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VVAK Lustrum Symposium: Collecting Asian Art in the Western World – Past, Present and Future

Saturday 23 June 2018
Museumstraat 1
1071 XX Amsterdam

The board of the VVAK is pleased to invite you to the international symposium Collecting Asian Art in the Western World: Past, Present & Future,on 23 June 2018. See the attached programme. The symposium will be held in the Rijksmuseum, the home of the VVAK’s collection, of which alternating highlights are displayed in the Asian Pavilion throughout the year.  We are proud to share the programme of this exciting event.

Please join us afterwards for drinks and canapés in the Rijksmuseum’s Atrium.

View the program booklet


From 9.15   Welcome & Registration at the VVAK desk in the entrance hall of the Rijksmuseum
Coffee/tea in the Auditorium

10.00-10.15 Welcome by Taco Dibbits, Director General of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Opening by Pieter Ariëns Kappers, Chair of VVAK, the Asian Art Society in the Netherlands



Introduction to the programme by Lex Holst, Vice Chair of VVAK

10.15-10.50    ‘The highest of cultures’: motives of VVAK members for collecting Asian art- past & present
Dr. Renée Steenbergen, board member of VVAK, specialist in collecting history and arts philanthropy

 10.50-11.25    Collecting by the ‘Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen’(1778)
Prof. Marijke Klokke and dr. Francine Brinkgreve,respectively Professor of Art and Material Culture of South and Southeast Asia, Leiden University, and Curator for the Insular Southeast Asia collection, National Museum of World Cultures (a.o.Museum Volkenkunde Leiden and Tropenmuseum Amsterdam)

11.25-11.35    Dialogue: Reflections on collecting Asian art in the Netherlands, publicly and privately- past and present
Moderator: Lex Holst,Vice Chair of VVAK

11.35-12.00    Coffee/tea/water break

12.00-12.35    Sparking Interest for the arts of East Asia. On the history of the East Asian Art Society in Berlin (1926-1955, re-established in 1990)
Dr. Herbert Butz,former Deputy Director and Curator of Chinese Archaeology
and Chinese Applied Arts at the Museum of Asian Art, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

12.35-13.10    Passion and Connoisseurship: Charles L. Freer (1854-1919) and Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1978) at the core of the American national collection of Asian Art
Prof. Jan Stuart,Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Sackler M. Sackler Gallery, SmithsonianInstitution, Washington D.C.

13.10-13.30    Dialogue: New perspectives on exhibiting Asian art in western museums
Moderator: Lex Holst, Vice Chair of VVAK

13.30-14.30    Lunch in Foyer

Possibility to visit the Asian Pavilion guided by curators Asian Art of Rijksmuseum


Moderator: Dr. Renée Steenbergen, board member of VVAK

14.30-15.05    Westendorp’s spectacles: the VVAK & collecting for the greater good
Menno Fitski, Head of Asian Art, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

15.05-15.40    From «ars una» to the Museum Rietberg: Eduard von der Heydt and his legacy
Esther Tisa Francini, Lic. phil., Head of the Archives and the Provenance Research, Museum Rietberg, Zürich

15.40-16.05    Coffee/tea/water break

16.05-16.40    From Utopia to Museum: the birth of Emile Guimet’s Museum of Religions
Dr. Pierre Baptiste,Curator Southeast Asian Art, National Museum for Asian Art – Guimet, Paris

16.40-17.25    Keynote speech: Antiquarian collecting – Old World New Age 
Prof. John Guy, Irving Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

17.25-17.45    Discussion with afternoon speakers:

The future of collecting Asian art in the Western World
Moderator: Dr. Renée Steenbergen, board member of VVAK

17.45-17.55    Closing remarks / wrap up
Prof. Anne Gerritsen, Professor Kikkoman/VVAK Chair of Asian-European Intercultural Dynamics, Material Culture and Art, Leiden University

Closing remarks by Pieter Ariëns Kappers, Chair of VVAK

18.00-19.30    VVAK 100thAnniversary Reception
Drinks and canapés at the Atrium of the Rijksmuseum
Performance: Gamelan ensemble Swara Santi

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