CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

CODART ZESTIEN opened in the Rathaus in Vienna

CODART’s 16th annual congress opened today in Vienna’s Rathaus. The participants in this fully booked congress will attend lectures and workshops and enjoy excursions in Vienna through Tuesday. The theme of the congress is “Old favorites or new perspectives?: Dividing your time and attention between the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.”

During the opening reception, hosted by the city of Vienna, the participants were welcomed by Mrs. Sybille Straubinger, representative to the Wiener Landtag and member of the city council of Vienna, and Dr. Michael Franz, General Director of Cultural Affairs of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Art and Culture.

The Kunshistorisches Museum will host the congress on Monday and Tuesday morning. Lectures and a panel discussion focusing on the theme of the congress will alternate with the Marketplace of Ideas, in which CODART members discuss a wide range of subjects in smaller groups, and in-depth excursions to the Picture Gallery and the Kunstkammer of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Albertina, the Paintings Gallery and Graphic Collection of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein.

On the congress theme: Old favorites or new perspectives? Dividing your time and attention between the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

Some museums have wonderful collections, but need to host exhibitions to draw large numbers of visitors. Others have an ambitious exhibition program, even though their permanent collection is their primary attraction. The rise in popularity of the temporary exhibition in recent decades has had a major impact on the work done by curators. Their main responsibility used to be the research, care and presentation of works in the permanent collection. While this is still the case for some curators, others spend much of their time curating and preparing exhibitions. In fact, some curators devote a significant amount of time to the permanent collection only when compiling a collection catalogue.

CODART ZESTIEN will focus on how curators should deal with the increasing importance of exhibitions within the museum world. How can curators ensure that researching the permanent collection remains a fundamental part of their day-to-day activities? How can curators whose museums do not have the funds to mount expensive exhibitions continue to attract visitors? In what way can the permanent collection be used to prepare temporary displays or even serve as their focus? Can curators collaborate to make the permanent collection more attractive to visitors?