Wim Pijbes

Art Historian and Director, Droom en Daad

Wim Pijbes is director of Rotterdam-based philanthropic foundation Droom en Daad (Dream and Do). Droom en Daad is empowering the city with innovative cultural projects, including FENIX Museum of Migration (opening 2025), among others. 

Mr. Pijbes is an art historian and emeritus general director of the Rijksmuseum. His initiatives there include the museum’s transformation and grand reopening in April 2013, alongside the launch of Rijksstudio and the open-content museum — the first digital application to offer images of the museum’s complete collection to everyone, free of charge. His strategy made the Rijksmuseum the largest museum on the web worldwide. He initiated the transformation of the Rijksmuseum gardens into a green, open-air gallery for free sculpture exhibitions. In addition, the museum restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2016. 

Mr. Pijbes lectures and writes extensively on art, philanthropy, the role of museums in society, gardens, parks and public space. He has published two children’s books and his forthcoming title, “Publiek,” on museum audiences, will be published this year. 

He is a humanitas professor of the history of art at the University of Cambridge. He sits on the board of Museum Voorlinden and currently serves as global chairman of vetting for TEFAF, the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht and New York.

He previously served as chair of the Supervisory Board of Dutch design company Droog and is a former trustee of TEFAF. He also sat on the board of the Rembrandt Society. He has been a jury member for the Stedelijk Museum, the British Art Fund Museum of the Year, the Libris Prize for Literature, the Dutch Best Building of the Year and the Antwerp Maritime Museum’s 2017 competition.


Wim Pijbes