Van Gogh director takes Royal Academy top job

Royal Academy of Arts, London

Axel Rüger has been named the new secretary and chief executive of the Royal Academy of Arts. Director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam since 2006, Rüger spent his early career in museums in the US, before becoming curator of Dutch Paintings at the National Gallery, London in 1999. His new role was 'approved' by The Queen.

He replaces Charles Saumarez Smith who stepped down at the end of 2018 and took up a position in the commercial sector at Blain Southern. Tim Marlow remains director of artistic programme.

Rüger's tenure in Amsterdam has been a relatively stable one. Last year he announced that Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers would never travel again, given its fragility, and in August the museum ended 18 years of Shell sponsorship by 'mutual decision'. The deal had been subject to multiple protests.

13 February 2019