Rijksmuseum puts female artists in Honor Gallery for first time ever
For the first time in its history, the Rijksmuseum will display artworks by female artists in its Gallery of Honor. Paintings by Judith Leyster, Gesina ter Borch, and Rachel Ruysch will soon join those of 17th century masters like Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer, the museum announced on Monday, International Women's Day.
The museum recently started researching the female contribution to Dutch cultural history and how that is represented in the Rijksmuseum collection. "The museum is catching up in the field of women's history," said Jenny Reynaerts, curator of this research program. "The permanent presentation of the Rijksmuseum provides a picture of the culture of the Netherlands through the centuries. However, remarkably little of this story is told from a female perspective. This can be seen in the composition of the collection and the insufficiently documented knowledge about the role of women in Dutch history."
The Rijksmuseum wants to change that and give more attention to women's role in cultural history, director Taco Dibbits said. "It is important that we always look at and enrich the centuries-old collection of the Rijksmuseum from a new perspective," he said. "We do this through research and presentation. Asking new questions and studying other sources and objects provide a more complete story of the Netherlands."