Giving Voice to the Women of the Rijksmuseum
Jenny Reynaerts und Rachel Esner
In 2021 the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, under the guidance of Jenny Reynaerts, em-
barked on the project Women of the Rijksmuseum, which aims to create a better balan-
ce in the museum’s collection and presentation, in particular by addressing gendered
perspectives and female narratives. To achieve this much needed revision, the five-year
project focuses on three pillars of enquiry: makers; stories; and collection-builders. The
latter is also part of the larger, national platform The Other Half: Women in the Dutch
Art World, 1780-1980, organized together with other partners in the field. Its objective
is to collect and share information on the women in the Dutch museum world who were
not makers. Many of these female donors, critics, museum-workers, dealers, and writers
have been written out of art history, where the achievements of their male counterparts
have been given priority. Rachel Esner’s research focuses on two of these curators, both
of whom began their careers in the Rijksmuseum, and traces their professional paths
and accomplishments in the context of the early 20th century. Both speakers will ad-
dress the methodological aspects of their projects, as looking into women’s agency in
historical research proves to be quite a challenge.
Dr. Jenny Reynaerts is a Senior Curator of paintings at the Rijksmuseum and chair of the proj-
ect team Women of the Rijksmuseum. She has published widely on 19th-century art, in partic-
ular Dutch paintings. Within the field of women’s stories, she focuses on the position and lives
of painters’ models. She is currently finishing a biography of two models of the artist George
Dr. Rachel Esner is Associate Professor of art history at the University of Amsterdam. Her re-
search focuses on museums, exhibition history, and curatorial practices. Together with Bram
Donders and Sandra Kisters, she was recently awarded a Dutch Research Council Museum
Grant to carry out research into the female donors to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Together with - among others - Jenny Reynaerts, she initiated the platform The Other Half, for
which she is currently studying women curators of the Rijksmuseum.
Veranstaltungsort: Architekturgebäude der TU Berlin, Hörsaal A 053, Straße des 17. Juni 150/152, 10623 Berlin
Click here for the program.
Venue: Architekturgebäude, Hörsaal A 053, TU Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 150/52, 10623 Berlin