Summer Institute for Netherlandish Art: Now and Next

Take part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for emerging experts in the field of Netherlandish art to connect, learn, and develop! In summer 2023, the Rijksmuseum, RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA) at MFA Boston, and Harvard Art Museums will co-facilitate the Summer Institute for Netherlandish Art, a unique international program open to 16 participants.

When: July 28–August 11, 2023
Where: Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Focus: Netherlandish Art of the long 17th century (about 1560–1800)
Language: English
Open to: MA students, PhD candidates, and emerging professionals with fewer than five years of experience working in either a university or museum setting. Open to candidates of all nationalities with a background in art history or related field within the humanities, as well as conservation and conservation science.

About the Program

Over two weeks in and around Amsterdam and Boston, participants will closely interact with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, curators, conservators, educators, and scientists from the four organizing institutions. Participants will emerge from the Summer Institute with enhanced tools and perspectives for conducting innovative object-based research, and for using their expertise and enhanced collaborative and interdisciplinary outlook to increase the public appreciation for Dutch and Flemish art. They will be able to safeguard existing knowledge and share it in new, engaging ways that meet the needs of contemporary audiences. Important components include but are not limited to gallery visits, hands-on sessions in conservation studios, panel discussions, creative art making, and other activities that build a lasting international network among peers and established experts.

Tentative Itinerary

We are no longer accepting applications for the Summer Institute. Selected applicants will be notified by the end of February 2023.

The organizing institutions reserve the right to cancel the Summer Institute should the number of eligible applicants not meet the minimum requirement or in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Participation Fee

Payment will be processed by the Rijksmuseum in euros. The full course program is offered at a subsidized fee of €1,250 (including VAT) per person. The fee covers participation in the program, including accommodations in Amsterdam and Boston, sessions with experts, museum admission fees, field trip travel expenses, welcome drinks, a networking reception, lunches, coffee breaks, and a joint dinner. To provide more flexibility for participants, travel to Amsterdam, the transatlantic flight from Amsterdam to Boston, and return travel from Boston are not included in the course fee.

Financial Aid

Thanks to generous funding partners, the Summer Institute offers limited financial aid for those in need. Aid can be used to partially cover tuition, travel, childcare, or other accommodations. The number of grants and the per-grant amount will be established on a case-by-case basis, depending on the applicant’s need and available funds.

We are pleased to offer financial aid as part of our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, and hope this helps facilitate participation by candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

If you wish to apply for financial aid, please include a request with your online application. This request should include an explanation regarding your financial need. Financial aid rewards are not guaranteed. Candidates are encouraged to apply for other funding sources.


Since 1993, the Rijksmuseum and RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History have organized a biennial summer program. Both institutions’ extensive holdings—of art and archives, respectively—have formed the basis of the course, with the goal of offering the next generation of art historians the opportunity to enrich and deepen their knowledge of 17th-century Netherlandish art.

In 2017, thanks to a transformative gift from Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie, the Center for Netherlandish Art was founded at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. That same year Harvard Art Museums received a major gift of 16th- to 18th-century Dutch and Flemish drawings from the esteemed collection of Maida and George S. Abrams.

With Boston as a new hub for Dutch and Flemish Art in the United States, the existing Rijksmuseum and RKD summer program has brought the CNA and Harvard Art Museums on board as partners, expanding its international outlook by establishing a transatlantic collaboration.

Learn More

The Summer Institute prepares participants to foreground the study of objects in their research practice. The program positions object-based study as a methodology while probing issues of materiality and condition, and introduces participants to the range of means to examine both. Through related objects in the collections of the organizing institutions, participants will study a range of media including paintings, decorative arts, prints, and drawings.

Participants will explore how museums and research institutions operate as public-serving platforms for art, ideas, scholarship, and expertise in a time of intensified collaboration and rethinking of scholarly practice. They will learn how to understand today’s audiences and discover opportunities for connecting them with scholarship. Participants will learn about best practices and future trajectories in public-facing scholarship including exhibitions and interpretation.

Please e-mail with questions.


Supported by the Class of the Museum of Fine Arts Fund for Emerging Scholars, the Kingdom of the Netherlands Fund for Dutch Scholars, the Fonds Beukenhorst/Rijksmuseum Fund, the RKD Friends Society, the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation Support Fund, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Organized in partnership with the Rijksmuseum, RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History, Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Harvard Art Museums.