RA picks Axel Rűger as new CEO

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Axel Rűger, director of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, is to succeed Sir Charles Saumarez Smith as secretary and chief executive of the Royal Academy.

German-born Rűger, 51, will take up his post in June.

Rűger, who spent much of his early career in American museums, became curator of Dutch paintings at the National Gallery in 1999 where he curated the successful Vermeer and the Delft School exhibition.

He was appointed director of the Van Gogh Museum in 2006 where he has overseen a complete redisplay of the permanent collection, the construction of a new entrance building, and upgraded the research programme 

RA President Christopher Le Brun said he was delighted by the appointment, coming at a point when the RA’s international reputation had never been higher. “Axel is the perfect fit” he said. “His success at the Van Gogh Museum is highly acclaimed, and he is widely acknowledged as one of the leading directors of his generation. His experience, both in the UK and abroad, makes him ideally suited to work alongside our distinguished Royal Academicians and staff in guiding the RA towards a highly promising future and I am very much looking forward to working with him.”

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