Benno Tempel (1972) is an art historian and has been director of Kunstmuseum Den Haag (including Fotomuseum Den Haag, KM21 and Escher in Het Paleis) since 2009. He began his career as guest curator at the Dordrecht Museum and worked from 1997 to 2000 as assistant curator at the Van Gogh Museum and curator at Museum Mesdag. He received a research grant from the Rijksmuseum to conduct research into the museum’s history. He was curator of exhibitions at the Kunsthal Rotterdam from 2000 to 2006. He then returned briefly to the Van Gogh Museum before becoming director of Kunstmuseum Den Haag (formerly Gemeentemuseum Den Haag) in 2009.
At Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Tempel gave priority to the collection, often using it as the starting point for the exhibition programme. Moreover, he was able to expand the collection with high-profile acquisitions. In 2019, he curated the Dutch entry for the 58th Venice Biennale, with the exhibition The Measurement of Presence. Iris Kensmil and Remy Jungerman. Tempel chaired the jury of the Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst (Royal Award for Painting) from 2013 to 2017. He is chairman of the board of the Van Doesburg House Foundation (near Paris), advisor to the Rembrandt Association and a member of the Vetting Committee 19th-century painting of the Tefaf and PAN.
Benno Tempel: ‘The Kröller-Müller Museum is more than a museum. Its location in De Hoge Veluwe National Park and its sculpture garden make it a magnificent place with an interplay between nature, art and architecture. The adventurous collection appeals to me greatly and I would love to share that spirit of adventure with the public. What makes the Kröller-Müller Museum so special for me is the attention devoted to the substance and the space for the work of art. It is a place where you can really get away from the hectic pace of everyday life.’
Herman Dijkhuizen, chairman of the Supervisory Board: ‘The Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Benno Tempel as the new General Director of the Kröller-Müller Museum. Due to his experience with modern and contemporary art and the results he has achieved in The Hague, we are convinced that he is the right person to lead the museum into its next phase. The Board extends a warm welcome to Benno and thanks Lisette Pelsers for her commitment and the successes attained under her directorship. We are pleased that she will remain with the museum until the end of the year to ensure a smooth handover.’