The Rijksmuseum and the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, RKD) have announced they will join forces to create the largest academic art historical institutes: the Karel van Mander Institute.
The RKD functions as a focal point in the worldwide network of all those that study art from the Low Countries. CODART, the international network of curators for Dutch and Flemish art, is an important partner in this mission. CODART members, keepers of Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide, are important stakeholders in the initiatives of the Karel van Mander Institute. They are the suppliers of information, “consumers” of knowledge, partners in projects. CODART will play a role in various initiatives developed for the international museum field.
From the RKD and Rijksmuseum press release, 7 March 2012
From 1 January 2013, the Rijksmuseum and the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, RKD) will join forces to create one of the largest academic art historical institutes. The institute will be named in honour of the founding father of Dutch art history, Karel van Mander. The aim of the institute is to increase knowledge of art from the Low Countries in an international context. The institute also intends to function as a bridge between museums, universities and other institutions in the Netherlands and abroad.
The Karel van Mander Institute has identified a number of key tasks, including: playing a supporting academic role in the museological field with respect to managing and providing access to collections, research and exhibitions; promoting art historical research through such means as organising symposia and study days and an international programme for fellowships; and contributing to the education of art historians. As the current academic activities of the Rijksmuseum and the RKD are largely complementary, this partnership will deliver clear substantive benefits.
The collaboration of the Rijksmuseum and RKD is a sustainable consortium, to which both institutions contribute manpower, resources and products. Responsibility for the institute will be placed with the board of directors of both institutions. The aim is to generate as much financial support as possible from Dutch and foreign sources.
The Netherlands Institute for Art History was established in 1932 with its registered offices in The Hague. The agency manages a unique collection of archive, documentation and library items relating to Western culture from the late Middle Ages to the present day, and has a broad international network as an art historical knowledge centre. Dutch art is key focal area.
The Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands, has the most important collection of Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the present day. Part of the Rijksmuseum, the Atelier Building is an internationally recognised centre of excellence, which employs 44 restorers in 7 restoration ateliers for ceramics, paintings, furniture, textiles and precious metals. The Rijksmuseum is also home to the oldest art historical library in the Netherlands.
The main building of the Rijksmuseum is currently undergoing a process of complete renovation and modernisation. The Rijksmuseum will open its doors again in spring 2013.