Symposium The New Custodians - The choices they make, the knowledge they need

Een ontwerp van Studio Roozenburg. Een porseleinen kopje en een projectie in Augmented Reality.

Symposium The New Custodians The choices they make, the knowledge they need

09:30 - 18:00
Research, presentation and management of art, design, heritage from modern times

The symposium is a collaboration between the Rijksdienst voor de Cultureel Erfgoed and the Van Abbemuseum and is a conclusion of the knowledge program Heritage of Modern Times.

For four years, together with dozens of partners from the heritage field, we searched for answers to pressing questions about the meaning of collections and new forms of presentation at a time when society is changing, and with that the role of the museum. Contemporary technology and new forms of presentation create space for a different experience of objects from the collection. Sometimes this shifts the attention of the authentic art object to the story behind it, sometimes technology offers the opportunity to get to know the object down to the smallest details. What choices do museums make and what knowledge do they need?

During the symposium The New Custodians these questions will be discussed and attention will be paid to the theme of 'reconstruction': as a way of reconstructing the past of objects and their stories, as support for scientific research, as a catalyst for questions about materiality and authenticity .

Day chairman Arnoud Odding, director of the Rijksmuseum Twenthe, will take you through the following lectures:

  • Alistair Hudson, director of the Manchester Art Gallery and initiator of the Grizedale Arts project, in which the relationship between craft, creativity and society is redefined (in English);
  • Deirdre Carasso, director of the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, talks to him from her vision on collection presentations (in English);
  • Other speakers reflect on the theme of 'reconstruction' and present the considerations that were made in reconstructions of artworks by Theo van Doesburg, El Lissitzky, and Vincent van Gogh (in Dutch);
  • Designer Maaike Roozenburg shows how design, technology and heritage objects come together and generate new meanings (in Dutch).

Sign Up

Participation is free. You can register via this form.

The symposium will take place during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.


Walk-in with coffee and tea at Karel 1 Museumcafé


A welcome by Tatja Scholte (RCE) and Steven ten Thije (Van Abbemuseum)

The Co-efficient of Art in the Age of Technological Reproduction 
Alistair Hudson (Manchester Art Gallery) 

A view of Stedelijk Museum Schiedam 
Deirdre Carasso (Stedelijk Museum Schiedam)  in conversaation with Alistair Hudson

Lissitzky’s Abstraktes Kabinett –  the tension between historical awareness, primary sources and mediation
Steven ten Thije (Van Abbemuseum)



Het Bloemenkamertje by Theo van Doesburg and the dimension of space and time
Mariel Polman (RCE)

A digital visualization of the original colours of Van Gogh’s ‘Veld met irissen bij Arles’
Muriel Geldof (RCE)

Research translated into public programs 
Jolein van Kregten (Van Goghmuseum)




On the divan. Discovering the soul of the heritage professional
Michaëla Hanssen (RCE)

Authenticity in the museum: a symmetrical approach
IJsbrand Hummelen (RCE)

Retouching with Light. An alternative restoration method for discolored furniture
Federica van Adrichem (Universiteit van Amsterdam)




Is What You See What You Can Reproduce? Findings from the Plastics Identification Tool project at Stedelijk Museum collection
Netta Krumperman (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam)

True replicas 
Maaike Roozenburg (Studio Maaike Roozenburg)

Looking back at the symposium by Arnoud Odding (Rijksmuseum Twenthe)


End of the programme