Rijksmuseum & RKD Summer School

From 4 to 14 August 2019 the Rijksmuseum and the RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History will organise a ten-day, intensive Summer School offering a unique, in-depth immersion into 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish art and history. Experts in the field will provide students with an exclusive look behind the scenes in the museum departments and conservation studios where they operate. Participants will gain knowledge on how to use the research facilities available in The Netherlands and will visit the most important collections and monuments of the Northern Renaissance under the expert guidance of museum curators and other specialists.

As national institutions, The Rijksmuseum and the RKD share a mission to further develop the understanding of Netherlandish art and history for the future by doing and facilitating high-level research. Dating back to 1992, the institutions have joined forces to organise a biennial Summer School with the goal of offering the next generation of art historians the opportunity to enrich and deepen their knowledge of Netherlandish art.

Northern Renaissance Art: Collections, Research and Recent Developments

In this summer programme we will study paintings, drawings, prints, stained-glass windows, manuscripts and sculptures up close from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives. Field trips will be organised to the principal collections of 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish art as well as smaller but equally spectacular gems not usually on the researcher’s itinerary. A close look at cities such as Haarlem, Gouda and Leiden will offer a rare insight into the development of the Renaissance in the Northern Netherlands specifically, while visits to Kalkar, Xanten and Antwerp will bring a broader perspective of this period in the Low Countries.

A series of lectures, presentations and excursions with prominent scholars and museum professionals will provide a comprehensive overview of current Northern Renaissance research projects and methodologies. Special attention will be given to combining art-historical research and the technical examination of works of art. A number of the sessions have been designed to encourage discussion between the speakers and the course participants. There will be ample opportunity for discussion in front of the original works of art. Moreover, the participants are offered the possibility to build up a network of contacts with scholars and curators in The Netherlands.

Entry requirements

The Summer School is primarily intended for young museum curators, recent MA graduates, PhD candidates and professional art historians specialising in Northern Renaissance art. A total of 15 candidates will be selected based on CV and motivation. The ability to communicate in English is required.

Course Fee

Thanks to the generous support of the Fund Beukenhorst/Rijksmuseum Fund, we are able to offer the full course programme at a subsidised fee of €1000 per person. The fee covers for participation in the programme, accommodation (10 overnight stays in The Student Hotel), lunches, coffee breaks, entrance fees, 1 dinner, 2 receptions and local travel expenses related to the programme activities. The costs for the round trip to and from The Netherlands are not included in the course fee.

Travel grant

To enhance the accessibility of the Summer School for international applicants, the generous support of the Fund Beukenhorst/Rijksmuseum Fund enables us to offer limited support for those in need of travel funding. Grants are available for up to €500 per person. 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 the total amount of the funds available.

In addition, thanks to the generous support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, we are able to award two US citizens a grant that fully covers the course fee and round trip flights between the US and the Netherlands.

Should you want to apply for a travel grant, please include a travel grant request with your online application. This request should include an explanation regarding your financial need. Please note that submission of the application does not guarantee that the grant will be awarded.


  • The Rijksmuseum and RKD Summer School took place from 4 to 14 augustus 2019
  • Location: several locations in The Netherlands