The curators of National Museum Boerhaave make up the museum’s scientific staff. They conduct research and curate temporary exhibitions.
Curator of Natural Science before 1800
Tiemen Cocquyt studied physics and the history of science at Utrecht University. Since joining National Museum Boerhaave in 2010, he has curated exhibitions on Christiaan Huygens, the rise of electricity, optical illusions and mathematics – often with a clear educational dimension. In 2016 he conducted international research into seventeenth-century telescopes and microscopes with a grant from the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). Other research interests include physics demonstration instruments, electrical devices and the interface between science and technology.
As an experimenter at heart, Cocquyt likes creating things, such as demonstration games for exhibitions and devices for research into historical telescope lenses. He likes sinking his teeth into ‘mystery objects’, scientific technological artefacts whose purpose and workings have faded into oblivion.
Curator of Biology and Medicine
Bart Grob (1973) studied biology at Utrecht. After graduating he went on to do research into the history of cardiology in the Netherlands as a research assistant at VUMC in Amsterdam. He became a curator at National Museum Boerhaave in 1999. Grob curated exhibitions on Sebald Justinus Brugmans, mathematics and medical technology and was project leader of a European collaboration in the field of anatomical models.
Grob is concerned with the post-1850 medical collections. His chief interests are in setting up national and international collaborative projects, innovative technology in museums and making the collections accessible to a wide audience.
Mieneke te Hennepe
Curator of Medical Collections
Mieneke te Hennepe (1975) graduated with an MSc in medical biology and science studies at the University of Amsterdam. She received her PhD in 2007 at the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. Her PhD thesis ‘Depicting Skin: Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century Medicine’ was awarded with a Research Prize of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. Her research focus is on the role material culture in modern medicine and life sciences, museum ethics and visual representation, in particular photography. She curated exhibitions and projects on medicine, skin, anorexia & obesity, pharmacy, and future foods.
Mieneke is also Assistant Professor at Leiden University Medical Center where she teaches medical history in the bio(medical) curriculum.
Curator of Image & Medicine
Tim Huisman (1964) studied art history and museology at Leiden University. He joined the staff of National Museum Boerhaave in 1995 and became a collection curator after having worked as an exhibition curator for five years. He curated exhibitions on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from medical history and robots to the history of water management in the polders of Holland.
As a curator he is concerned with the early modern medical, pharmaceutical and natural history heritage in the collection of National Museum Boerhaave. His goal is to integrate the historical content of these disciplines in the broader cultural-historical context. Huisman obtained his PhD in 2008 with a study on the history of anatomy in seventeenth-century Leiden. Anatomy, anatomical theatres and the related culture of collecting continue to have his special attention.
Curator of Natural Science after 1800
Ad Maas (1970) studied economic history at Nijmegen University. A quirk of fate took him to the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Amsterdam, where he conducted PhD research into the history of physics in Amsterdam between 1877 and 1940. After a year of research at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin he joined National Museum Boerhaave in 2003. He has curated exhibitions on the sun, on sound, Einstein, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Newton in the Netherlands, the history of energy use in the Netherlands, Philips Research and recycling around 1800. He is also the book review editor for Isis Journal.
Ad Maas’ specialities include Dutch physics, science in the nineteenth century, the history of scientific collections and museums and Albert Einstein.