Studying the arts of the Netherlands
Arts of the Netherlands is a two-year MA programme that focuses on the artistic tradition of the Netherlands, from circa 1400-1900, which comprises the fields of early Netherlandish art, Dutch and Flemish art of the Golden Age, and modern art from the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
During the period covered by Arts of the Netherlands, the arts flourished in cities such as Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Haarlem, Delft and Amsterdam, while the Netherlandish tradition was shaped by world-renowned artists such as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, Jheronimus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck, Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Vermeer, and Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondrian.
The programme combines a historical and object-oriented perspective that gears students toward cutting-edge insights and a research-driven approach, and is taught by leading experts from the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum and other participating museums and institutions. Arts of the Netherlands is committed to the integrated study of various media and forms of artistic expression, such as painting, prints, drawings, sculpture and architecture, and will facilitate the opportunity to engage in more specialised fields of study in the applied and decorative arts.
Arts of the Netherlands is targeted toward students of the history of art and architecture who are aspiring to a museum or academic career – as curator, researcher or professor – or to a comparable position in a cultural or heritage institution, and provides a solid foundation for advanced graduate research in a PhD programme.
University and museum
Arts of the Netherlands is an active collaboration of the University of Amsterdam with the Rijksmuseum and other museums and cultural institutions in the Netherlands and Belgium, such as the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, the Mauritshuis, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, the Catharijneconvent Museum, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, the Groeninge Museum and the Memling Museum in Bruges, the RKD Netherlands Institute for Art History, the Rubenianum in Antwerp, and leading institutions in the field of architectural heritage. This commitment to the complementary practices of scholarship and curatorship is essential to the programme’s mission to train future custodians of Netherlandish art.
Academic research offers a broad historical and theoretical horizon that exceeds the practical boundaries imposed by any museum’s collection, while the museum’s take on research provides unmatched opportunities for examining and investigating the physical objects of our studies.
The programme’s curriculum embraces both perspectives and combines them to stimulate intellectual freedom and a deep knowledge of singular works of art. In practice, this means that excursions and on-site training are integral components of the programme’s courses; that the study of objects is always motivated by and approached with an intellectual drive; that the student’s time will be divided equally between the seminar room and the museum gallery; and that academics and curators will be involved at all stages of the programme.
The programme is taught in English, but students who are not familiar with Dutch are expected to learn the language and should be proficient before entering their second year of studies. Arts of the Netherlands is a selective programme aimed at outstanding Dutch and international students, of which a maximum of 15 per year can be accepted. A BA degree in art history will be beneficial but is not required formally. Applicants with other BA degrees in the humanities will be considered based on their merit.
Arts of the Netherlands is an accredited Master’s degree programme in Arts and Culture. Upon successfully completing this programme, you will obtain the legally recognised Master’s degree in Arts and Culture and the title Master of Arts (MA).
Arts of the Netherlands is designed for those who seek the formative challenge of sustained research motivated by intellectual freedom.
The program prepares students for a career at a university, in a museum or in a comparable cultural or heritage institution, as a professor, curator, researcher or administrator. It lays a solid foundation for further research at the PhD level.
The program is also suited for those who envision an independent career as freelance curator, journalist, writer or cultural entrepreneur, or for those with more adventurous minds aspiring to wonderful, exciting, peculiar and obscure jobs and research opportunities that no one drafting a list of future career paths can imagine.
An MA degree from this selective program, which trains students to think independently, critically and creatively, will also provide a viable entry into a vast range of other careers, such as in business, NGO’s and public administration.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated December 22, 2016