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Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Names Rein Wolfs Its New Director


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Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Names Rein Wolfs Its New Director


The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the most significant museum of modern art in the Netherlands, named the Dutch curator Rein Wolfs as its new director on Friday. Mr. Wolfs, 58, is currently director of the Bundeskunsthalle, an exhibition space in Bonn, Germany.

Mr. Wolfs will take up his new position on Dec. 1, bringing to a close a tumultuous chapter in the history of the Stedelijk that has left the museum without a director for nearly two years.

From 2014 to 2017, its director was Beatrix Ruf, a renowned German curator whose appointment was considered a coup for the museum. But she was impelled to resign after reports in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad that she was improperly advising private collectors. Ms. Ruf denied any conflict of interest, and an investigation by Amsterdam’s City Council cleared her of any wrongdoing. Three of the Stedelijk’s seven board members resigned as a consequence, and Ms. Ruf did not return.

Mr. Wolfs, 58, has spent the last six years at the Bundeskunsthalle, where he was a co-curator of one of Germany’s most media-dissected exhibitions of recent years: a showcase of the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, much of which is believed to be stolen from Jewish collectors during the Nazi era. Previously he served in senior positions at the Museum Fredericianum in Kassel, Germany, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.

Mr. Wolfs’s appointment represents the end of an era of foreign leadership for the museum. Before Ms. Ruf, the Stedelijk was led for more than a decade by the American curator Ann Goldstein, who raised the museum’s international profile and oversaw a major expansion. She is now deputy director and chief curator of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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