'Lots of artists from the Southern Netherlands migrated to Haarlem, and Haarlem really became a breeding ground for new artistic genres. So I would describe the Haarlem school as being very innovative in a way. And that happened early on; even earlier than the early sixteenth century... There was something in the Haarlem climate that made artists come here... there are beautiful surroundings of course, with the dunes. And there was also a very stimulating city council, which is why a lot of artists came to Haarlem–and that made it possible for these artists to come to the top of their game, here in the city.'
For the third episode of 'Dutch Art & Design Today', I sat down with Marrigje Rikken—Head of Collections & Presentations at the Frans Hals Museum. In her role, Marrigje is responsible for the care and display of the museum's many artworks; a task that entails knowledge of every aspect of a museum's inter-working parts; from loans and lectures to exhibitions and educational initiatives. All the while ensuring the needs of the museum’s audiences are addressed—from the casual exhibition visitor to dedicated scholar. We discuss her early-childhood interest in art, museums, and her own art historical trajectory, and then zoom-in on the museum.
Marrigje recently curated the exhibition 'Frans Hals and the Moderns', which was supported by an extensive series of educational and scholarly programs, and is just one of the many exhibitions and publications she has been involved with throughout her career. As the museum continues to evolve, and more recently changed directors—seeing the departure of Ann De Meester, and the entry of Lidewij de Koekkoek—we also look back at the museum's rebranding by KesselsKramer, and how that's reactivated the museum in the minds of the public, among many other topics.
You can learn more about the Frans Hals Museum over on their website.
'Dutch Art & Design Today' is published by Semicolon-Press.