The Frans Hals Museum’s Supervisory Board appointed Lidewij de Koekkoek as Managing Director. Lidewij will succeed the outgoing Managing Director, Ann Demeester, as of 1 March, 2022. Ann is leaving the museum to assume the position of Director of the Kunsthaus Zurich.
Lidewij de Koekkoek: ‘This exciting new step comes after more than five exhilarating years at the Rembrandt House Museum, where I experienced major successes, such as the Year of Rembrandt 2019, and faced a number of tough challenges, including the ongoing corona crisis. The Frans Hals Museum is a veritable treasure trove of old, modern and contemporary masters; a museum with a global reach, rooted in Haarlem. It’s above all, a museum of our times; topical and relevant. I attach great importance to the museum’s societal role. It dares to speak out on a variety of topics, including widening the Canon of Dutch History, polyphonic perspectives and the diversification of the collection. It’s an honour to direct such a prestigious museum in my home city of Haarlem, and I look forward to building on its future success. The Rembrandt House Museum and its employees will, of course, always hold a special place in my heart.’
Lidewij de Koekkoek (1963) studied Art History at Leiden University and pursued an Executive Leadership Program for Museum Leaders at the Getty Leadership Institute in Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Rembrandt House Museum in 2016, she was Director of the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar, and has worked at the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg, the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) in Rotterdam and for Dordrecht council.
Lidewij de Koekkoek has been the Director of the Rembrandt House Museum since 2016, where she charted a new artistic course with a focus on Rembrandt, the artist and the man. The museum comprises Rembrandt’s former residence, an art studio, training institute and art gallery in the heart of Amsterdam city centre; a unique combination and the springboard for a programme of events, educational activities and high-profile exhibitions, including Glenn Brown (2017), Ferdinand Bol & Govert Flinck (in collaboration with the Amsterdam Museum) (2018), Rembrandts Social Network and Laboratory Rembrandt (in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum) as part of the Year of Rembrandt 2019, HERE: Black in Rembrandt’s Time (2020) and projects with Claudy Jongstra, Iriée Zamblé and Timothy Voges. RAW, the last exhibition under her direction opens on 22 January, 2022 and features work by thirteen contemporary artists. Increasing diversity, inclusion and polyphony was an important pillar of Lidewij’s leadership, both on a project basis and in collaboration with others, including Musea Bekennen Kleur (a network of Dutch museums that aims to embed diversity and inclusion in the museum and heritage sector) and participation in the international OFBYFOR ALL program. Under her management, the museum’s entrance hall underwent renovation in 2018, the museum itself acquired a number of new exhibition spaces and its offices were relocated to the adjacent ‘Uylenburgh’ building. The development plan for a major renovation and expansion of the museum complex has also been finalised.
Chairman of the Frans Hals Museum’s Supervisory Board, Frans Corpeleijn, warmly congratulates Lidewij on her appointment: ‘The Supervisory Board is delighted to announce that Lidewij de Koekkoek has been appointed as the museum’s new Managing Director. Lidewij is an experienced museum director who can further develop the Frans Hals Museum into an inspiring meeting place for Haarlem residents and visitors, for both existing and new audiences alike. We’re very much looking forward to her arrival and wish her every success in her new role.’
De Koekkoek joins during what is expected to be a special year for the Frans Hals Museum, with exhibitions including the Anna Bella Geiger. Brazilian Art Pioneer, Pink, Art & Migration. Flemings in Haarlem 1580-1660, in addition to the Faces of North Holland project (a collaboration with the Amsterdam Museum). The Frans Hals Museum comprises the two historic Hof and Hal buildings in the centre of Haarlem. Between them, they display the largest collection of works by Frans Hals, old masters and contemporary art in one enthralling mix. The juxtaposition is central: between old and new, paint strokes and pixels, art lovers and inspiration seekers. The exhibitions, (educational) programs and activities are aimed at encouraging visitors to look at things differently in order to discover more.
Business Director of the Frans Hals Museum, Paul Stork: ‘As the museum’s Business Director, I consider Lidewij an excellent partner. We can complement and reinforce each other in various areas and I’m very much looking forward to working with her on increasing the museum’s position.’