publication date 15-3-2018

Emily Pethick new director Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten


The Supervisory Board announces the appointment of Emily Pethick as the new general director of the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam as of September 1, 2018. Pethick has been director of The Showroom in London since 2008. From 2005-2008 she worked in the Netherlands as director of Casco - Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht. She has also been active as a freelance curator, writer, and served on numerous boards and juries. In addition to collaborations with many Dutch artists and cultural institutions, her professional experience shows an extensive international scope.

'With Emily Pethick, we bring one of the most interesting curator-directors back to the Netherlands', says Chris Buijink, chairman of the Supervisory Board. 'She has demonstrated in a variety of ways that she is committed both to contemporary art and the global developments in this field. She has led various organizations and has the necessary experience to successfully manage the Rijksakademie and broaden its public function'.

Pethick comments: ‘The prospect of working in an international artistic community situated in the heart of Amsterdam is truly exciting for me. I'm looking forward to leading the Rijksakademie as a vital site for artistic practice, critical thinking and exchange, and to connecting this with the wider public sphere in ways that are locally rooted and globally connected.’

Emily Pethick succeeds Els van Odijk, director since 2010. Van Odijk leaves the Rijksakademie after having successfully led the institute through a turbulent period. The Rijksakademie is very grateful to her.

The appointment of Pethick follows a selection procedure led by a committee consisting of members of the Supervisory Board of the Rijksakademie, as well as artists associated with the Rijksakademie. The selection process was supervised by Vanderkruijs Partners in Executive Search.



Emily Pethick (born in London) has been the director of The Showroom, London, since 2008. Previously, she was director of Casco, Office for Art, Design and Theory, in Utrecht, The Netherlands (2005-2008) and the curator at Cubitt, London (2003-2004). In 2016 she contributed to the research for a new institution in Amsterdam, commissioned by Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Ammodo. She currently co-leads the programme Curating Positions at the Dutch Art Institute. She has contributed to catalogues and magazines, including Artforum, Frieze, Afterall, and The Exhibitionist, and edited numerous books, including Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s monograph Amateur (Sternberg Press, 2016); Circular Facts (2011, with Mai Abu EIDahab and Binna Choi) and Cluster: Dialectionary (2014, with Binna Choi, Maria Lind and Natasa Petresin-Bachelez, pub. Sternberg Press). She was a member of the jury of the 2017 Turner Prize.

The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten is an international residency program in Amsterdam aiming at developing talent in the visual arts. Emerging professional artists from the Netherlands and the rest of the world are offered a platform for further development and deepening of their work and practice. Presentation of the work and connections to an international network forms part of the two-year residency program. For many Dutch and international alumni the residency has led to their international breakthrough.


NOTES FOR EDITORS (not for publication)

For further information, please contact: Danielle Kars (secretarial office), via or +31 (0)20 527 0341.

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Emily Pethick (photo: Christa Holka) Emily Pethick (photo: Christa Holka)