Meet the KMSKA Researchers.
Siska Beele studied art at the University of Leuven (K.U. Leuven). She has been associated with KMSKA since 1980, consecutively as an educational officer, an exhibition officer, a chief educational officer, and finally as a researcher. Her main scholarly interests lie in Belgian art from the 19th century and the history of the museum and its collections. She is presently preparing a printed catalogue of all of paintings in the museum collection. Siska Beele is also collaborating on extramural exhibitions during the temporary closure of the museum, such as Bruegelland at the Municipal Museum in Lier and The MODERNS at Koningin Fabiolazaal (KFZ) in Antwerp.
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Valérie Herremans studied art at the University of Leuven (K.U. Leuven) and obtained a PhD from Brussels University (VUB) in 2007. She has worked with the Collection Research Department of KMSKA since 2007. Her scholarly interest lies in sculpture and miniature architecture from the seventeenth century in particular. She is presently participating in the Rubens project and in a project on artistic exchange with New Spain in collaboration with the Centre for Mexican Studies of the University of Antwerp. In addition, she is preparing a publication on pieces in the museum's Rubens collection created for Antwerp churches that no longer exist. She is also working on a volume in the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard devoted to Rubens's designs for architectural sculpture.
Elsje Janssen holds degrees in Art History and Archaeology from Ghent University
and Social and Cultural Anthropology from Leuven University. Her chosen specialist fields were
tapestry art and textiles. She also studied textile restoration at the Royal Institute for Cultural
Heritage in Brussels and subsequently gained work experience in Chicago, Washington DC and New
York, and worked as a textile restorer with the Ethnographic Museum and the Historical Museums of
the City of Antwerp. She also worked for five years as a Conservator of Tapestries and Textiles
with the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels. In 2002, Elsje Janssen obtained a PhD from
Brussels University (VUB) with a dissertation on
Tapestry Art in Belgium after 1945. She was in charge of daily affairs at the Rubens House
during the museum’s renovation and the construction of its reception pavilion, as well as during
the Van Dyck exhibition. Subsequently, she was entrusted with the realisation of an overarching
Collection Management Department for the Municipal Museums, which she conceived more broadly as a
department for Collection Policy, also encompassing a centralised museum depot and an annual
publication on the department’s activities. All the while, she held the positions of collection
conservator of Antwerp City Hall and conservator of the historical collection of the Vleeshuis
Museum. In addition, she was closely involved in the conception of the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom)
and oversaw the transfer to the MAS of the collections of the former Folklore Museum, the National
Maritime Museum and the Ethnographic Museum. She was also the curator of MAS’s viewable storage
area. Subsequently, she worked for over three years as a Textiles Conservator with Rijksmuseum in
Amsterdam. Elsje Janssen has been Scientific Director for Collections with the Royal Museum of Fine
Arts in Antwerp since March 2014. One of her responsibilities in this position is to oversee the
merger of the Departments for Collection Research and Collection Management, the Museum Library,
Archives and Imaging Services into a single Collections Department.
From 2004 to 2014, Elsje Janssen sat on the Advisory Board for Cultural Heritage of the Flemish Community.
Manfred Sellink became General Director and Head Curator of KMSKA on 1 December 2014. He holds a PhD in Art History, which he was awarded by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for a dissertation on engraver and draftsman Philips Galle. Sellink also specialises in the life and work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, printing and drawing in the Low Countries in the second half of the 16th century, 16th-century Netherlandish landscape art, the (collection) history of museums and exhibitions, and contemporary graphic art and drawing. Prior to his appointment as General Director of KMSKA, Manfred Sellink held a similar position with Musea Brugge, where he became Artistic Director in 2001. Previously he had worked for ten years as a Senior Conservator with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and as a scientific staff member with Utrecht University. During his time as museum director in Bruges, Manfred Sellink also coordinated the major exhibitions during the city’s tenure as Cultural Capital of Europe in 2002. Furthermore, he was in charge of international arts festivals in Bruges in 2005 (Corpus) and 2010 (Brugge Centraal). Sellink is a board member of CODART (the international network of curators of Flemish and Dutch art) and Flemish Art Collection, and he also sits on various advisory and assessment commissions of the Flemish Community.
Nanny Schrijvers obtained her licentiate's degree in the History of Art and Archaeology, with a specialist option in the plastic arts, from Ghent University in 1975. She initially worked as an associate staff member with KMSKA's Educational Department and became a full-time staff member of the PR Department in 1994. She has been working with the Collection Research Department since April 2001 and is presently bringing the collection catalogue up to international standards. In addition, she contributes to publications and projects stemming from this collection research, with special focus on the history and growth of the museum collection.
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Herwig Todts is a graduate in the History of Art and Archaeology from the University of Ghent (UGent). He worked for the daily De Standaard from 1986 to 1993 and joined the Collection Research team in 1984. From 2001 to 2005, he served as an acting departmental head of the PR Department. He organises exhibitions, both in the museum and at host venues, and publishes on 19th- and 20th-century art. His main research focus is on the oeuvre of James Ensor . His systematic study of the Ensor collection will result in the publication of subcatalogues of drawings, paintings, documents and archival materials, and in exhibitions in Japan, Copenhagen, Switzerland and the United States.
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Paul Vandenbroeck has worked with the Collection Research Department since 1980 and he has held a part-time professorship with the Social Sciences Faculty of K.U. Leuven since 2003. He is an Art graduate from that same university and obtained his PhD in 1986. His main research interests are the oeuvre of Hieronymus Bosch, abstract North African textile art, contemporary art and topics on the interface between art and anthropology, including the relationship between folk and elite culture, the specificity of art in female religious communities and the relationship between therapeutic ritual and artistic creation. Paul Vandenbroeck is also the scientific editor of the museum Annual and he is preparing an exhibition entitled La vivante on the energetics of aesthetic creation, which will take place in 2013 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille (France).
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Greta Van Broeckhoven
Greta Van Broeckhoven studied History of Art and Archaeology, specialising in Medievalism and the Modern Era, at the University of Brussels (VUB). She graduated with a thesis on the oeuvre of Georges Lemmen. After working with the International Cultural Centre in Antwerp from 1982 to 1990, she joined the scientific team of KMSKA. She conducts research and organises exhibitions on 20th-century art production, a topic on which she also publishes frequently. In line with her work at the ICC, her research focus has been primarily on new concepts and ideologies, and on the associated interdisciplinary nature of art in the 1980s and 90s. In 1999, she contributed to the museum's recognition as a knowledge centre by outlining a policy for the museum archives and documentation centre.
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Nico Van Hout
Nico Van Hout studied art history and archaeology at the University of Ghent, as well as restoration and conservation at the National Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Antwerp, and he obtained a PhD from Leuven University in 2005. He has been a member of the Collection Research team since 2001 and a co-organiser of various exhibitions at host venues during the museum's temporary closure for renovation. His scientific interest lies in the field of the creative process and the material-technical aspects of Flemish 17th-century painting. He is also involved as a researcher in the Rubens project. Nico Van Hout publishes on the distribution in print of the work of Peter Paul Rubens. He is currently preparing an exhibition on Rubens's artistic legacy in collaboration with the Royal Academy in London. Van Hout is also working on vol. XX (1) of the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, which will deal with 'Study Heads'. Last but not least, he publishes on ‘the unfinished’ in art.
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Christine Van Mulders
Christine Van Mulders studied Art History at the University of Brussels (VUB). She has been with the Collection Research Department since 2006, where she coordinates the Rubens project and manages the digitalised Rubens visual database, as well as the phototheque and documentation of the Rubens project. Her main scholarly interest lies in painting, drawing and engraving in the Southern Netherlands of the 16th and 17th centuries and, more specifically, the School of Frans Floris, Jan Brueghel I and II and Peter Paul Rubens. She is presently finalising a manuscript for the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, vol. XXVII(1), on The Works of Rubens in Collaboration with Jan Brueghel I and II (2012).
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