CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

25 Skills

Essential Skills for Curators

The curator of Dutch and Flemish art takes center stage in our 25th anniversary year! To familiarize a broader audience with the profession of curator, CODART is producing a video series: ‘25 Essential Skills for Curators’. In 25 short clips we aim to give an idea of the many tasks a curator has to perform on a daily basis. In the coming months, we will publish a new video every week on this page and on our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter). CODART uses its anniversary to shine a light on the curator of Dutch and Flemish art through different activities and special publications. Please find more information on the 25th anniversary year here.

In the latest video, Friso Lammertse (Curator of 17th-Century Dutch Painting, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) explains what he looks for when attributing a work of art.

 

25 Essential Skills for Curators

Marleen Ram (Curator of Art Collections at Teylers Museum in Haarlem) shares one of the curator’s most important tasks: doing art historical research.

Norbert Middelkoop (Curator of Old Masters at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem) explains why it is essential for a curator to be familiar with the museum’s storage rooms, which he describes fondly as his ‘treasure chest’.

Frederica Van Dam (Curator of Old Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent) takes us through the process of finding and obtaining loans for exhibitions. After creating a ‘wish list’ of works to show in the exhibition, she goes to work.

Marleen Ram (Curator of Art Collections at Teylers Museum in Haarlem) explains how curators use social media to share their knowledge with a wider audience and show objects that are not on display.

Leonore van Sloten (Senior Curator at the Museum Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam) talks about some of most important aspects involved in preparing an exhibition.

Frederica Van Dam (Curator of Old Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent)
explains what the last few weeks before the opening of an exhibition look like.

David de Witt (Senior Curator at the Museum Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam) names some of the platforms curators publish on and takes us through the joint effort that is writing an exhibition catalogue.

Frederica Van Dam (Curator of Old Masters at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent) takes us through the process of examining and packing objects that have to travel for exhibitions.

Tom van der Molen (Curator at the Amsterdam Museum) explains why curators should engage with their audience and the world around them.

Leonore van Sloten (Senior Curator at the Museum Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam) explains how she contributes to fundraising by providing art historical content and enthusing sponsors for museum projects.

David de Witt (Senior Curator at the Museum Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam) explains how he handles questions from the public about information, attribution, and authenticity.

 

Norbert Middelkoop (Curator of Old Masters at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem) explains how curators work closely together with their colleagues in the conservation department.

According to Sarvenaz Ayooghi (Curator of Paintings at the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum in Aachen), giving guided tours is one of the most important and rewarding parts of being a curator.

According to Anja Sevcik (Head of Department of Baroque Painting, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud in Cologne) a good museum label should answer the questions a visitor might have while looking at an artwork.

Sarvenaz Ayooghi (Curator of Paintings, Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen), explains why researching an object’s provenance is so important and what tools she uses to learn more about an artwork’s past life.

Anja Sevcik (Head of Department of Baroque Painting, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud in Cologne) explains why she relies on her international network of curators and other experts to realize exhibitions and to perfect her practice.

Hannah Thijs (Head of Collections & Exhibitions, Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen) explains how technical research can help curators by revealing layers that would otherwise remain hidden to the naked eye.

Hannah Iterbeke (Curator of Old Masters at Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen) explains how the knowledge gained through years of museum practice is preserved to be passed on to future generations.

Marjan Debaene (Head Curator of Old Masters, M Leuven) explains how curators can keep up with new developments in the field of curating and art history in order to share information and develop their practice.

Hannah Thijs (Head of Collections & Exhibitions, Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen) tells us how curators incorporate digital skills into their practice.

Marjan Debaene (Head Curator of Old Masters, M Leuven) explains how curators add objects to the museum collection in a variety of ways.

Jeroen van der Vliet (Head of Collections, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam) tells us why curators need to work together with all the different departments in the museum, from the cleaning staff to the conservation studios.

Jeroen van der Vliet (Head of Collections, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam) tells us how permanent exhibitions are organized and why they are anything but static.

Friso Lammertse (Curator of 17th-Century Dutch Painting, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) explains what he looks for when attributing a work of art.

Credits

The list of 25 essential skills was compiled following a brainstorm session of CODART’s Program Committee back in November 2022. We are aware that such a selection cannot be exhaustive and does not apply to every curator. It is merely meant to give an impression of the many different tasks a curator is expected to perform. Likewise, the order in which the skills are presented does not indicate the importance of each skill but only serves as clarification. All videos are made in collaboration with CODART members and were produced by the CODART team in collaboration with Lukraak TV and Marijn Zurburg.