Sue-an van der Zijpp appointed as new Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at Boijmans

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The collection of decorative arts and design at the Boijmans is to have a new custodian and exhibition creator. The former Groninger Museum curator Sue-an van der Zijpp is making the switch to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam this summer.

Sue-an van der Zijpp (b. 1971) takes up her post on July 1st as the new curator of Decorative Arts and Design, taking over the baton from Mienke Simon Thomas, who has served in this role since 1993 and is now retiring. In her role at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Van der Zijpp will be working on the development of exhibitions. In addition she will care for the museum’s collection of Decorative Arts and Design, a treasure trove that ranges from medieval earthenware to creations by Viktor & Rolf.


Sue-an van der Zijpp:It’s an honour to be in a position to share my enthusiasm for and fascination with material culture with the visitors to this beautiful place. I will be focussing on the question of how the objects can play a more active role in the experience of the museum visitor, in order to convey the connection of the present with the past in an exciting way. I look forward to working with new colleagues and to the opening of the new depot.


International profile

Van der Zijpp brings a wealth of experience to her new position. As curator of contemporary art, design and fashion for the Groninger Museum she was responsible for countless international exhibitions and publications. She coordinated projects with designers such as Marc Newson, Hussein Chalayan, Maarten Baas, Iris van Herpen, Studio Job and Daan Roosegaarde. Van der Zijpp created art exhibitions with Yin Xiuzhen, Gabriel Lester, Jake & Dinos Chapman and Ai WeiWei, from whom she acquired work. She also added work by Viktor & Rolf, Folkert de Jong and Marga Weimans to the Groninger Museum’s collection. With the Rotterdam-based Weimans she created the exhibition Fashion House and the eponymous book. In addition, Van der Zijpp was jointly responsible for a programme of exhibitions that toured internationally, including a tour of work by Joris Laarman and Iris van Herpen, which travelled to The Cooper Hewitt in New York, the High Museum in Atlanta and the Design Museum in Holon.



Van der Zijpp graduated in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Groningen, followed a Post Experience Programme in History of Fashion and Design at the Royal College of Art in association with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and from 2016 studied the Philosophy of Technology at the University of Twente.

Alongside Sue-an’s work as a curator, her activities have included being an advisor for the Minerva Art Academy and the Mondriaan Fund, a scout for de Volkskrant Fine Art Prize and the Prix de Rome, a member of the jury for the Gerrit Rietveld Award, and being involved with the courses in the History of Art and Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Groningen as a guest lecturer. Van der Zijpp has also served on various advisory committees for Creative Industries Fund NL.


Sjarel Ex and Ina Klaassen, directors of Boijmans: “We are very much looking forward to working with Sue-an as curator of the Decorative Arts and Design collection. We are curious about the connections that she will make between the museum’s various art collections and across the centuries of our encyclopaedic collection, and about her talent as an exhibition creator.”


Museum and depot

While the museum’s all-embracing renovation and refurbishment is in full swing, the collection remains visible in classrooms and at museums around the world. In the autumn of 2021 the collection will be reassembled in Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility. Here the visitor can become acquainted with the stewardship, study and restoration of the impressive art collection with masterpieces from across the history of Western art, applied arts and design, from the Middle Ages through to the present. Opening up access to the 151,000 or so artefacts in the depot, an architectural icon designed by MVRDV, can only serve to boost the allure of the Museumpark in Rotterdam as an international art platform.


About Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

The world-renowned art collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has over the span of 170 years expanded to more than 151,000 artefacts, which includes some 63,000 paintings, photos, films, pre-industrial design and design objects, contemporary art installations and sculptures, as well as 88,000 prints and drawings.

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