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Belgian named director of Kunsthaus Zurich

Ann Demeesters
Ann Demeester (left) with Princess Viktoria de Bourbon de Parme at the opening of the Dutch masters of Budapest, at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, in 2016. Imago/ppe

Ann Demeester is the new director of the Kunsthaus Zurich. The current director of the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands, will take up her post on January 1, 2023, succeeding Christoph Becker.

“Ann Demeester is a highly regarded ambassador for the visual arts and museums in the Netherlands, where she maintains an active dialogue with politicians, the media and the public,” the Kunsthaus said in a statementExternal link on Thursday.

Demeester was born in 1976 in Bruges, Belgium. Prior to working at the Frans Hals Museum, she spent eight years as head of the de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam. The Kunsthaus said she has managed prestigious art institutions and programmes, “placing traditional collections in contemporary contexts and combining Old Masters with present-day art to open up new perspectives”.

She has also worked as an art critic for various newspapers and has been assistant to Jan Hoet and curator at the Stedelijk Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent as well as the MARTa Herford Museum, where she has executed projects with artists including Luc Tuymans, Richard Tuttle, Salla Tykka and Mika Rottenberg.

Demeester has been Professor of Art and Culture at the Radboud University Nijmegen since 2020.


The Kunsthaus Zurich is renowned for the world’s most important collection of works by Alberto Giacometti, the largest assembly of paintings by Edvard Munch outside Norway, and its focus on French painting and Impressionism, which will become a magnet for visitors with the arrival of the Emil Bührle Collection.

After an extension opens on October 9, what will then be Switzerland’s largest art museum expects to attract an average of 380,000 visitors a year. It stages between eight and ten exhibitions a year.



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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR