News — 31 Aug 2017

As of 1 October, Ferdinand Grapperhaus, partner of the international law firm Allen & Overy, will take over from Cees de Bruin as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. De Bruin served as interim chair after the departure of Alexander Ribbink. At the same time Ronald Hans, better known as Nalden, the founder of WeTransfer, has been appointed as a member of the Supervisory Board. He succeeds His Royal Highness Prins Constantijn van Oranje Nassau.

Both chairman Alexander Ribbink and Prins Constantijn van Oranje Nassau presided on the Supervisory Board for the full term: two four-year periods. During that time, the Stedelijk opened a new storage depot in 2009 and, after the grand reopening of 2012, the museum went from strength to strength, with blockbuster shows featuring world-class artists such as Marlene Dumas, Kazimir Malevich, Matisse, Tinguely, Ed van der Elsken, and also welcomed a staggering number of visitors. In the last eight years, the Supervisory Board also appointed the directors Ann Goldstein and Beatrix Ruf. In recognition of their dedication and all they have achieved on the Stedelijk’s behalf, Alexander Ribbink and Prins Constantijn van Oranje have been appointed honorary chairmen of the Stedelijk.

Beatrix Ruf: ‘I look back on the years I worked alongside Alexander Ribbink and Constantijn van Oranje with pleasure. Since Alexander Ribbink and the Supervisory Board invited me to Amsterdam, we have always enjoyed an incredibly constructive relationship. When discussing the future of the museum as institute, and the relationship that it can and should with communities and people’s lives, Constantijn was always an impassioned sparring partner.’  

Photo: Bob Bronshoff

The new chairman of the Supervisory Board, Prof. Ferdinand Grapperhaus (1959), is a lawyer who is specialized in employment law, and a partner of the international law firm Allen & Overy. He is also a professor in (European) employment law at Maastricht University and writes a regular column for the Dutch financial newspaper, the Financieele Dagblad. Previously, Grapperhaus was crown-appointed member of the Social Economic Council for nine years and, in Amsterdam, served as chairman of the board of the Olympic Stadium, among other things. About his appointment, Grapperhaus says: ‘For me personally, the Stedelijk has always been an inspiring institute. As a boy, I visited with my parents, and found out what modern art could mean; I still get excited by artists that I learn more about, thanks to the way the museum works.’

At the age of sixteen Ronald Hans (1984), better known as Nalden, was the author of an influential blog,, the first step on his journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. In 2009, Nalden kicked off his career by co-founding the cloud-based digital transfer service WeTransfer and, in the last few years, has expanded the company around the globe with offices in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. With WeTransfer, Nalden has championed the creative industries from the very beginning. Each year, the company gives artists billions of background wallpaper images (advertising space), and the service supports a variety of international projects in art, music and education. ‘The Stedelijk is one of the most inspiring places in Amsterdam and is an international pioneer in the world of art. I can’t wait to contribute towards promoting innovation and creativity, and feel very honoured to have been given this chance to be a part of the future of this amazing museum.’

Photo: Ian Anderson

On behalf of the Supervisory Board, Cees de Bruin says that Ferdinand Grapperhaus will be an inspiring new chairman: ‘We know him as a man who is committed to, and passionate about, social issues. He has an enormous affinity with the Stedelijk.’ As a new member, Ronald Hans introduces a younger perspective to the Supervisory Board. De Bruin: ‘Ronald Hans brings a broad and international frame of reference and an original vision. With his creativity and expertise in the field of digital innovation, there is no doubt that he will make a vital contribution to nurturing the development of the Stedelijk.’

Beatrix Ruf: ‘I am deeply honoured and delighted that Ferdinand Grapperhaus has agreed to join us as chairman of the Supervisory Board and grateful for the fact that Ronald Hans is so keen to be involved with the museum. I look forward to entering this new phase with them.’

As of 1 October 2017, the Supervisory Board of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam will consist of:
Cees de Bruin, Madeleine de Cock Buning, Rob Defares (until 13 October 2017), Ferdinand Grapperhaus (chairman), Ronald Hans, Rita Kersting, Willem de Rooij and Joyce Sylvester.

Note for editors

For more information and/or visual material, please contact Marie-Jose Raven, Stedelijk Museum Press Office at:, 06 – 139 150 60.