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New Director for the Hermitage–Amsterdam Exhibition Centre

Published 23 October 2020

From 25 January 2021, the director of the Hermitage–Amsterdam Exhibition Centre will be Annabelle Birnie.

She will succeed Cathelijne Broers, who held the post from May 2011 to October 2020. Until 25 January 2021, the role of acting director of the Centre will be taken by its Deputy Director, Paul Mosterd.

Annabelle Birnie was born on 15 August 1968, in the Dutch city of Schiedam. She graduated in Cultural Management from Utrecht University. Annabelle Birnie’s professional activities have always been connected with project-management in the cultural sphere. In the period from 2012 to 2017, she was head of the Drents Museum, an art and history museum in Assen, Drenthe. From 2000 to 2012, she held the post of director for the management of sponsorship projects with the ING Group, one of the largest banking groups based in the Netherlands. Until she assumes her responsibilities as director of the Hermitage–Amsterdam Exhibition Centre, Annabelle Birnie will continue to work as director of the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts. She is a member of the jury for the Netherlands’ most prestigious annual national award in the field of culture and art – the Johannes Vermeer Prize.

At the same time, Annabelle Birnie will also assume the post of director of the Nieuwe Kerk national exhibition centre in Amsterdam. From the early 1990s until the moment that a permanently functioning branch of the State Hermitage was created in the Netherlands in 2004, the Nieuwe Kerk exhibition centre acted as a constant partner of the State Hermitage in conducting large-scale temporary exhibitions from the stocks of the State Hermitage.

The new director was introduced by Renée Jones-Bos, until 2019 Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Russian Federation and now the chairwoman of the board of the Hermitage on the Amstel Foundation (which runs the Hermitage–Amsterdam Exhibition Centre).

“Annabelle Birnie is a manager with much experience of working in international activities in the sphere of culture and art. In the present difficult time, both the Hermitage–Amsterdam Centre and the Nieuwe Kerk exhibition centre need a head who, like a captain, can guide ships through a stormy sea, and we reckon that in the person of Annabelle we will be getting such a captain,” Jones-Bos stated.

Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage, said:

“We are grateful to Cathelijne Broers for her splendid management of the Hermitage–Amsterdam Centre and the warm atmosphere of collaboration. We welcome Annabelle Birnie and have no doubt that our joint work will be successful and founded upon those new principles for the presentation of the Hermitage in the Netherlands that we recently framed. Right now, one splendid exhibition is replacing another. It is nice that the change of directors is coinciding with the change of exhibitions. The Hermitage–Amsterdam has been, is and will be an important symbol of Europe’s cultural unity.”

Opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam exhibition center in 2004 was the most ambitious and exciting project of the Dutch Friends of the Hermitage, which is the largest of the existing Hermitage Friends’ organizations, numbering over 5,000 members.

More about the Dutch Friends of the Hermitage you can find here.