In this role, she bears ultimate responsibility for the museum's valuable collection, its research activities and its exhibition policy in the Netherlands and worldwide. ‘Preservation of this collection is essential, both from an art-historical perspective and in view of its central place in our cultural heritage. My focus areas will include the new presentation of the collection in the museum, special acquisitions to enrich the collection, innovative research projects and new possibilities for exhibitions outside the Netherlands,’ Marije Vellekoop explained, full of enthusiasm about this new challenge.
Marije Vellekoop studied art history at Utrecht University and has worked at the Van Gogh Museum since 1995, holding the position of Curator of Prints and Drawings since 1999. She researched the drawings for many years in that capacity, and the results have been published in a series of collection catalogues. The most significant new insights pertained to Van Gogh's use of materials and the relationship of his drawings to his paintings and letters.
Museum director Axel Rüger comments, ‘Marije Vellekoop has a detailed knowledge of the Van Gogh Museum collection. Her research into Van Gogh has also made her a great expert on Van Gogh's life. At the same time, she’s a highly competent manager. That combination makes her ideally qualified for this important position.’
Vellekoop has been responsible for a variety of exhibitions, such as Vincent van Gogh: The drawings (2005-2006) in partnership with the Metropolitan Museum in New York and Heartfelt lines (2008) at the Albertina in Vienna. She has also regularly organised displays, such as Van Gogh’s scribbles (2008) and Beauty in abundance (2012). Since 2008, she has led the research project Van Gogh’s studio practice, heading a team of specialised researchers taking responsibility for various publications presenting the results of this research. An international symposium on Van Gogh’s working methods will be organised under her auspices and held in June of this year, and she is also responsible for the exhibition Van Gogh at work, which will open on 1 May 2013 at the Van Gogh Museum.