9 May 2016 5:00pm - 6:30pm Gallery 3, Fitzwilliam Museum/Doors open 4.45pm at the main entrance


Free and open to all. No registration required.

Wim Pijbes, CRASSH Humanitas Visiting Professor in Art History 2015-16, will be in conversation with Dr Nicholas Cullinan, the Director of the National Portrait Gallery.  They will discuss art and nationality. This is part of a series of events on the theme of how to make old masters museums relevant for today and the future. The event will be chaired by Tim Knox, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

What are the challenges for a national museum in a globalizing world?

1. The museum: What is the role of a national museum, as institution, a) for the country and b) for the world?

2. The audience: Who do we serve and how? Is it soft power to enhance national values?

3. The collection: What are the criteria? For example, why Amy Winehouse, and who's next?

Wim Pijbes and Nicholas Cullinan will discuss the lessons learned, what they have found to be surprising, what they wouldn't  do again and why. They will show the audience how much effort, thought and consideration they take in presenting art in its most appealing way to the audience, why they do that, and what the results of their efforts are.

Other events in the series

Friday 6 May 2016 Lecture
Refurbishing the Rijksmuseum

Tuesday 10 May 2016
Old masters fit for the future: In Conversation with Dr Emilie Gordenker


For administrative enquiries please contact Michelle Maciejewska.

About the Professorship

The Humanitas Chair in the History of Art has been made possible by the generous support of J E Safra and the  Weidenfeld-Hoffman Trust who sponsor the Humanitas events in Cambridge.

The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in the History of Art explores a wide range of approaches to the history of art, from the economic, social and philosophical to the cultural and aesthetic.

Previous Humanitas Visiting Professor in History of Art

2013-14 Pierre Rosenberg (former Director of the Louvre)

2012-13: Philippe de Montebello (Director Emeritus, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fiske Kimball Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)

Standing Committee

Simon Goldhill (Director, CRASSH)
Tim Knox (Director, Fitzwilliam Museum)
Paul Binski  (History of Art, Cambridge)
Alexander Marr  (History of Art, Cambridge)

Hosting College

Clare College

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk