Meet Henrike Hövelmann

Interview with Henrike Hövelmann, member of the supervisory committee for provenance research and manager of Collections and Knowledge of the Jewish Cultural Quarter.

Foto van Henrike Hövelmann met rode trui
Image: Ruben Schipper
Henrike Hövelmann

“At the Jewish Cultural Quarter I am involved in all processes related to the collections of the Jewish Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue and the National Holocaust Museum, which will open its doors in 2023. That also includes provenance research of the existing collection and new acquisitions.

As manager of Jewish cultural heritageThe Jewish Museum is familiar with various aspects of pieces dispossessed during the war and their restitution. The museum’s position is not far removed from that of the rights holders. It, too, lost a large portion of its pre-war collection during the war. We are still searching for those pieces.

Focal points in expanding the museum collection include Jewish artifacts and the work of Dutch-Jewish artists; during the acquisition process, the museum is often faced with difficult decisions and dilemmas, for instance when pieces have an inconclusive provenance history.

As member of the supervisory committee, I hope to be able to assist, advise and serve as a sounding board to the research team with my knowledge and experience of the material, sources and working methods. The fact that this project helps train new provenance researchers in dealing with this complex subject matter is invaluable and definitely appeals to me. It will be nice to see these researchers become available to the museum field in a few years”.


Henrike Hövelmann studied Art History, General Cultural Studies and Book Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She then worked on various cataloguing and digitization projects for the National Library of the Netherlands and the Rijksmuseum. In 2011, she became project manager of the Rijksmuseum’s “Online print room” project, which is aimed at the cataloguing, digitization and conservation of the museum’s entire collection of prints, drawings and photographs.

In 2019, she left the Rijksmuseum and began working at the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam. There, she is responsible for all processes associated with the wide variety of collections of the Jewish Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue and the National Holocaust Museum (scheduled to open its doors in 2023).

Supervisory committee for provenance research

There is an independent committee which oversees the provenance research. This committee monitors the quality of past and future research and assesses whether it meets the standard required in order to determine the provenance of objects from the NK collection as accurately as possible. The committee checks whether the right steps are being taken and the right archives are consulted during the research. 

The committee consists of Prof. Dr Rudi Ekkart (chair), Henrike Hövelmann MA, Dr Christiaan Ruppert and Dr Gerdien Verschoor.