ChangeNOW Summit 2022


Chris Dercon

RMN - Grand Palais


Business leaders


Chris Dercon is a Belgium art historian, curator, and museum director born in Lier in Belgium in 1958. He studied at the Rijksuniversiteit Leiden in History of Art, Theatre Research and Film Theory at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He began his career as a teaching assistant at Rijksuniversiteit Leiden in the Department of Theatre Research where he initiated the Theatre Tape Festival. In 1980 he worked as an assistant curator at the Gemeentemuseum The Hague on a project about the history of world exhibitions and textiles. Starting in 1981 till 1983 he was a collaborator at the Galerie Baronian-Lambert in Ghent. As of 1982, he worked as a free-lance art critic for the Standaard newspaper, and as a free-lance collaborator for Belgian Radio and Television both in Brussels. From 1983 onwards, he also began teaching video and cinema at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, and at the Hoger Instituut voor Beeldende Kunsten, St Lukas Brussels. In 1988 he was appointed program director at the institute for contemporary Art PS1 New York where he worked until 1990. He was then appointed to his first directorship at the Witte de With center for contemporary art in Rotterdam recently renamed as the Melly Kunstinstitut, where he worked until 1995. From 1996 to 2003 he served as director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. From 2003 to 2011 he is the director of the Haus der Kunst in Munchen He is appointed director of the Tate Modern in 2011 where he stays till 2016. He is then appointed general director of the Volksbuhne Berlin from 2017 until 2018. Since 2019 he has been the president of the Association of French National Museums-Grand Palais where he is overseeing the renovation of the Grand Palais. As a museum director he has worked and published extensively on the future of museums, working with renowned architects Rem Koolhaas, Robbrecht en Daem, Herzog and De Meuron, Gunther Vogt and Francis Kéré. In Paris, he is working with Francois Chatillon on the renovation of the Grand Palais set to be completed in 2024. Chris Dercon currently serves as a board member for: the MACBA Barcelona, the WIELS Centre for Contemporary Art Brussels, the Fondation d’Entreprise Galleries Lafayette Paris, the Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Düsseldorf, the Visual Arts and Museums Commissions of the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
* Biographies are written by the speakers.


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