English curriculum

Dr. Renée Steenbergen is an independent researcher, author, consultant and curator.
Her focus is on arts policy, especially strategies for financing the arts.
She published books about art collecting and arts philanthropy (patronage).
Renée is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 

Renée also is an experienced organizer of symposiums and seminars and an enthusiastic  speaker and moderator, as well as an avid collector of Asian art, especially from Indonesia.





Bureau Renée Steenbergen
The Netherlands
Email : info@ReneeSteenbergen.com




 Scientific Education

PhD at University of Amsterdam: thesis on Private Art Collecting in The Netherlands (Published in Dutch with English summary)


MA in Art History of the Modern Period and BA Classical Archaeology at University of Amsterdam.

 Current positions: Research, Publications, Board Memberships

*Since April 2023:
Program manager and business developer Philanthropy at Amsterdam University Press/Walburg Press. Development of a fund for publications & events about philanthropy.
Organizer of the Civil Power Conference 2023 about Sustainable Financing of ngo's. www.walburgpers.nl.

*January 2023:
Launch of Steenbergens new Book De kunst van Anders (The Art of Different), about urgent renewal of the cultural ecosystem in which artists are recognized as the core force in culture.  The book will be presented at a symposium adressing this issue, organized in partnership with Platform BK at Veem House for Performance, Amsterdam.

*2020 - 2022:
Scholarship for researching future scenario's for a vital arts sector after Corona. New models will be needed to tackle systemic problems that now become visible: a growing gap and competition between big and small arts institutions, oversupply of events, reluctance of visitors to return after the pandemic, underpayment of core staff, urgency to make the digital transformation towards the public. The results are published in the book mentioned above: De Kunst van Anders.

*Regular contributor to NRC Handelsblad national newspaper since 2002:
Investigative journalistic articles about cultural politics, museum strategies, collecting & material culture, financing the arts & arts philanthropy. 
For the most recent publications: see the homepage, column on the left.

Since 2014:
Vice-president of the Royal Society for Asiatic Art at the Rijksmuseum KVVAK,  responsible for Gifts, Donations and Legacies. www.kvvak.nl

Since 2022:
Board member of Platform BK, a research platform adressing the role of art in society and representing visual artists, curators, designers and critics.  www.platformbk.nl


Previous Positions in Research, Investigative Journalism, Consultancy & Curatorship  2015 - 2008


Resrach essay and symposium about Arts Philanthropy, 'Staat van het Mecenaat', commissioned by Platform BK.  www.platformbk.nl/staat-van-het-mecenaat

2012 - 2020:
Trustee of the Centraal Museum Utrecht


2017 - June 2019:
Editor-in-chief of the new quarterly magazine The Fundraiser, focusing on fundraisers and marketeers in the non profit sector (parttime) www.thefundraiser.nl

March 2019:
Initiator and organizer of the second Day of Arts Philanthropy at Utrecht University. Theme: Young & first time visitors of arts institutions

2014 - 2018: 
The first Senior Research Fellow Civil Society & Philanthropy for the Arts at Utrecht University. Research on collecting and giving behaviour of younger generations (millennials) in Europe. Coaching of research groups of master students, organisation of conference and research seminar

Initiator and co-organizer of the jubilee-conference at the 100th anniversary of the Royal Dutch Society for Asiatic Art (KVVAK) at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Theme: Collecting Asiatic Art in the Western World- Past, Present & Future

Initiator and organizer of the first Day of Arts Philanthropy, at Utrecht University.
Scientific,  multi-disciplinary conference for scholars and professionals from arts institutions, policy makers and donors. Theme: Developing Arts Philanthropy in Europe

Committee member and advisor to the Nederlandse Vereniging Toezicht Cultuur (Dutch Society for Cultural Governance), co-development of new cultural governance code 

2015 - 2018: 
Co-curator of the exhibition Life of Buddha at De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam; responsible for the selection of buddhist art from public and private collections (Exhibition: september 2018 - February 2019)


Initiator and organisor of the transnational academic symposium the Day of Arts Philanthropy at Utrecht University

2015 - 2017: 
Parttime Editor-in-chief of Vakblad Fondsenwerving, Dutch fundraising magazine 

2013 - 2018:
Senior member of the Examination Commission of the Instute for Fundraising


Researcher and author of the jubilee-publication of VSBfonds at it's 25th anniversary. 


Project manager & Strategic consultant for arts institutions (collecting & material culture, development of patronage)    2015 - 2008


2018 - 2019:
Advisor to the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Museum of National Heritage & History) about fundraising strategies

Strategic coach for the Development & Stewardship department of the
the Nationale Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam

Strategic coach and consultant for the private art society Maatschappij Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam for their 175th anniversary in 2015.


Strategic advise for the Amsterdam University Fund AUF, the charity foundation of the University of Amsterdam


Strategic advise  for the Tropenmuseum Junior, the internationally successful children's and family museum wing of the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam.


Development of new research concerning the influence of the economic crisis on patronage for the arts. With the support of the Mondrian Foundation.


Strategic development of a regional model for not-for-profits in culture, health care and education


Researcher and author for a catalogue about a private collection of European art, commissioned by an American museum (published 2015)


Concept development of an advice desk for the development of private giving in the arts, on request of several cultural organisations in The Netherlands 


Research and strategic Advice for the Museum Beelden aan Zee, Scheveningen, about developing a Trustee model for collectors and donors


Strategic Advise about a public-private initiative in Belgium to develop a new Museum of Modern Art


Strategic advisor to the Centraal Museum Utrecht, about Developing a Vision and Protocol for relationships with private parties


External advisor to the Grachtenfestival for music events on and around the Amsterdam grachten. Developing a fundraising track for major donors.


External advisor to the Art Amsterdam Fair. Concept and organisation of the VIP-programs in 2010 and 2011. Themes: The Age of the Collector (2010) and Collectors go Public (2011) 


External advisor to the Wereldmuseum for non westerns art in Rotterdam. Start up of a fundraising track for individual giving and patrons


External advisor to the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam.  Development of long term individual giving in cooperation with the benefactors of the museum.


Since 2009:
Concept and development of a privately funded Kunsthalle (exposition centre) in The Netherlands, with option for building up a collection in cooperation with private collectors

Development of the Care for Culture Foundation for research and development of connecting art objects with health care institutions 

External adviser to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam on committing private collectors to the new Stedelijk. Advisory report (November 2005).


2006 - 2009:
Member of the committee of the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam concerning the exhibition Jewish Patronage in The Netherlands 1850-2000 (opening spring 2010). Author of a research essay on jewish patronage in Amsterdam between 1900 and 1940


Positions & Projects before 2008:

Research and writing of The New Patron. Culture and the return of private money (3 updated editions)


External advisor to the Kröller-Müller Museum on building up a circle of private collectors 


External advisor and guest curator for the newly opened museum for private collections, De Fundatie in Zwolle.


Member of the Audit committee of Rabobank Nederland Art Collection. Internal report assessing and discussing the future of the Rabo collection.


PhD research into Dutch private art collectors: Anything costing that much is priceless. Art collecting in The Netherlands. Ancillary research post at University of Amsterdam. Commercial edition of PhD thesis: Iets wat zo veel kost, is alles waard. Verzamelaars van moderne kunst in Nederland (Anything costing that much is priceless: Collectors of modern art in the Netherlands: Amsterdam, Vassallucci 2002).


External advisor to the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Culture (WVC):
• Three-year study into the effects of Dutch galleries involvement in foreign art fairs; three reports: Marktverruiming (Expanding art markets);
• Study into the effects of the Temporary Purchase Subsidy Regulation (TASR) on the formation of collections in 32 Dutch museums, Collectie Nederland (report).


Editorial advice and research for the television programme Kunstwerk (Artwork). Member of various museum acquisition committees, juries and local and national government advisory panels, including Mondrian Foundation (chair Interest Subsidy Regulation Committee), member of various private funds. 

Lectures and symposiums

Organizer, Speaker and Moderator at congresses, corporate symposiums, annual meetings of business clubs and meetings of societies of fiends of museums.  Subjects: the art market; art collecting; patronage; financing of art.


Assignments for Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Cercle Caulois in Brussel, King Badouin Foundation in Brussels, Stichting Promotors Van Abbe Museum, VNO-NCW,  Tefaf international art fair, Merrill Lynch private banking, Goldman Sachs international, Rabobank Nederland, ING Private Banking, Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers, Sponsoren Singer Museum, Teylers Museum, Museum Beelden aan Zee, Frisia Museum (now Scheringa Museum), Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Aboriginal Art Museum, University of Amsterdam, University of Leiden, Amsterdan Congress Organisation etc.


Press journalism before 2008

Since 1987:
Regular writer for NRC Handelsblad (daily newspaper). Originally as art critic, since 2002 as investigative reporter. News reports, interviews, reviews, book reviews, in-depth reports, background articles and opinion pieces for the Cultural Supplement (gallery column from 1987 to 1997) and art pages, book section, and recently also for the Economy section and the Science supplement.


Series of portraits of Dutch collectors, first in Kunstblad, since 2003 in Kunstbeeld.
Since 1989: Analytical pieces about art in bundles, monographs and museum catalogues.
In addition, journalistic contributions to various Dutch and English art magazines, including Archis, Flash Art, DutcH, Jong Holland, Kunstbeeld, Ons Erfdeel, het Veilingtijdschrift, De Witte Raaf, and pieces for diverse corporate publications.

Exhibition projects before 2008

2016 - 2018: 
Co-curator of the exposition Life of Buddha: the way to Now at De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam. Selection of buddhist art objects from public and private collections.


Guest researcher for the planned, large scale exhibition Four centuries of private collecting in The Netherlands at The Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam.


Researcher for the exhibition Jewish Patronage in The Netherlands 1850-2000, opening in the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam in spring 2010. Co-author of the catalogue Jewish Patronage.


Guest curator of a special exhibition about collecting during Tefaf international art fair. Parallel programme in Marres, centre of contemporary art and design in Maastricht. Theme: La Collection Imaginaire.    2002-2006:

Guest curator and content advisor for the Museum De Fundatie in Zwolle, which opened in 2006, dedicated to private collecting. Research and presentation of a series of showcases of donated collections (portraits of collectors and their collections). Guest curator of the opening exhibition Uitgepakt (No expense spared) featuring selections from seven private collections (with publication).   2001-2002:

Guest curator of Iets wat zo veel kost, is alles waard: tien Nederlandse privé-collecties (Anything costing that much is priceless: ten Dutch private collections) at De Beyerd in Breda, April-May 2002 (publication: commercial edition of PhD thesis).   1997-1998:

Coordination of a series of exhibitions in 22 Dutch art museums under the title Tentoongesteld! Kunstenaressen van de laatste 100 jaar (On Show! Women artists of the last hundred years), as part of the Honderd jaar Vrouw en Arbeid 1898-1998 (Century of Women and Work 1898-1998) national event (with publication).   1990-1991:

Guest curator at Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh of the Il faut être de son temps exhibition, jointly with Riekje Swart, gallery owner (with publication).   1989-1992:
Member of Museum Het Kruithuis, Den Bosch purchasing committee. Compiled various acquisitions shows (with publication).   1988-1989:

Collated research for exhibition of artists initiatives at Rijksmuseum Twente (with publication).

Scientific career

Since 2002:
Guest lecturer on Collecting and Arts Philanthropy at Utrecht University, the Vrije Universiteit  (VU),Amsterdam and the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) and Leiden University.


Since 1998:
Research coach: supervision of students in research groups and mentor for master students in art history & material culture, art sociology, cultural studies and museology. Co-reader of MA theses about collecting and presenting art objects, and  about arts philanthropy & financing the arts.