Wooing Dutch visitors and an upcoming anniversary: challenges in store for the new director of Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum in pre-COVID times.
Van Gogh Museum in pre-COVID times. Image: jankie Wikimedia CC BY-SA 2.0

Emilie Gordenker takes office as the director of Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam this month. A specialist in 17th Century Dutch and Flemish art, she admits that it is quite a change. “I will be moving out of my comfort zone, but I’ll be guided by the superb experts on the museum staff”, Gordenker told The Art Newspaper. Gordenker has been the director of Mauritshuis in The Hague, a 17th Century mansion with a magnificent collection of the period, for the past 12 years.

Finding a balance between commercial and artistic aspects of the museum, broadening its appeal to a wider audience including Dutch visitors who consider Van Gogh to be a “tourist’s artist” and preparing for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the museum in 2023 are some of the challenges faced by the new director.

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