CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide


‘The Curator of the Future’

6 October 2023 – Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In 2023 CODART celebrates its 25th anniversary. It is a remarkable milestone to celebrate and a good time to reflect on the significance that CODART has acquired over the years. It’s a moment to look back, but also very much a time to think about the future. CODART is seizing the opportunity of its 25th anniversary to focus on the profession of the museum curator, and in particular those working with Dutch and Flemish Old Master art. What is the role – and what is the value – of the curator of Dutch and Flemish art in the museum of today? And what does the future look like?

We inhabit a world of rapid change and museums constantly face new challenges. Museums are no longer just places of conservation and management, but play an increasingly important role in society. They are places where stories are told, places of reflection and exchanging views and experiences, of exploring meaning. This is a valuable development: museums are no more static than their collections; they are constantly changing, like the world outside the museum’s walls. Museums also play an important role as institutions that provide accurate information. The curator is at the heart of that process of gathering and disseminating knowledge.

Many changes are taking place simultaneously. Each one raises new perspectives: how to work towards a more diverse and inclusive museum sector? How to deal with issues like digitization and climate change? Who decides what stories are told, and how? The sheer range of challenges makes the curator’s profession both exciting and multi-faceted, but it also makes it ever more demanding. Then there is the matter of recruitment. Are there still enough students with an interest in Old Master art, and are there enough positions for early-career curators? What do universities teach future curators, and what can only be learned on the job? These are issues that go beyond the field of Dutch and Flemish museums and curators: they resonate internationally.

Research and Symposium

As an international network of museum curators, we value the profession and its development. CODART aims to offer its members, as well as the broader museum sector, a platform to discuss the challenges and opportunities of today and the future. Therefore, CODART has commissioned a research project which explores the current state and the future of the curator’s profession. We will present the findings at a public anniversary symposium at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam on 6 October 2023.

CODART welcomes anyone interested in the field of Dutch and Flemish art, and/or the curator’s profession, to attend the anniversary symposium.

We are grateful for the support of our partners and members for making this symposium and the research project on ‘The Curator of the Future’ possible. In particular, our thanks goes out to the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Flemish Government, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, and the Friends of CODART Foundation.