The Dutch University Institute for Art History (NIKI) promotes and facilitates research and education for students, researchers and lecturers of the participating Dutch universities and other universities. In cooperation with international university and museum partners, the NIKI develops interdisciplinary activities.
We have built up internationally recognised and unique expertise in three areas of interest in the early modern period: Italian art, the artistic relations between the Netherlands and Italy and the history of drawing and printmaking. The NIKI is the only knowledge hub in the world that systematically maps out the artistic relations between the Netherlands and Italy. The NIKI is by no means reserved for art historians only, it is the ideal place for education, research and symposiums for students, lecturers and researchers from related disciplines and branches of science.
The institute is part of the Dutch Scientific Institutes Abroad (NWIBs). The Executive Committee consists of representatives of the Executive Boards of the six participating universities: Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), University of Groningen, Leiden University, Radboud University (Nijmegen). Utrecht University is the overall coordinator.
In determining and evaluating policy, we are assisted by a Scientific Advisory Board (WAR), which consists of staff members from the partner universities and representatives of major museums, such as the Rijksmuseum. The members are familiar with the institute and are experts in one or more of the NIKI’s focus areas The WAR consists of: Prof. Dr. P.B.M. van den Akker, chairman (Open University), Dr M. Brüggen Israëls (University of Amsterdam), Dr. E. Grasman (Leiden University), Dr. J.P. Keizer (University of Groningen), Dr. A.R. de Klerck (Radboud University), Dr. V.M. Schmidt (Utrecht University), Dr. I.R. Vermeulen (Vrije Universiteit), drs. J.B. Frietman, secretary (Utrecht University), Drs. Hermans, secretary (Utrecht University).
Our scientific staff has been closely involved in the organisation of successful exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad and collaborates with the Dutch and foreign media.
Thanks to its network in Italy, the NIKI is a much sought-after intermediary for Dutch and Italian museum and scientific institutions. Joint projects with Italian museum institutions show how much we are regarded as an outpost of Dutch art history in Italy.
Each partner university has a NIKI-ambassador. Each partner university has a NIKI-ambassador. The ambassadors can of course be contacted for questions about accommodation, courses, internships and/or scholarship opportunities.
The NIKI develops activities in cooperation with university and museum partners:
The NIKI was founded in 1958 as an institute and library for Dutch art historians who wanted to conduct research in Italian art collections and archives. The initiator was Godefridus Johannes Hoogewerff (1884-1963), emeritus professor of art history at Utrecht University and resident in Florence at the time. Through his contact with the art historian and internationally renowned collector Frits Lugt (1884-1970), the villa that Lugt had recently acquired in Florence became the seat of the institute.
The villa is located on the southern hill not far from the historic centre and the famous Piazzale Michelangelo and is owned by the Fondation Custodia (Paris), which manages Lugt’s art collection.
Between 1966 and 2008, exhibitions were organised in collaboration with Dutch and international museums, based on the artistic relationship between Northern and Southern Europe. These included drawings from the collections of Frits Lugt, the Teylers Museum, the Rijksmuseum and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; graphic work by Escher and Rembrandt; drawings by Mondriaan and Van Gogh; as well as Sienese and Florentine paintings in Dutch possession.
Thanks to some large-scale renovations, the available space for scientific meetings, the library and our in-house guests could be expanded.
The first director of the NIKI was Drs. Jan A. Emmens (1958-1961). The position was taken over successively by: Drs. Hans-W. van Helsdingen (1961-1962, acting); Drs. Fernanda Bramanti-Nieuwenkamp (1964-1975); Prof. Dr. Anton W.A. Boschloo (1975-1976) and Prof. Dr. Bert W. Meijer (1976-2008). Prof. Dr. Michael W. Kwakkelstein has been director since 2008.
The Foundation Friends of the Institute for Art History in Florence supports the projects and activities of the NIKI. The objective is twofold: to promote scientific research within the framework of the institute and to assist in making public, publishing and disseminating the research results obtained.
In addition, the Foundation makes the NIKI/GWO scholarships available annually for students who carry out research at the NIKI.
You can support the NIKI financially:
You will receive our digital newsletter, invitations to lectures and cultural activities in Italy and the Netherlands, and an invitation to a festive gathering. Guests are welcome.
In addition to the advantages for friends, every summer you are invited to an exclusive visit to a private art collection in Florence led by the director of NIKI and his staff, followed by a festive lunch.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, you are invited to the exclusive sponsor lunch in or around Florence, at a unique location.
Over a period of five years you donate € 1.000,00 annually to sponsor a student or a project of your choice.
The Foundation has the status of Institution for General Benefit (ANBI)
Business name: Vrienden van het Kunsthistorisch Instituut in Florence
ANBI tax number: 7900624
IBAN: NL85 ABNA 0253 61 71 70
The board of the Foundation consists of: Drs. Jeroen L. Torenbeek (chairman), Ir. Drs. Wouter J.N. Hoek (treasurer), Drs. Bernadette E.C.M. Straetmans (secretary), Drs. Ing. Henryk van Hugten, Drs. Christine van Marle-Crommelin, Drs. Hetty E.C. De Mol van Otterloo-Pott Hofstede, Drs. Marina Aarts and Drs. Melanie E. Ruys-van Haaften.