CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Ronald De Leeuw Receives Honorary Doctorate from University of Melbourne

Ronald de Leeuw is a charter member of CODART. He facilitated several CODART events in the Rijksmuseum and has supported us behind the scenes in important ways. We congratulate him on this signal honor.

University of Melbourne Media Release, Friday 10 August 2007

Leading art historian and Rijksmuseum director to receive Honorary degree

The Director of the Netherlands’ Rijksmuseum – Professor Ronald de Leeuw – will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at a ceremony at the University of Melbourne tomorrow, Saturday 11 August, in recognition of his contribution to sharing some of the world’s greatest artistic masterpieces with the Australian public.

Professor de Leeuw is one of the most prominent figures in the inernational art historical world, and oversees the museum that houses the largest collection of Dutch masterpieces, including priceless works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh.

He has taught art history in the most distinguished Netherlandish universities and has directed three of the greatest Dutch art museums. In addition to his career as a museum director, he has since 1994 been Professor Extraordinary of Museology and the History of Collecting at the VU University Amsterdam.

Aside from an influential career as an art historian, Professor de Leeuw was also behind the building the New Rijksmuseum, an ambitious project embarked upon in 2002, for which he attracted considerable public funding and which will emphasize the cross-cultural connections of the museum and the relationship between Dutch culture and the New World.

In his career De Leeuw has given Melbourne three great Dutch exhibitions. His connection with Australia began began in 1994, when the museum he directed was the major lender to the exhibition, Van Gogh, his sources, genius and influence, which opened at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Professor de Leeuw then conceived the idea of the Rembrandt exhibition, which opened in 1997 and was one of the most successful exhibitions in the history of the National Gallery of Victoria. More recently Professor de Leeuw was responsible for the loan of many masterpieces, including Vermeer’s The Love Letter, for the exhibition of Dutch Masters at the NGV.

Professor de Leeuw’s connections with the University of Melbourne were forged during this period, and due to his generosity towards Australia and Australian art history he is the holder of a visiting fellowship to the School of Art History, Cinema, Classics and Archaeology and to Queen’s College, where he was resident for three months from August to October 2006.

Who: Professor Ronald de Leeuw, Director, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
What: Conferring of Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters
When: Saturday 11 August at 3.30pm
Where: Wilson Hall, University of Melbourne