CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide



March, 2012

This article was originally published in the CODART eZine, no. 0, Tefaf-Special,  Spring 2012.

We proudly present the first issue of CODART’s eZine. For years you’ve been used to a beautifully designed, printed CODART Courant, filled with information on Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide. Technological advancements, however, have meanwhile made it possible to present this information in another way. Our new eZine combines the quality of the printed Courant, the content of the website, and all the advantages of the latest developments in media technology. The eZine will be enhanced, for example, with high-quality images, videos, links and all the other extras that a digital format has to offer. To guarantee the high quality of the eZine’s offerings, our staff will be enriched by an editorial board: Erik Löffler, Curator of Dutch and Flemish Old Master Drawings and Prints at the RKD, Vanessa Paumen, Coordinator at the Flemish research center for the arts in the Burgundian Netherlands, Groeningemuseum, Musea Brugge, Bruges, and Tico Seifert, Senior Curator of Northern European Art at the Scottish National Gallery. They have not only declared their willingness to serve as editors, but have already begun work on the autumn issue.

What can you expect in this issue? To begin with, every article has features that a printed newsletter cannot offer. The interview with Peter van den Brink, for example, contains a link to his museum’s website. If you’re interested in Gregor Simoons’s Hermitage project, you can start by watching a short film about it. And if you want to fill your screen with the splendid works in the Mauritshuis’s collection, click on Edwin Buijsen’s article “The Mauritshuis … on tour.” The applied arts are spotlighted in both the interview with Gregor Simoons and the article by Femke Diercks on the decorative arts in Leiden’s Museum De Lakenhal. Maria Gordusenko, head of the department of European arts at the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, gives an account of the recent CODARTfocus meeting held at the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp. Naturally CODART could not have developed the eZine without help from outside. In fact, it is a Gesamtkunstwerk that represents the efforts of various parties, beginning with the website design company Occhio, which for years has been responsible for the concept and development of our award-winning website Now, in developing our eZine, Occhio has taken care to preserve the look and feel of the printed Courant. Among the others who have helped to create the eZine are the members of the program committee, who gave both solicited and unsolicited advice at an early stage, and the members of the website committee, who were requested to take a critical look at our eZine concept. A number of other CODART members were asked to voice their opinions as well. In addition to offering advice on the eZine’s content, all of these people urged us to produce a printed version.

Their wish has been fulfilled: if you don’t want to read the eZine on your computer screen or iPad, but prefer a paper version to peruse in the train or on the beach, just click on print in the black bar. Finally, the development of the eZine would not have been possible without additional funding. We are therefore indebted to the Mondriaan Foundation, the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation, the Dioraphte Foundation and the Friends of CODART Foundation for their generous support.

Furthermore, this first issue of the eZine is the product of close collaboration with The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), now celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, and we are proud to have Ben Janssens, Chairman TEFAF Maastricht, to offer you a word of welcome. As you will see, various CODART members share their thoughts about their collaboration with the Fair and what it means to their institutions. In addition to an interview with Peter van den Brink, who stresses the importance of the TEFAF, we include an interview with Patrice Marandel, chief curator of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, who reports on LACMA’s recent TEFAF acquisitions, and another with Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmolean Museum, who talks about his work on the vetting committee.

This first issue of our eZine will be launched with all due ceremony during the CODART VIJFTIEN congress in Brussels. Meanwhile we are already looking forward to the next CODARTfocus meeting, which will take place at the National Gallery in Prague to mark the exhibition Rembrandt & Co. It is planned for 14 May, so save the date!

Gerdien Verschoor, Director of CODART