Yesterday, after more than eleven years, Gary Schwartz, founder of CODART, has retired as webmaster, thereby leaving the CODART staff. Gary proposed the idea to create an organization for the network of museum curators of Dutch and Flemish art to the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) in May 1997. In 1998 CODART operations began. Gary was the director from 1998 until July 2005. The last few years he continued to work as the webmaster of the CODART-website, which with Wietske Donkersloot he made into a unique and irreplaceable source of information on Dutch and Flemish art worldwide. In December last year Gary and his wife Loekie, whose help was indispensible for his work, were officially made honorary members of CODART, enabling them to continue attending CODART events.
The website was initiated on 24 September 1998 as “The CODART list." From the start, the website offered overviews by country of all museums with significant collections of Dutch and Flemish art with links to their webpages, their curators and their exhibitions from 1 January 1999 onwards. A look at the website in February 1999 shows just how much 10 years of work and care by Gary and Wietske has transformed the website into something bigger and better then anyone could have imagined in 1999.