Rini Dippel, a Dutch museum official who spent much of her career at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, has died. A cause of death and an age were not immediately provided by the Stedelijk Museum, which announced Dippel’s death on its website.
Born in 1931, Dippel worked at the Stedelijk Museum for two and a half decades, rising to the status of deputy director by the time she retired in 1993. As a curator there, she organized exhibitions devoted to many of today’s most celebrated artists, including Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, Bas Jan Ader, Tetsumi Kudo, Gilbert & George, and more.
In a statement posted to the museum’s website, Leontine Coelewij, a contemporary art curator at the Stedelijk, said, “We lose with Rini Dippel a very dedicated, inspiring, warm craftsman, with an enormous knowledge of contemporary art, who, modest as she was, was less prominent than some of her male colleagues, but who has been of great significance to the Stedelijk Museum.”
Dippel worked at various points as curator of painting and sculpture, head of academic staff, and deputy director at the Stedelijk Museum. She got her start as a curator at the Haags Gemeentemuseum in the Hague, where she worked from 1958 to 1966. During that time, she met Wim Beeren, who went on the direct the Stedelijk while Dippel worked there.
The exhibitions Dippel organized for the Stedelijk were ambitious, even trend-setting. In 1971, for example, she launched the museum’s “Conceptual Series,” an initiative devoted to Conceptual art by the likes of Allen Ruppersberg, John Baldessari, Stanley Brouwn, and others. “Conceptual art was a trend that was clearly visible,” Dippel once said. She also worked for several years as the editor-in-chief of the Dutch magazine Museumjournaal and made major acquisitions for the Stedelijk as deputy director.