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Stedelijk Museum.

Embattled Stedelijk Museum Selects Truze Lodder to Lead Board Renewal

Following former director Beatrix Ruf’s exit amid controversy last year, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam announced that Truze Lodder has been appointed the temporary chairman of its supervisory board. The Municipality of Amsterdam is entrusting Lodder with growing the museum’s board after the interim chair and three remaining members stepped down.

“By selecting Ms. Lodder, the Municipal Executive emphasizes a course of action that focuses on decisiveness, experience, and stability,” Stedelijk interim director Jan Willem Sieburgh said in a statement. “Her appointment marks a new phase for the museum.”

The embattled museum has been under intense scrutiny since the Dutch media accused Ruf of mismanaging the institution last year. She was criticized for running an advisory business while at the helm of Stedelijk, which the press claimed was a conflict of interest, and for not being transparent about certain donations received by the museum. She ultimately resigned under pressure.

The Municipality of Amsterdam launched an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ruf’s tenure and departure shortly thereafter. In June, a 120-page document detailing the findings of the investigation, which determined that Ruf was “wrongly accused,” was leaked to the local broadcaster AT5. The report prompted the museum’s former board chair, Madeleine de Cock Buning, and two members of the supervisory board to resign. “In the best interests of the museum, it is time to bring the recent turmoil to an end and start afresh,” de Cock Buning and Jos van Rooijen said in a statement.

Cees de Bruin took over as interim chair but stepped down because of health reasons. According to the museum, board members Ronald Hans, Willem de Rooij and Joyce Sylvester followed suit in order to “give the new chairman all the room she needs.” Their last day on the board was August 7.

Commenting on the task before her, Lodder said: “I am thrilled by the prospect of dedicating my energy and experience to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. I know what’s expected of me as team leader, as supervisor, and as advisor to the board of directors. The ‘tone at the top’ is decisive for the overall organization. My tone will be powerful and straightforward. I’m very excited!”

Previously, Lodder served as head of finance at the AVRO from 1974 to 1984, business director of the Dutch National Opera from 1987 to 2013, and chair of Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam from 1992 to 2013. She was also treasurer of Europa Nostra; a member of the supervisory boards of the NS, Van Lanschot, and the Nexus Institute; and chair of the supervisory board of the National Youth Orchestra. In addition, Lodder is a longtime member of the supervisory board of Maastricht University, and in 2012, she was also awarded the Frans Banning Cocq Medal from the City of Amsterdam.

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