Dec 22, 2022 Amsterdam


20 December, 2022

TEFAF’s Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and exhibitor community mourn the unexpected passing of distinguished Board member and colleague, Ger Luijten (1956-2022). A key member of TEFAF’s vetting operation, Mr. Luijten was spokesperson for the pre-1850 works on paper vetting committee.

Since 2010 Ger Luijten had been director of the Fondation Custodia in Paris, which is home to the Frits Lugt Collection. Between 1987 and 1990 he was curator of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Print Room. Following that he became curator and head of the Rijksmuseum Print Room. His specialism was art on paper, including oil sketches, an impressive collection of which he built up for the Fondation Custodia. The Fondation Custodia was founded in Paris in 1947 on the initiative of the art collector Frits Lugt. The Fondation manages his extensive collection of drawings and prints, paintings, sculpture, books, and artist’s letters. The Lugt collection is housed in the 18th-century Hôtel Turgot, where a staff of 25 works on curating, research, and presentation of the collection, led by Luijten.

Custodia is an active participant in the loan and lending circuit between world-class museums. Earlier this year, Ger Luijten, curated the exhibition of oil sketches with the theme "Painting in the Open Air" or Peindre En Plein Air 1780–1870, Sur Le Motif, with works from the collections of Custodia, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and a private collection. This exhibition included works by William Turner, Corot, Von Rohde, Degas, among others.

An expert, curator and author in the Dutch Golden Age era, Ger redesigned the so-called 'Dutch Room' at the Fondation Custodia. Frits Lugt and his wife had furnished this room in the Hôtel Turgot with furniture, porcelain objects and paintings from the Golden Age. It served as their office, and it is still used as an 'office' today. Ger Luijten, during his tenure, painstakingly matched the colors in the Dutch Room to the colors used and the structure of the paint on the walls to the paintings of interiors from that time (such as Jacob Vrel's painting, Seated Woman in front of a window, looking at a child -which is part of the Custodia collection-). He said, “This further design never ends. Every time I come across beautiful objects, I look to see if they will enrich the interior design.”