Meta Knol (chair of the day)
Meta Knol has a unique profile at the intersection of culture, science and society. She is an art historian specializing in modern and contemporary art. As director of Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, she was responsible for the widely acclaimed renewal, restoration and expansion (2019). She pioneered a new bottom-up model for public engagement with science as Director of Leiden European City of Science 2022.
Will Gompertz (lecture)
Author and director
Will Gompertz is an author, journalist, broadcaster and critic. He was Artistic Director of the Barbican Arts Centre in London from June 2021 – September 2023 and will be taking up the role of Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum in January 2024.
Immediately before joining the Barbican, Will was the BBC’s first ever Arts Editor, a senior journalistic and broadcasting role he started in 2009. He reported extensively on the arts across the globe, interviewed countless artists, actors, writers, musicians, and directors. He also wrote and presented documentaries for BBC One and BBC Two, and hosted shows on Radio 2, Radio 4, and BBC 5-Live. Prior to joining the BBC, Will spent 7 years as a Director of the Tate Galleries where he was responsible for its BAFTA-winning website, creative direction, and the launching of the UK’s first Performance Art festival.
Will has written two internationally best-selling non-fiction books (published by Penguin in the UK). What Are You Looking At? (2012) – a history of modern art, and Think Like an Artist (2015) about creativity. Both books have been translated into more than twenty languages. Will’s third book See What You’re Missing, on how artists can teach us to look at the world in a different way, was published in March 2023. Will Gompertz will speak to us about how to engage the museum visitor of today.
Session 1: The Role of Knowledge in the Museum
Annette de Vries (session chair)
Head of Research and Collection, Paleis Het Loo, Apeldoorn
Annette de Vries is Head of Research and Collection at Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn, She received her PhD from Amsterdam University and was post-doc researcher at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Previously she was curator and director of Duivenvoorde Castle (2008-2018) and Head of Collection at Dordrechts Museum (2018-2021). From 2015-2021 she was the chair of the Dutch Association of Art Historians.
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator MA Curating Art and Cultures, University of Amsterdam
Rachel Esner is Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam and (co)coordinator of the Master’s Programme Curating Art and Cultures. Her research focuses on museums, exhibition history, and curatorial practices. She is a member of the platform The Other Half: Women in the Dutch Art World, 1780-1980, where she is currently working on women curators of the Rijksmuseum.
Olga Van Oost
Director, FARO, Brussels
Olga Van Oost is director of Faro, the Flemish institution for Cultural Heritage (Vlaams Steunpunt voor Cultureel Erfgoed) and Professor of Cultural Debates at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She studied Art and Communication and is co-founder of a Learning Network ‘Heritage, Knowledge and Research’ in Flanders. The aim of the network is to look into what ‘research’ in the cultural heritage sector means or could mean for heritage and museum professionals.
Assistant Curator, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Since January 2023, Corinna Gannon is Assistant Curator in the department of Dutch, Flemish and German Painting before 1800 at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. She is currently working on two exhibition projects: Holbein and the Renaissance in the North (2023) and Golden Times? Art and Society in Rembrandt’s Amsterdam(2024).
Tom van der Molen
Curator, Amsterdam Museum
Tom van der Molen is curator at the Amsterdam Museum. He specializes in seventeenth-century Dutch painting and plans to obtain his doctorate in 2024 with a book on Govert Flinck (1615-1660) at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. At the Amsterdam Museum, his most recent accomplishment was his involvement in the collection presentation Panorama Amsterdam.
Session 2: Sharing Responsibilities
Arnoud Odding (session chair)
Art historian, former Director Rijksmuseum Twenthe
Arnoud Odding is an art historian and museologist. He writes essays and produces a podcast series De Museoloog on museums in transition. From 2004 to 2011, he was the director of the National Glass Museum in Leerdam and, from 2012, of Rijksmuseum Twenthe and, a short time later, De Museumfabriek in Enschede. Since this spring, he has returned to his consulting practice and publishes again on museums in a rapidly changing society. On 5 October his new book Echt. Het waarachtige museum will be published.
Director, Public Affairs & Exhibitions, Musea Brugge
Elviera Velghe debuted in the museum world as “educational informant” at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges. In 2010, she started as director of the Antwerp Fotomuseum (FOMU) where, in addition to producing leading exhibitions, she was also on the lookout for young talent. From 2020 onwards, she is Director of Public Affairs & Exhibitions at Musea Brugge, where the new exhibition hall, BRUSK, forms a new and exciting challenge. This new space also raises the question of how museums should best evolve towards the future.
Head of Collections and Education, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam
Epco Runia is Head of Collections and Education at Museum Het Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam. He studied Art History at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen where he specialized in seventeenth-century Dutch art. He previously worked at the Rijksmuseum and for eighteen years at the Mauritshuis in the Hague, where he was curator and Head of the Education department.
An Van Camp
Christopher Brown Curator of Northern European Art, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
An Van Camp is the Christopher Brown Curator of Northern European Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She has recently completed a Getty Foundation research project on the Museum’s holdings of Early Modern German Drawings with a focus on design drawings. She previously co-curated exhibitions on silverpoint drawing and the young Rembrandt. She is currently organizing a major exhibition on Flemish Drawings in partnership with the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp.
Junior Curator, Mauritshuis, The Hague
Sheila Reda is a junior curator at the Mauritshuis. She co-curated the recently opened exhibition Loot – 10 stories. Currently, she is working on an upcoming exhibition about the historical counterpart of the Mauritshuis’ paintings gallery, the Royal Cabinet of Curiosities.
Session 3: The Object and Other Stories
Christi Klinkert (session chair)
Curator of Old Masters, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar
Christi M. Klinkert studied art history and Dutch literature at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 2005, she obtained her doctorate with her thesis Nassau in het nieuws. Nieuwsprenten van Maurits van Nassaus militaire ondernemingen uit de periode 1590-1600. She started as curator at Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar in 2009, where she has compiled exhibitions about Old Masters who have a link with Alkmaar.
Jacquelyn N. Coutré
Eleanor Wood Prince Curator, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
Jacquelyn Coutré is the Eleanor Wood Prince Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she oversees the collection of Northern European painting and sculpture. She has published widely on Dutch and Flemish art and is the co-curator of Van Gogh along the Seine, co-organized with the Van Gogh Museum, which opens in Amsterdam on 13 October.
Curator of History, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Maria Holtrop is Curator of History at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. She co-curated the exhibition Slavery – 10 True Stories and is responsible for the project Rijksmuseum & Slavery that placed 80 extra text labels in the permanent collection. Currently she is working on an exhibition about gender in the collection.
Curator of Old Masters, Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen
Hannah Iterbeke is Curator of Old Masters at Museum Hof van Busleyden in Mechelen, Belgium. She is responsible for the exhibitions Hidden Gems. Seven Centuries of Mechelen Masterpieces (2022-23) and Knights of the Golden Fleece: a Brilliant Myth Unravelled (2024). She studied Art History at the KU Leuven and specializes in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century art from Mechelen.
PhD Candidate, Radboud University, Nijmegen
Oscar Ekkelboom is a PhD candidate at the Radboud Institute for Culture and History at Radboud University in Nijmegen. His work focuses on the presence of colonial structures in current museum displays. Taking decoloniality as a starting point for thinking and doing, he engages in a process of listening to those who have been denied access to the canons of art.
Warda El-Kaddouri (closing remarks)
Warda El-Kaddouri has a doctorate in literary sciences and is a researcher and journalist. She regularly participates in the public debate about heritage, decolonization, art and culture. She wrote the published (research)essays Dominantie. Waarom we denken wat we denken (2020) and Vergeet ons niet. Over diversiteit en inclusie bij het Stadsarchief Amsterdam (2022). She currently works as a lecturer in Diversity and Inclusion at the Arts and Cultural Studies Department of the Open University.