Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam Names Taco Dibbits as New General Director

It is the largest museum in the Netherlands.

Taco Dibbits. Photo courtesy of RVDA

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has named Taco Dibbits, who’s served as director of collections at the national museum since 2008, as its new general director. The 48-year-old art historian has been working at the national museum since 2002, where he started as curator of 17th century paintings after heading the Old Masters department at Christie’s London.

Dibbits takes over from Wim Pijbes, who will step down on 15 July to head up Voorlinden, a new private museum and nature reserve in Wassenaar, a tony suburb of the Hague.

“Taco Dibbits combines great international experience with his passion for art and history,” Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, chairman of the museum’s Board of Trustees, said in statement, while referring to Dibbits as a “figurehead” in the museum. “Taco is eminently capable of shaping the process of innovation and development necessary to inspire and surprise the museum visitor again and again,” he added.

Dibbits played a central role in reshaping the new Rijksmuseum, which reopened its doors in 2013 after a 10-year renovation, and was deeply involved in the development of the Rijksstudio, the Rijksmuseum’s new website.

He played a central role in several of the museum’s major acquisitions, such as Bacchant by Adriaen de Vries and Rembrandt’s Marten en Oopjen, which were added to the permanent collection in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Last year, he was also instrumental in negotiating the joint acquisition of two portraits by Rembrandt, together with the Louvre, from the collection of Éric de Rothschild. He also spearheaded the two blockbuster exhibitions “Rembrandt & Caravaggio,” in 2006 and “Late Rembrandt,” in 2015.

“The Rijksmuseum is one of the most beautiful museums in the world, and therefore it is fantastic to be entrusted with its leadership” Dibbits said. “The treasures of the museum have the strength to bring people together. The museum belongs to everyone and is for everyone.”

In 2013 and 2014, following the museum’s reopening after the decade-long, €375 million renovation, the Rijksmuseum was the most visited museum in the Netherlands, with record numbers of 2.2 million and 2.45 million visitors. It is also the largest art museum in the country.

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