The Supervisory Board of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam named Dutch curator Rein Wolfs as its next director.
Rein Wolfs (born, 1960) has a distinguished career, particularly in Germany and Switzerland. To join as the director of Stedelijk, Wolf will leave his current position at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, which he joined in 2013 — a time when the institution was experiencing difficulties, and transformed it into a dynamic, thriving venue. Formerly, he was also artistic director of Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, head of exhibitions at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, and director of the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art in Zurich. In 2003, he curated the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
“We are delighted that Rein will be joining the Stedelijk,” says Truze Lodder, chair of the supervisory board. “As a director, he embodies the qualities the Stedelijk Museum seeks: a deep knowledge of art and, in a broad sense, administrative experience, international charisma, a worldwide network, excellent relationships with artists, an exciting artistic vision, and openness to ideas from staff and collaborative partners. Germany will be sad to see him leave. Rein has a distinguished record of fostering connections and collaborations, and recognizes the need for public-private financing that is independent of outside interests. Inclusion and diversity are high on his agenda, as shown by his tenure at the Bundeskunsthalle in Germany. We’re looking forward to the energetic and inspiring leadership of our new director.”
“I grew up with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and I hope to provide guidance and support needed to lead this museum, with its revolutionary history and fantastic collection, into the future. The Stedelijk is a bold public institute that can become even more diverse, human, and international, and play a vital role in social debate. The Stedelijk belongs to everyone — to artists, visitors, and anyone who cares about the museum. It belongs to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the world. In a city like Amsterdam, concerns are being voiced, with people asking, ‘Who owns the city?’ At the museum, one of the questions we must always address is, ‘Who does the museum belong to?’ Our exhibitions, debates, and activities are opportunities to answer this and many other burning questions,” said Rein Wolfs.
Rein Wolfs will take up his post as director of the Stedelijk Museum on December 1, 2019. Until then, the Stedelijk will continue to be led by interim director Jan Willem Sieburgh. The announcement comes after more than a year and a half of the museum being without a permanent director following the resignation of Beatrix Ruf in October 2017 amid conflict-of-interest accusations from which she was later cleared.