In Memoriam | Dirk Schutyser, former President of the Friends of S.M.A.K. (1956 - 2020)

Dirk Schutyser Vrienden03 zww

Dirk Schutyser passed away on Friday 11 December 2020. From 1995 to 2008, Dirk was President of the Association for the Museum of Contemporary Art (Friends of S.M.A.K).

Dirk Schutyser’s presidency was crucial to S.M.A.K.’s development and to it becoming the museum it is today. Amongst other things, he was one of the founders of S.M.A.K. as an independent museum, the museum opened during his presidency in 1999 and, thanks to his efforts, Marcel Broodthaers’ ‘Grande Casserole de Moules’ has remained in the collection.

Dirk discovered and embraced contemporary art early on, while still a student, and it became his lifelong passion. With a healthy mix of drive and determination, he fought side by side with Jan Hoet for the realisation of an independent museum building. Dirk stood unconditionally behind the museum and the artists it showed. He was proud of the history of the Association of which he was president, of S.M.A.K.’s collection, and especially the acquisitions made by the Friends of S.M.A.K..

Dirk was what can be called a true supporter: someone who both championed and contributed, someone who could rally others and air an opinion, someone who was a combative lawyer for the arts. And so, ten years ago, Dirk was already convinced that the S.M.A.K. urgently needed more space to be able to show its collection adequately.

Dirk not only loved art and his museum, but also artists. As a collector, he not only collected works of art, but also loyal friendships with artists. It is not difficult to find artists, both near and far, who will remember Dirk with respect and gratitude. S.M.A.K., too, will always recognise Dirk as an advocate and supporter, and of the kind that we need many more of in 2020 as we prepare for the future.

The staff of S.M.A.K. extend their sincere condolences and support to his wife and family and wish them much strength in their unexpected loss.

15.Dec.20 Category: Friends of S.M.A.K.
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