Profile of the Supervisory Board

Van Gogh Museum Foundation, Amsterdam
June 2014

This profile is formulated in keeping with the Code Cultural Governance. According to the Code’s principles, the Supervisory Board may not have a one-sided composition regardless of the potential individual suitability of each of its members. Accordingly, at least one member of the Board must have knowledge of and experience with social relations. Expertise and experience in the financial, economic and social sectors must be independently represented. Furthermore, at least one member must have a thorough understanding of the specific kinds of activities concerned, in this case the tasks and operation of a large museum.

National Government Approval
The Van Gogh Museum is subsidised by the Dutch Government and has concluded a control contract with it for the collection of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation. The Government, moreover, owns the buildings. In this connection, it has the right to appoint the members of the Supervisory Board (Statutes: article 8, section 2: ‘[…] The members of the Supervisory Board are appointed by the State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science based on nominations submitted by the Supervisory Board, having heard the general director.’) Accordingly, the Government’s art and cultural policy must be taken into account in so far as this is relevant for the composition of the Supervisory Board.

Independence and Incompatibility
The proper functioning of a Supervisory Board is closely linked to the objectivity and independence of its members. The Board must be composed such that its members can operate independently and critically vis-à-vis each other and management (Statutes: article 11). Upon appointment, there should be no differences or conflicts of interest (measures will continue to be taken should such obstacles arise during the term of office).

Desired Composition of the Board
The statutory number of members of the Supervisory Board is at least five (Statutes: article 10, section 2). The following factors are important in determining the desired composition of the Supervisory Board:

  • The Board must be able to responsibly fulfil the tasks as prescribed by law, the Code Cultural Governance and other rules;
  • The Board must strive to achieve a representative mixture of age, gender, nationality, experience and cultural background of its individual members;
  • The Board requires the following areas of expertise (listed in random order) to be well-represented:
    • managerial and political experience on a national level;
    • financial and business;
    • judicial;
    • cultural diversity;
    • intercultural communication;
    • social relations.
  • The Board requires that one of its members be a director of an international museum.

The chairmanship is not by definition bound to one of the aforementioned categories. The chairman cannot be the director of an international museum. The position of treasurer is filled by a member specialised in finance and business.

Supervision and Advice
Members of the Supervisory Board are expected - also with respect to making time available - to supervise and stimulate management policy and the general course of events within the foundation in a timely and competent fashion, and to advise management in the development and implementation of policy. In addition, the members must operate independently and critically vis-à-vis other members of the Board and management and in the absence of management take measures to ensure leadership of the foundation.

Present composition of the Board, June 2014

  • Mrs Trude Maas–De Brouwer (chair). Independent administrator and supervisor.
  • Mr Peter Tieleman (member). Independent administrator and supervisor.
  • Mrs Joanne Kellermann (member). Director of De Nederlandsche Bank NV.
  • Mr Hein van Beuningen (member). Partner and strategy consultant at Booz & Company.
  • Mr Gary Tinterow (member). Director Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA.

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