11 December 2014
Dr. Louis van Tilborgh (1956), senior researcher of the Van Gogh Museum, has been appointed as professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam.
Conducting research is important for this famous museum and this is the purpose of establishing this chair. ‘This is a perfect way to further enhance the connection between museum and university’.
Conducting research and sharing knowledge is of paramount importance for the Van Gogh Museum. Indeed, conducting research into nineteenth-century art is just as important for the museum as is making the permanent collection accessible to its millions of visitors. Marije Vellekoop (Head of the Art Department of the Van Gogh Museum): ‘In the Netherland, the Van Gogh Museum is responsible for a substantial share in research into nineteenth-century art. With respect to Van Gogh, we are the international knowledge centre in terms of his works of art, his letters and his life.’
This scientific mission is the reason why the Van Gogh Museum provides the University of Amsterdam with the professorship of Louis van Tilborgh. Van Tilborgh – senior researcher of the museum – has been appointed as professor of Art History, more particularly Van Gogh at the Faculty of Humanities.
Vellekoop: ‘It is important that scientific research into nineteenth-century art remains part of the academic curriculum; the Van Gogh Museum bears social responsibility in this respect. By establishing this chair, the museum contributes to developing and sharing knowledge. Academic research conducted at the UvA increasingly adheres greater importance to Cultural Heritage.”
In his capacity, Van Tilborgh intends to share his museum expertise with the academic world: a professorship includes teaching, running workshops and supervising PhD students. Van Tilborgh: “In the museum I carry out research into Van Gogh's life and work, and I'm looking forward to familiarizing students with it. ‘This is a perfect way to further enhance the connection between museum and university’.
Since 1986, Van Tilborgh – whose doctorate was on Vincent van Gogh - has been working at the Van Gogh Museum, as a scientific staff member at the Exhibitions Department, Head of the Library and Documentation Centre, Head of Collection and Curator of Paintings successively.
Since 2006, Van Tilborgh has been Senior Researcher whose work involves a great many different activities for the Van Gogh Museum. For instance, he participates in research into the discolouration in Van Gogh's paintings, he studies the ordering and dating of his paintings based on the particular type of canvas used and analyses the influence of Japanese art on Van Gogh's work.
In collaboration with colleagues, he is also concerned with matters of authenticity: every year, the Van Gogh Museum receives circa two hundred written requests about the authenticity of works allegedly by Van Gogh - all these requests are dealt with by a team of researchers and curators. Besides all these activities for the museum, Van Tilborgh is co-editor of Simiolus: Netherlands Quarterly of the History of Art and of Van Gogh Studies, and he is a regular contributor to The Burlington Magazine.
Van Tilborgh's appointment as professor will apply for a period of five years.