Prof. dr. Chris Stolwijk


General director

T: 070 3339777

Chris Stolwijk

Curriculum vitae and duties

Chris Stolwijk (1966) studied politicology and art history at the Vrije Universiteit and the University of Utrecht. He gained his PhD in 1997 for a research into the position of art and artists in the Netherlands around 1850-1900. After a period working as a university lecturor at the University of Utrecht and successively as curator of Research, Head of Research and Head of Collections, Presentation and Research at the Van Gogh Museum. He was then appointed in 2012 as General Director of the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History.

Stolwijk led various large-scale research projects, including a series of document catalogues, theVan Gogh Letter Project and Van Gogh’s Studio Practice. He cooperated on a number of international exhibitions, such as Theo Van Gogh (1999), Vincent’s choice (2003), Van Gogh and the Colours of Night (2009-2010), Paul Gaugiun: the Breakthrough to Modernity (2009-2010) and Van Gogh & Nature (2015).

The focus of his input lies in West-European paintings from the period around 1800-1920 with a specific interest for the life and works of Vincent van Gogh and his inner circle, the history of art history, the history of art collecting, the social economic aspects of art and the skill of artistry including the professionalisation of the art trade, museification and digital art history. This interest manifested itself in numerous publications and other contributions. In his role as General Director of the RKD he strives to share Dutch art treasures with the rest of the world. He is assisted in this task by colleagues and collaborating partners.

Additional positions

  • 2020- Member of the Standing Committee The Dutch Collection
  • 2019- Member of the Advisory Board (Beirat) Kunstbibliothek Köln
  • 2019- Chair Arminius Foundation, Oudewater (Stichting Arminius)
  • 2016- Chair, Association of Research Institutes in the History of Art (RIHA)
  • 2016- Member of the Board Suze Robertson Foundation (Stichting Suze Robertson)
  • 2015- Member Editorial Board XIX-studies (Brepols)
  • 2015- Member of the Scientific Committee NICAS (Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science)
  • 2014- Member of the Municipal Oudewater Society Forum (Forum Samenleving Gemeente Oudewater)
  • 2014- Member of the Advisory Board Willem Witsen Foundation (Stichting Willem Witsen)
  • 2012- Advisor to the Board, Friends of the RKD Foundation (Stichting Vrienden van het RKD)
  • 2012- Member of the Advisory Board Royal Antiquarian Society (Koninklijk Oudheidkundig Genootschap)
  • 2012- Chair, Research School Art History (Onderzoekschool Kunstgeschiedenis)
  • 2012- Editor-in-chief, RKD Studies

Publications (selection)

  • Vincent van Gogh. All works in the Kröller-Müller Museum (2020)
  • Thannhauser and Van Gogh (2016)
  • Van Gogh & Nature (2015)
  • Van Gogh en de kleuren van de nacht (2009)
  • A decade of collecting, 1997-2006 (2006)
  • Vincents keuze (2003)
  • The account book of Theo van Gogh and Jo van Gogh-Bonger (2002)
  • Theo van Gogh: kunsthandelaar, verzamelaar en broer van Vincent (1999)
  • Uit de schilderswereld (1998)