. He proposed it to the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) in May 1997, and operations were commenced in January 1998, with Schwartz as director. In July 2005 Schwartz retired and was succeeded by Gerdien Verschoor. Maartje Beekman succeeded Verschoor in March 2019.

It is all three. CODART is registered as a foundation in the Netherlands and has its offices there. However, Flemish art is included in our programs and website on an equal level with Dutch. But CODART looks far beyond the Lowlands: the website covers museum events on Dutch and Flemish art in 52 countries.

Although CODART is not restricted to “old” art, in practice it focuses on art from ca. 1350 to 1750. This follows the profile of most museum collections, which have galleries and specialized curators for Dutch and Flemish art of this period but not for later ones. This is not unique to the Dutch and Flemish art in museums. Collections of old masters are usually studied and presented by region of origin, whereas art from the 19th century on is generally subdivided not geographically but by stylistic groupings.

CODART is not restricted to paintings and works on paper. Curators responsible for collections of sculpture, applied arts, furniture or complete interiors originating in the Low Countries are among its members and are welcome to join CODART.

CODART has a director, Maartje Beekman, two project managers, Rosalie van Gulick and Moos Engelbertink, and a website manager, Dennis Driessen. Behind them is a board and assisting them a program committee, a website committee and an editorial board of CODART members. For an overview of the CODART staff, board and committees, see the page About CODART.

The main supporter of CODART is the Dutch government. CODART currently receives subsidy from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Flemish government, which decides on subsidies annually, provided CODART with grants from 2000 through 2005, when the introduction of a new funding system interfered with the process. A resumption of aid is being worked on from both ends. Stipends for congress participants from Central and Eastern Europe are provided by different funds, such as the Friends of CODART Foundation. A major redesigning campaign of this website in 2007-2008 has been funded by the Mondrian Foundation, the Foundation Dioraphte and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation. The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage and the Netherlands Institute for Art History have provided very extensive facilities and support. Other agencies, institutions, museums and corporate and private donors have made incidental contributions. Seeking to increase its budget, in mid-2006 CODART introduced a voluntary members’ contribution. In addition, in October 2006 the Friends of CODART Foundation was set up in order to generate further funding. For American citizens, the American Friends of CODART Fund was founded in 2008. See Friends of CODART for more information.

The CODART office is located in the Foundation House in The Hague since January 2022. See our contact page for more information.

From April 2007 until December 2021 CODART has been located in the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague. From January 1998 through March 2007 we had our offices at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) in Amsterdam. Both organizations provided CODART with free or nearly free housing and office facilities, which is a very precious form of support.

More frequently asked questions

See our other FAQ pages for additional information about Dutch and Flemish art, CODART’s work, membership, CODART events, our publications, the Friends of CODART Foundation, the mailing lists we offer, and this website.