Thinking about a reshuffle of the Amsterdam collections: could this strengthen the position of modern art and history?
Dates: June 2021
Open to: RMA students and PhD candidates, max. 10 participants.
Credits: 6 EC
Instruction language: English
Instructor: Prof. dr Peter Hecht (UU)
Coordination: OSK (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Registration will open Fall 2020: Via website and send a CV and short letter of motivation to email@example.com. Deadline: February 1, 2021.
Almost any visitor will be surprised to find that late nineteenth and twentieth- century art is scattered over three different museums on Museumplein. The Stedelijk Museum has installed its permanent collection of twentieth-century art in the basement, and the Rijksmuseum collects Dutch twentieth-century art and presents it on its top floor, which has retained the feeling of an attic. The Van Gogh Museum is evidently dedicated to Van Gogh, but sometimes ventures ahead of his time, having for instance bought work by Sluijters and Van Dongen. In its wish to present history and art together, the Rijksmuseum shows a few relics of Dutch twentieth-century history in its display on the top floor in a way which even the most ardent supporters of the concept find hard to defend. So perhaps it is time to rethink the history and present condition of these collections, and to ask whether we could not do better and strengthen the cause of modern art and history by opting for a reshuffle of some the holdings of the three institutions, and of the Amsterdam Museum as well. This will be looked into during excursions and in discussions with directors and/or curators of the institutions mentioned. If time allows, we will also visit the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam or the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum and discuss the position of the non-western collections in the Netherlands.
The course will be taught as a one-week, full- time seminar with excursions, in which the students will also be asked to prepare questions for the guests. There will be a preparatory briefing in May, and after the course the students will be asked to write an essay of approximately 3,000-5,000 words, to be handed in within ten days after the end of the course.