CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Albert J. Elen Retires from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

After nineteen years of service Albert J. Elen, a CODART member since 2001, leaves the museum at 66. Graduated with honours at the University of Leiden in 1982, he started his career in the University Print Room and received his PhD with a thesis on Italian drawing-books, published in 1995. He is one of the founders of the periodical Delineavit et Sculpsit (1989) and after 32 years will stay on as a member of the editorial board, treasurer and webmaster.

Elen held subsequent curatorships at the Dutch Royal Library and the Netherlands Office for Fine Arts (state collections). In 1989 he published the catalogue Missing Old Master Drawings from the Franz Koenigs Collection claimed by the State of the Netherlands. This resulted in the discovery of 308 drawings hidden in Moscow in 1992, which are still waiting to be returned, and 139 drawings hidden in Kyiv, which were restituted by Ukraine in 2004, exhibited as Return of a Lost Treasure, and reunited with the former Koenigs Collection in Museum Boijmans.

Before Elen was appointed Senior Curator of Drawings and Prints at the Boijmans in 2002 he served as Deputy Chief Inspector of Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands Ministry of Culture. At the museum he developed online collection catalogues, including the early Netherlandish drawings (2012), and organized exhibitions, including Rembrandt in Rotterdam (2006) and Bosch to Bloemaert (2014).

On the occasion of his retirement he presented the museum a drawing by Josephus A. Knip (1777-1847): a large study of trees made during his stay in Rome (1809-12), related to a painting by the artist in the museum’s collection. See Onno van Seggelen’s website for more information about the drawing.

His successor will be officially announced in due time.