Gelder, J.G. van (Jan Gerrit), 1903-1980

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Dutch art historian and professor of art history at the Rijksuniversiteit, Utrecht, who concentrated on Dutch and Flemish art, with a particular interest in Van Gogh, Rubens and Rembrandt.

From the description of Papers of J. G. van Gelder, 1925-1980. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 80432823

Biographical/Historical Note

Jan Gerrit van Gelder was the eldest son of H.E. van Gelder (1876-1960) who was director of the municipal museum of The Hague from 1912 to 1941. In 1922, while still at the gymnasium in The Hague, he published his first article on Dutch landscape painting from the 16th to the 20th century. In 1923 Van Gelder enrolled as a student in art history at the University of Utrecht. He studied there with W. Vogelsang, then one of the most prominent art historians in the Netherlands. However, Van Gelder did not spend much time at Utrecht while studying for his degree; already in 1924, he obtained a position as research assistant at Museum Boymans in Rotterdam. He remained at Boymans until 1940, and, from 1936, was conservator of the library and the print collection. In 1933, he received his doctoral degree for his dissertation dealing with the role of Jan van de Velde in early seventeenth century Dutch painting.

During the war, Van Gelder worked on the government office for art historical documentation. In 1945, he was appointed director of the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague. One year later he accepted a professorship in art history at the University of Utrecht. With this position came the directorship of the Institute for Art History (Kunsthistorisch Instituut) as well. After a drawn-out conflict with other members of the faculty at Utrecht, Van Gelder was given his own research institute by the university (Centrum voor Voortgezet Kunsthistorisch Onderzoek) in 1966. He worked there until his retirement in 1973.

A detailed account of Van Gelder's approach to art history and his place among Dutch art historians can be found in Chris Stolwijk, Die wetenschap noemen Gij en ik kunstgeschiedenis;... Denken over kunstgeschiedenis in Nederland: Jan van Gelder (1903-1980), Steenwijkk: Van Kerkvoorde & Hollander 1952.

From the guide to the J. G. (Jan Gerrit) van Gelder papers, circa 1906-1981, (Getty Research Institute)

Relation Name
associatedWith Benesch, Otto, 1896-1964 person
associatedWith Bisschop, Jan de, 1628-1671. person
associatedWith Bol, Ferdinand, 1558-1617 person
associatedWith Bosch, Hieronymous, d. 1516 person
associatedWith Bosch, Hieronymus, d. 1516. person
associatedWith Bouts, Dieric, 1415-1475. person
associatedWith Bruegel, Pieter, ca. 1525-1569. person
associatedWith Buytewech, Willem Pietersz, 1591 or 2-1624 person
associatedWith Cuyp, Aelbert, 1620-1691. person
associatedWith Dürer, Albrecht, 1471-1528. person
associatedWith Faille, J.-B. de la (Jacob-Baart), 1886-1959. person
associatedWith Getty Research Institute corporateBody
associatedWith Gogh, Vincent van, 1853-1890. person
associatedWith Goltzius, Hendrik, 1558-1617 person
associatedWith Hals, Frans, 1584-1666 person
correspondedWith Heckscher, William S. (William Sebastian), 1904- person
associatedWith Hellinga, Wytze Gs., 1908- person
associatedWith Hofstede de Groot, C. (Cornelis), 1863-1930 person
associatedWith Israëls, JOzef, 1824-1911 person
associatedWith Koch, Pyke, 1901- person
associatedWith Laman Trip-de Beaufort, Henriette, 1890- person
associatedWith Lievens, Jan, 1607-1674. person
associatedWith Mander, Carel van, 1548-1606 person
associatedWith Orley, Bernard van, d. 1542. person
associatedWith Panofsky, Erwin, 1892-1968 person
associatedWith Post, Frans Jansz, 1612-1680. person
associatedWith Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669. person
associatedWith Reni, Guido, 1575-1642. person
associatedWith Roskill, Mark W., 1933- person
associatedWith Rubens, Peter Paul, 1577-1640. person
associatedWith Schmidt-Degener, F. (Frederik), 1881-1941 person
associatedWith Scorel, Jan van, 1495-1562. person
associatedWith Velde, Jan van de, 1568-1623 person
associatedWith Vermeer, Johannes, 1632-1675 person
associatedWith Waal, H. van de (Henri), 1910-1972 person
associatedWith Willink, Carel, 1900- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Painting, Dutch
Painting, French
Art historians
Painting, Flemish


Birth 1903

Death 1980


Dutch; Flemish,





Ark ID: w6ck03gm

SNAC ID: 75891890