Art gallery supervisory boards dominated by business, not culture

Museum supervisory board members today are much more likely to have a business background than to come from the cultural sector, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

The Volkskrant looked at the supervisory boards of 10 major art galleries and found more than half of the members have a business background. Just 17% come from the cultural sector.

But 10 to seven years ago, just one third came from the corporate world and 25% had a cultural sector background.


The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is the most dramatic example of the trend, the paper says. In 2006 when it appointed its first supervisory board, five people had a cultural background. Now artist Willem de Rooij is the only one.

The Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Van Gogh Museum, the Noordbrabants Museum and Teylers Museum in Haarlem have no-one at all from the cultural sector on their supervisory boards.

‘Museums are changing into assertive operations with shops, restaurants and impressive architecture,’ Amsterdam University sociologist Dos Elshout told the paper.

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