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Subject: A death

A death

From: Gwen M. Tauber <g.tauber<-at->
Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
With deep sorrow we mourn the loss of Manja Zeldenrust who passed
away on 12 October 2013 at only 61 years of age after a valiant year
long battle with cancer. Manja was Head of Paintings Conservation at
the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and had worked as a Conservator in the
museum for her entire career of 40 years.

Born July 19, 1952, Manja began working in 1973 in the Painting
Conservation Department. As there were no professional training
programs at the time in the Netherlands, she was luckily chosen as a
volunteer apprentice by Mr. Luitsen Kuiper, then Head of Painting
Conservation at the Rijksmuseum. A year later she became a museum
employee. Over the next years she was sent on internships in the
Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum in Braunschweig, the Swiss Institute for
Art Research (SIK) in Zurich and finally to the Istituto Centrale
per il Restauro in Rome to round out her technical and theoretical
training in the field.  In 1975 she participated in the lining on
public-view of Rembrandt's Nightwatch after the painting had been
attacked by a vandal with a knife. Over the years she restored
numerous other works by Rembrandt, van der Neer, Aertsen, Frans
Hals, Everdingen, Ruysdael and Mostaert to name but a few.

After Mr. Luitsen Kuyper's death in 1989, Manja was asked by the
Rijksmuseum to research and restore the National Museum of Art of
Romania's small van Eyck, Portrait of a Goldsmith, in the wake of
damaged paintings during the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Manja
became co-head of the department in 1998 and was given full
responsibility for the position in 2000.  In 2003 she organized and
managed the safe removal of the Rijksmuseum's collection of almost
6000 paintings to a storage facility in preparation for the
renovation of the museum which culminated in the reopening only in
April of this year. She was able to be present for the move of the
Nightwatch back to its historic position in the Rijksmuseum as well
as to enjoy the opening ceremony of the newly renovated museum.
Through all the years as Head of the Department she managed to
continue treating paintings to feed her soul and to remain in touch
with her profession.

Manja was loved and respected for her dedication to the museum, its
staff, and to the paintings under her care and will be sorely
missed. On the one hand she acted as a critical, and principled head
of her department who fought fiercely for causes within the museum
while on the other hand she wielded her legendary sense of humor.
The immense pleasure which she regularly emitted and evoked will
long remain in the hearts and memories of all who knew her.

Gwen Tauber
Senior Paintings Conservator
Rijksmuseum, Hobbemastraat 22
Postbox 74888
1070DN Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+31 20 674 7289


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:19
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-27-19-001
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 30 October, 2013

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