Dutch Postgraduate School for Art History
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OSK Summer School 'Art History in Practice: reinventing our museums: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Leiden', i.s.m. Vereniging Rembrandt
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3 t/m 11 Juli 2017
Em. prof. dr. Peter Hecht

Enrolment is possible until November 15th, 2016


This summer school takes art history into practice. The central theme is the dilemma of reinventing a museum while remaining true to its responsibility for the collection and its long-term mission. What would you do if you were in charge? Point of departure is the new Rijksmuseum, reopened to great acclaim in 2013. The three-part history of the museum will be discussed, and its current display with its blessings as well as flaws will be analyzed.


Coming from this great model we turn to Antwerp, where the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (KMSKA) is currently reinventing itself. It is one of the two great national collections of Belgium, housed in a historical building with a collection consisting of art only. Plans for the presentation – perhaps no longer chronological – are now being made under director prof. dr. Manfred Sellink. We will discuss what can be learned from the museological problems of MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) and will talk with Sellink and the museum staff about their considerations in rethinking the KMSKA display.


On a smaller scale there is Leiden, where the renovation and extension of the municipal collection in the Lakenhal is taking place. The question is how to combine history and art and how to use it to inform the locals and the visitors from elsewhere about Leiden. How can this museum be reinvented while respecting the 17th-century monument it is housed in as well as the amazing collection and its history? This, we hope, will be discussed with director Meta Knol.


That brings us to the problems of municipal art collections in general, which we will also focus on. We will for instance analyze the new display of Utrecht’s Centraal Museum. Is it a success or a failure, and why so?


The course will be taught as a seminar with (subsidized) excursions. There will be a briefing in June before we start; students will be required to give small presentations during the seminar and help prepare an interview. They will also write an essay of approximately 4000-5000 words, to be handed in after the course.



3 July 2017 – 11 July 2017


Taught by:

Em. prof. dr. Peter Hecht (Vereniging Rembrandt Fellow / Utrecht University)



Annelien Krul MA (info@onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl)



Open to all ResMA students and PhD candidates Art and Architectural History, max. 15 participants. ResMa students have precedence over PhD candidates.



(See below)



info@onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl. Provide a CV and short letter of motivation. Deadline: November 15th 2016.


The course has four main components:

1. Preparatory meeting in Utrecht (June, date to be announced)

2. July 3-11: daily seminars in Utrecht and excursions

3. Short presentations during the seminar and help in preparing an interview

4. A short paper (approx. 4000-5000 words, to be handed in after the course)



Participation in the OSK ResMA Summer School is open to all students enrolled in a Research Master Program or PhD program at a Dutch University. The number of participants is limited to 15. ResMA students have precedence over PhD candidates. Deadline for application is November 15th 2016. Students will be informed about admittance no later than December 1st 2016.

Students are expected to attend all seminars and lectures and read and analyze texts in advance.


There is no course fee and excursions are subsidized. Participants from outside Utrecht may be eligible for free housing in Utrecht (group rooms in a hostel in the city center). Please contact Annelien Krul directly after confirmation of admission if you would like to qualify (info@onderzoekschoolkunstgeschiedenis.nl).


Credits: 6 EC, to receive after delivering a successful paper and participation. Students have to check with their home university whether the transfer of credits for this course is accepted. OSK will provide a testimonial of work load, grade and EC.


Instruction language: English.

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